How cycling became a top political
priority in the Netherlands
Jan Ploeger
province of South Holland
Bicycling in the Netherlands
• The bicycle plays a
century long a significant
role in the NL passenger
transport.
• But ha...
Bicycling in the Netherlands

3
Mileage car vs bicycle

4
Traffic engineers like cars

1938 first motorways
(The Hague – Gouda)

5
But they didn’t forget cyclists
(they paid the taxes!)

6
1939: 4,000,000 cycles
100,000 cars

7
Traffic planner in 1950:
Maybe we paid too much attention to the
motorcar, let’s do something for cyclists.

In the sixtie...
How cycling became a top priority
- No cyclists - no political attention
- Why do people cycle?
Main conditions.
- How to ...
Why people stayed cycling
• Compact cities, keep distances short
• Mixed city planning.
– Complete cities For example Zwol...
London vs. Randstad
workplaces per square km

11
Houten: car free/ short distances

12
Positive attitude in society

Minister Donner

Minister Schulz van Haegen
13
Recreational cycling:
a regional economic factor
First cyclepaths were
private initiatives:
cyclepath associations

14
Bike and train

15
Go for the top: main conditions
• Fully integration in transport policy
• Fully integration in land use policy
 Cycling c...
Never waste a good crisis
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Economic crisis (thirties instead of train/ tram)
Traffic safety (thirties, seven...
One single paperback is not enough

18
Do forget national policy,
Success starts in cities: York

19
Compete with car on longer trips is
new challenge

20
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Jan Ploeger 05 11 13

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Jan Ploeger, Province of South Holland

Love Cycling Go Dutch Conference
Newcastle, 5 November 2013

"How cycling became a top political priority in the Netherlands"

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Jan Ploeger 05 11 13

  1. 1. How cycling became a top political priority in the Netherlands Jan Ploeger province of South Holland
  2. 2. Bicycling in the Netherlands • The bicycle plays a century long a significant role in the NL passenger transport. • But had it always a political top position in all those years? Cyclists: get off 2
  3. 3. Bicycling in the Netherlands 3
  4. 4. Mileage car vs bicycle 4
  5. 5. Traffic engineers like cars 1938 first motorways (The Hague – Gouda) 5
  6. 6. But they didn’t forget cyclists (they paid the taxes!) 6
  7. 7. 1939: 4,000,000 cycles 100,000 cars 7
  8. 8. Traffic planner in 1950: Maybe we paid too much attention to the motorcar, let’s do something for cyclists. In the sixties: bicycle lanes were dismantled in The Hague 1975: Bicycle Union ENWB was found 8
  9. 9. How cycling became a top priority - No cyclists - no political attention - Why do people cycle? Main conditions. - How to generate political attention: never waste a good crisis - Top policy attention needs longstanding, integral planning 9
  10. 10. Why people stayed cycling • Compact cities, keep distances short • Mixed city planning. – Complete cities For example Zwolle, Groningen – traffic calming/ car free cities • Cycling is fully accepted in all ranks of society/ positive attitude to cycling • Recreational cycling • Feeder transport public transport 10
  11. 11. London vs. Randstad workplaces per square km 11
  12. 12. Houten: car free/ short distances 12
  13. 13. Positive attitude in society Minister Donner Minister Schulz van Haegen 13
  14. 14. Recreational cycling: a regional economic factor First cyclepaths were private initiatives: cyclepath associations 14
  15. 15. Bike and train 15
  16. 16. Go for the top: main conditions • Fully integration in transport policy • Fully integration in land use policy  Cycling can compete in travel time, comfort and safety on short distances • • • • Create positive attitude in society Create bicycle culture in public administration Continuity of policy Decentralisation of transport policy 16
  17. 17. Never waste a good crisis • • • • • • • Economic crisis (thirties instead of train/ tram) Traffic safety (thirties, seventies) Low budget recreation (fifties) Health crisis (seventies: keep fit, exercise), Energy crises (seventies) Environment (eighties) Economic crisis again (and the others still!) 17
  18. 18. One single paperback is not enough 18
  19. 19. Do forget national policy, Success starts in cities: York 19
  20. 20. Compete with car on longer trips is new challenge 20
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