bicycle mobility

Mobility: 2019, year 1 of the Bicycle Plan?

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France has set itself the ambitious goal of tripling the share of cycling in mobility by 2024 and has adopted a National Plan to achieve this. At their annual press conference on Thursday, 24 January, the elected representatives meeting within the Club des villes et territoires cyclables and the members of parliament mobilised within the framework of the Club des élus nationaux pour le vélo reaffirmed the role that cycling must finally play in the ecological transition in order to speed up the fight against climate change, preserve air quality and health and combat the economic crisis and inequalities.
 
Presented last 14 September by the Prime Minister, this much-awaited National Cycling and Active Mobility Plan, representing 350 million euros to co-finance infrastructures, aims to translate - for the first time - a national ambition to make cycling a mode of transport in its own right and the desire to accelerate the implementation of the "cycling system" in the territories, at all scales and for all publics. But beware, cycling must not be the subject of "budgetary savings", the associations warned today, at a time when the "yellow vest" crisis is leading to a reduction in tax revenues.
 
For Pierre SERNE, President of the Club des villes et territoires cyclables,"At the beginning of this year, the planets seem to be aligned to make cycling a mobility service in its own right in all areas, including peri-urban and rural areas! The year 2018 has been hectic, but has marked a turning point in the national consideration of cycling. This must now be confirmed in practice. At the beginning of 2019, the Great National Debate is supposed to be an opportunity to listen to the French people, let it also be an opportunity to put forward solutions and to work together to support changes in consumption and mobility behaviour. Moreover, cycling is a possible key to easing tensions around the ecological transition and its social and territorial impacts. Local authorities are already taking action, since they are responsible for the bulk of the public effort in favour of cycling. A national strategy and the return of State aid to speed up the transition towards cycling territories is a potential favourable framework. Provided, of course, that the State keeps its promises in terms of funding and timetable for the implementation of the measures of the Cycling Plan. In this way, France could at last no longer be one of Europe's bad pupils when it comes to cycling. In any case, count on us to deploy together this simple, concrete, low-cost mobility solution that is good for health and the planet and that gives everyone more freedom and autonomy! ».
 

2018 will have been the year of the bicycle, will 2019 transform the trial?

For the first time, the national strategy for cycling and active mobility sets quantified objectives - 9% of modal share in 2024 - and includes State aid. 350 million over seven years, i.e. 50 million euros per year, this falls short of scenario 2 of the report by the Conseil d'orientation des infrastructures et des besoins des collectivités (Infrastructure and Community Needs Orientation Council) to speed up the creation of cycle routes and bicycle parking.
200 million euros a year for what? The first project is to reduce urban traffic congestion and restore pedestrian and cyclist continuity in the regions, with the construction of bicycle express networks and inter-urban links; the transfer of bicycles to public transport, bicycle parking in public facilities, stations and as part of urban renewal operations and the continuation of the national bicycle roads and greenways scheme.
However, the Local Investment Support Grant, from 2018 onwards, has been mobilised for the development of active mobility. In 2019, 15% of the 570 million DSIL will be used to support cycling and active mobility projects with a State contribution of 33%, i.e. 85 million euros, in addition to the 50 million euros of the cycling fund.
 
The Club of Cycling Cities and Regions insists on the need for this funding in view of the challenges to be met and the objectives set; it is therefore necessary to ensure that this funding is secure and sustainable in 2019 and that it is renewed in the following years. It is also important to ensure that the terms and conditions of the call for projects of the cycling fund do not restrict its scope, by dissuading or excluding project leaders, and that they do not undermine the very principle of State financial aid.
 
According to the association Paris en sellewhich scrupulously lists all the new cycling facilities in the CapitalAs a result, the City has completed only 23 % of the bicycle facilities promised at the beginning of the mandate. However, while the construction sites are coming to an end51 % of the network will be completed by the end of 2019.
 

Accelerate the National Cycling Plan

The Ademe "vélo et territoires" call for projects launched as soon as the "Plan vélo et mobilités" was announced in September 2018, intended to anticipate the call for projects from the "Fonds mobilités actives" (Active Mobility Fund) with the financing of studies, services and project managers in territories with less than 250,000 inhabitants, was a huge success: 165 bicycle projects applied for the closing on 10 December representing more than 17 million euros of aid requested for a total project cost of 35 million euros.
 
©Robert Doisneau "Bike Lesson" [Bike Lesson], 1961.
 

But the implementation of the National Cycling and Active Mobility Plan must be accelerated to meet the deadlines it has set. Starting with one of the most ambitious measures of the Plan and yet the most obvious: the generalisation of bicycle learning, which calls for the implementation of resources commensurate with the challenge and the involvement of the National Education system. The "savoir-rouler" (riding skills) stipulates that every child should know how to get around on a bicycle and be familiar with the basic rules of the highway code by the time they enter secondary school by 2022.
 
The same applies to the monitoring of the objectives assigned to the SNCF in terms of secure bicycle parking in stations by 2024. It should be remembered that the Law on Railway Reform already stipulated in 2014 that the SNCF had to draw up a plan for the deployment and financing of bicycle parking facilities in and around priority stations in consultation with local authorities... which has never been presented by the operator since, despite reminders from the Club des villes et territoires cyclables (Cycling Towns and Territories Club).
Finally, the management of the Cycling and Active Mobility Plan is still not specified. However, it is essential to its success, with the implementation of all the measures and the respect of deadlines.
 

The reluctance of communities

The local authorities meeting within the Club of Cycling Towns and Territories regret a certain number of commitments, such as the disappearance of obligations regarding the parking of bicycles in buildings (deletion of the article (ex art. 17): "Any person carrying out work on an annexed parking lot" equipping certain buildings (those housing a "public service" or "for industrial or tertiary use"), will have to equip themselves with "infrastructures allowing the parking of bicycles").
Communities are also questioning the prohibition on providing parking spaces 5 metres upstream of pedestrian crossings (e.g., s. 17: "No parking space shall be provided on the roadway 5 metres upstream of pedestrian crossings unless the space is reserved for cycles and pedal-assisted cycles. »)
Even if the Government is considering changing the regulations (Highway Code) in this direction, this obligation should be enshrined in law in connection with the reaffirmed issues of modal shift and road safety.
 
Another discrepancy: the impossibility of combining (under conditions: transfer to a public transport station) the benefit of the sustainable mobility package and the reimbursement of 50% of the public transport season ticket. 
 
Finally, the law does not give local authorities any prescriptive tools to regulate new mobility operators, particularly free-floating bicycle and scooter offers. But only the possibility for organising authorities to establish minimum requirements (conditions of use, management of wrecks, etc.) that operators must comply with under penalty of sanction. The issuing of a licence and the possibility of levying a fee are therefore excluded.
 
With regard to travel safety, the abolition (Article 5) of the obligation for conurbations of more than 100,000 inhabitants, which are required to set up a PDU (now "mobility plans"), to monitor accidents involving at least one pedestrian or cyclist (provision of the 2001 Solidarity Urban Renewal (SRU) Act, which made travel safety one of the priority objectives of PDUs) is a problem. Similarly, in the provisions on data opening, the removal of data collection on "the accessibility of the main pedestrian routes between a priority stopping point and travel generating poles. »
 

Work of the artist Abraham Key hijacking a traffic sign (Viktoria-Luise Square in Berlin, Germany)

Economic incentives, powerful levers

The year 2018 ended with the inclusion, in the 2019 Finance Act, of one of the measures of the Bicycle Plan requested by the Club des villes et territoires cyclables and the Club des élus nationaux pour le vélo since 2015: Article 145 now gives the right to a reduction in corporate tax for the rental of fleets of bicycles. Before this date, it was reserved for the purchase of bicycles. However, companies are now more often opting for long-term rental and turnkey solutions (including rental, maintenance, saddle-setting, employee information, etc.) offered by new players and which - as with the car! - better meet their needs.
 
And by the extension of the conversion premium for the replacement of an old vehicle (diesel or petrol) to the purchase of a new electrically assisted cycle: this change follows the proposals of the Club des villes et territoires cyclables during the Assises de la mobilité and within the framework of the copil of the transport section of the Major Investment Plan : Purchase of a new two-wheeler, motorised three-wheeler or electric quadricycle: 100 € for a taxable household; 1,100 € for a non-taxable household.
 
Still in the area of aid for the purchase of bicycles, the Bicycle and Active Mobility Plan provides for a system of aid for the purchase of EAB to replace the current purchase premium (very little requested since it only targets non-taxable households with aid of €100 subject to obtaining aid of the same amount from the municipality of residence). The Plan provides for support for the purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle or cargo bike through energy saving certificates (CEE). No details have since been provided by the Government. Probably because a quick review shows that this scheme is not at all suitable.
In fact, if we value the energy savings resulting from the switch to EAV, we obtain fairly small amounts. On the basis of the data from the Ademe's evaluation study of bicycle services, it is approximately 20€ for purchase assistance and 35€ for long-term rental (over the entire life of the VAE...). With regard to the purchase cost of a VAE [1], these amounts of aid would therefore have no incentive effect.
 
Numerous studies have shown the leverage effect of purchase subsidies on the modal shift from solo car to electric-assisted bicycle (EAB), particularly for home-to-work journeys. [2]. The ADEME, in 2016, highlighted that financial assistance is a net incentive to cycling. The average distance travelled by bicycle is thus more than doubled, from 3.4 km to 7.4 km. Half of new users have switched from car to EAB. It should be remembered that Cerema has also highlighted that among the beneficiaries of the national aid for the purchase of a VAE in 2017 (200 euros without means test), 7% of them have decided to give up a car!
With the aim of significantly increasing the modal share (which has tripled under the Cycling Plan), it is therefore an effective lever when we want to accelerate the spread of cycling in French people's travel practices and habits. It also helps to create a market and lower the prices of products while increasing their quality.
 

How can the economic incentive measures of the Bicycle Plan be strengthened and their imperfections corrected?

Why not think about restoring the possibility of combining the benefit of the sustainable mobility package and the reimbursement of 50% of the public transport pass, in the context of combined use of bicycle and public transport? Since article 26 of the bill stipulates that the employee must choose each month between the sustainable mobility package and the reimbursement of his or her public transport season ticket.
While the flexibility ("every month") which allows for the seasonality of bicycle use (particularly in certain regions) is interesting, the impossibility of combining the benefits of the two schemes is a step backwards in relation to the bicycle kilometre allowance introduced in February 2016 and the need to encourage bicycle/TC intermodality, as cycling increases the catchment area for public transport and limits its environmental impact (fewer car parks, etc.).
 
Why not generalize the sustainable mobility package for all employees? Initially, this obligation could concern companies with more than 100 employees under the mobility plan that they are required to implement since 1 January 2018. Before a rapid generalisation to all employers.
 
Why not give the employee the opportunity to benefit from a grant of 50 euros per month if he opts for the purchase of a lease/long-term lease with purchase option? This aid could be combined with the employer's payment of 50% for the public transport season ticket. In other words, the employer's assumption of responsibility for 50% of the public transport season ticket would become a universal aid, which can be combined with a bicycle device of your choice: sustainable mobility package or aid for the purchase of a leased bicycle.
(Source: Club des Villes et Territoires cyclabes - 25/01/2019)
 
 

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Aveniratoutcrin
1 année

Good morning, sir,

Already 1 year to the day that the major Bike Plan was announced by the government with the objective of tripling the share of cycling in urban mobility by 2024.
But this national plan is still struggling to be implemented at the local level.

A major survey has just been launched by the FUB (Fédération des Usagers de la Bicyclette) to establish a "Baromètre des villes cyclables 2019".
Here it is: https://barometre.parlons-velo.fr/
Good day to all

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