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State Bicycle Strategy

Last Monday, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) presented the first National Cycling Strategy (EB).

This state plan, already applied in other countries, is part of the strategy for safe, sustainable and connected mobility 2030.

With the horizon set at the period 2020-2025, the BS has given itself the key to claiming mobility “as a right, an element of social cohesion and economic growth”.

With the idea of solving real mobility problems, they choose to design this BS based on the pillars of security, sustainability and connectivity.

These pillars aim to break down the barriers that made the use of cycling in Spain, compared to other neighboring countries, until now residual.

A national strategy for cycling is not presented every day in Spain, that’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to make a detailed breakdown of all its keys and decide why this plan launched by MITMA can contribute to change towards more sustainable modes of coexistence, the bicycle.

Contents index

➡️What is the vision behind the goals of the State Cycling Strategy?

➡️What are the points that EB considers priority in its state strategy?

➡️How was the State Bicycle Strategy analyzed?

➡️Cultural change: awareness, training and communication

➡️Health, well-being and the social dimension of cycling

➡️Cycling infrastructure

➡️Tools to facilitate cycling mobility

➡️The bicycle as a means of daily transport

➡️Safety and regulations. Improved safety, updated regulations, training, communication and awareness of cyclist mobility

➡️Cycle-touring

➡️Recreational and sport cycling

➡️Cycling opportunities and value chain

➡️Institutional coordination and funding

➡️Conclusions

What is the vision behind the State Cycling Strategy goals?

Based on the aforementioned pillars, the State Cycling Strategy has the vision and mission of:

  • Increase the modal share of bicycles at the expense of motor vehicles.
  • Reduce traffic accidentsand their severity.
  • Improve health.
  • Improve air quality.
  • Give a greater role to active leisure and tourism options, whether urban, rural or nature.
  • Advance gender equality.
  • Less dependent and more flexible mobility.
  • Provide greater mobility autonomy in children and adolescents.
  • Create friendlier and more peaceful cities for the most vulnerable groups.
  • Promote cycle tourism as an enrichment of the cultural and historical heritage of towns and territories.
  • Economic benefits of investing in cycling to boost the local economy.
  • Provide greater dynamism to the bicycle sector.
  • Having a more sustainable city freight delivery system.

What are the points that EB considers as priorities in its state strategy?

Based on the aforementioned vision, there are 5 points to which the National Cycling Strategy attaches special importance and considers priority:

  1. Progress in sustainable mobility through a modal shift towards cycling, affirming an “urgent need”to reduce motorized traffic.
  2. Promote health living through active mobility.
  3. Benefit from the potential of cycling touring.
  4. Promoting and protecting recreational and sport cycling.
  5. Coordinating the National State action plan in bicycle promotion.

How was the State Bicycle Strategy analyzed?

Achieve the proposed mission and develop each of the priorities, the plan has been divided into 10 thematic areas which are subdivided into 28 action blocks.

The dimension of the goals set is clearly highlighted in the action blocks.

A slow reading of each of the thematic areas reveals the greater prominence of some areas over others, the cultural approach to cycling promotion and the maneuverability by MITMA.

Our objective is to analyze both the goals and the actions envisaged for each area to show how ambitious this approach is.

Cultural change: awareness, training and communication

The first of the thematic areas focuses on raising awareness of the bike use in different aspects: daily mobility, leisure, sport, tourism, etc.

One of the obstacles to cycling access is linked to citizens’ perceptions (road insecurity, unawareness of existing infrastructures, etc.). For this reason, the State Cycling Strategy triggers a fairly broad action plan divided into two blocks: cycling promotion and training in cycling mobility.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Identify the bicycleas part of an active lifestyle.
  • Boost cycling in rural environments.
  • Promote active mobility from childhood and from a gender perspective.
  • Convey an attractive, inclusive, calm, healthy, reassuring and innovative image.
  • Increase the presence of cycling in the media, with positive messages tailored to each target audience.
  • Encourage cycling promotion projects in the local and social areas.
  • Advise the target audience on regulations, safety, routes, destinations and the benefits of cycling.
  • Train students, parents and teachers in safe mobility and bicycle handling.
  • Have a body in charge of unifying work and communication criteria in everything related to the promotion of bicycles in the different AAs. PP.
  • Conduct outreach campaigns on bicycle use, its rules and best practices.

What actions are planned in this thematic area?

As mentioned, this subject area has been divided into two blocks. In the action block to promote cycling, the following has been applied:

  • Creation of state campaigns for active mobilityin which the benefits of walking or cycling in the city are presented, with an emphasis on groups that have traditionally used the bicycle less.
  • Promote the development of a style manual for cycling campaigns and how to include it in institutional campaigns, with particular emphasis on counterargue the reputational risks of cycling in the media.
  • Launch campaigns that promote cycle mobility plans to work centers and to promote sustainable and safe mobility to educational centers, with the recognition of good practices.
  • Launch event programs to promote the use of cycling to work and create a guide that encourages this practice.
  • Develop a reference site on culture, documentation and knowledge of cycling.
  • A repository study on the impact of cycling on health, equity and sustainability will be created.

In the block, corresponding to cycling mobility training, the following actions are added:

  • Develop road safety education activities to promote safe mobility using spaces in schools.
  • Develop and publish open online courses on safe cycling, basic mechanics and first aid for the general public.
  • Launch a program to support cycling activities in educational centers.
  • Develop a training manual for cyclists as a support for the training of trainers.
  • Promote awareness in driving schools with drivers of motor vehicles concerning cycling mobility.
  • Review the possibility of creating an official qualification for bicycle technicians and mechanics.
  • Design a specialized cycle touring programas specific expertise in the training of active tourism guides.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

One of the key problems, which at the same time hinders access to daily use of the bicycle, concerns the rate of road accidents. In this sense, the actions aimed at promoting greater awareness among cyclists by motor vehicle drivers are good news.

We also emphasize that campaigns to promote the use of bicycles for commuting to work, something that we have been demanding for some time now.

Health, well-being and the social dimension of cycling

This second theme area concerning another aspect that we have also been talking about at length in the blog: the value of cycling in people’s health, and how it can contribute from a social perspective.

Which are the goals of this subject area?

  • Reduction of air and noise pollution in cities.
  • Support for university research on the benefits of cycling on health and social well-being.
  • Achieve scientific progress in health, wellness and cycling with accessible and clear information for public administrations.
  • Promote healthy livingthrough the use of the bicycle with an equity perspective.
  • Spread ways to assess the health impact of cycling initiatives.
  • Support for social initiatives linked to bicycle mobility and contributing to improving people’s health.
  • Promotion of social participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of bicycle use policies.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

The actions planned are also divided into two blocks: promoting healthy cycling and supporting social innovation in bicycle mobility.

The section on promoting a healthy lifestyle Initiative is aimed at using bicycles as a tool to improve public health and sets 3 main actions:

  • Inclusion in health promoting websites of resources such as healthy routes, cycling associations, training centers, activities to promote the use of bicycles, bicycle rental points and services related to bicycles.
  • Creation of guides for the inclusion of cycling in health and sustainability policies through citizen participation. The development of guides is also envisaged to promote healthy and sustainable environments and lifestyles focused on equity among priority audiences (women, minors, adolescents and the elderly).
  • Communication to strenghten active bike transport.

Regarding the share of support for social innovation in cycling mobility, the purpose of the actions is in line with the idea of promoting mobility from an inclusive, egalitarian perspective, with an emphasis on the common good, co-responsibility and solidarity.

In addition, it promotes the idea of supporting the various initiatives through the experience accumulated by specialized entities in the sector. Proposed actions are:

  • Promote social economy projects where the bicycle will play a key role.
  • Detect groups at risk of social exclusion and document the projects that can be carried out and support them with cycling mobility.
  • Development of a guide to involve cycling entities and initiatives at the territorial level: local stakeholders mapping, resolution of conflicts between entities, etc.
  • Coordinate with subject matter experts for the creation of materials and design guides and the revitalization of participation, co-decision and co-creation processes in everything related to cycling mobility.
  • Take gender perspective into account in infrastructure strategy planning and design, in the development of regulations or in the promotion of sport, tourism and recreation.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

The fact that the bicycle is seen as an axis of social change reflects the importance it is supposed to give: we are not only facing a vehicle but rather an element that can help connect communities and create territories committed a healthier life.

The gender perspective introduced is also noteworthy, an aspect that is almost ubiquitous in each of the theme areas defined. The fact that cycling promotion is viewed through the eyes of those with lower usage rates is a good start to detect entry barriers, less visible to the everyday user.

Cycling infrastructure

The space focused on the design of new networks guaranteeing safe use of the bicycle is one of those with the greatest number of goals. Ultimately, investing in infrastructure largely depends on the perceived usability of the bicycle Without key actions in this area, it is more complex to progress.

What are the goals of this theme area?

In this sense, the proposed objectives are in line with the connectivity of bicycles with other modes of transport, the improvement of road safety and security against theft, with a strong emphasis on the key role of bicycle parking facilities design. In short, the idea is to make the bicycle use comfortable through:

  • Development of cycling networks adapted to the size of the population.
  • Creation of continuous, comfortable and safe networks for urban communication, with road networks suitable for segregated cycling whenever necessary
  • Develop cycle networks according to the size and distribution of populations.
  • Unification and optimization of design criteria, signage and the typology of cycle lanes.
  • Secure public parking at key points, with surveillance and respect for the pedestrian area.
  • Provision of bicycle parking spaces in apartment buildings, offices and shops.
  • Maintenance and conservation of roads and shoulders for the use of bicycles.
  • Maintenance of cycle lanes and routes in good condition to ensure safe use.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of useful, accessible and up-to-date information on cycle routes.
  • Technician training in bicycle infrastructure and mobility Creation of spaces to share knowledge and experiences.
  • Give more importance to pedestrians, bicycles and other personal mobility vehicles in the city.
  • Efficiency in urban design and regulatory criteria for the safe integration of bicycles in the city.
  • Provide visibility to the cyclist in the road space with signals, traffic lights, signs, etc.
  • To have a priority scale in the road space where active mobility is key matter.
  • The pedestrian should be given priority and disputes with cyclists minimized.
  • Efforts should be made to calm motor vehicle traffic in urban areas.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

In the area of cycling infrastructure, up to four action blocks are planned, which clearly reflect the importance of this area: cycling network development, cycling infrastructure design, bike parking facilities and the professional network of specialists in urban planning and cycling mobility. In the first block, the State Cycling Strategy establishes the following actions to be developed:

  • A basic public network of intercity cycling infrastructureplanning and development.
  • Design of conservation planning and elimination of sections with a high concentration of cycling accidents on interurban roads.
  • Support to the development of specific infrastructure access plans and services in peripheral areas threatened by social exclusion.
  • Support to thedevelopment of plans to adapt major access roads to cities for bicycle use.
  • Detailed mapping of interurban, peri-urban andurban cycling networks.
  • Posting an open access data portal with mapping, equipment, statuses and general information on urban, peri-urban and interurban networks.
  • The sections of motorways in which the circulation of cyclists has been forbidden will be identified and geolocated, including the alternative sections.
  • Publication of an open data portal for mapping, equipment, reports and general information on urban, peri-urban and interurban networks.

In addition to the above, there are actions related to the design of cycling infrastructure, as follows:

  • Creation of manuals with design recommendations for urban, peri-urban and inter-urban roads for bicycle use.
  • Development of a catalog of signs for cyclists in cities, interurban roads, rural paths and trails.
  • Develop documents on cycleway maintenance, including relevant road safety criteria for cyclists in regulations and road design standards.
  • Create guides to make visible elements of cycling mobility in the urban environment.

In the block of actions aimed at improving bicycle parking lots, the following has been considered:

  • Encourage theinclusion of bicycle parking facilities in newly built constructions, considering the possibility of introducing regulatory changes in the Technical Building Code to make them mandatory.
  • Analyze other possible regulatory changes aimed at promoting the inclusion of bicycle parking facilities in community spaces.
  • Create guidelines to provide the installation of parking spaces in homes, businesses, offices, public buildings and educational centers.
  • Prepare studies on the possible implementation of assistance programs for the installation of parking lots in housing, shops, offices, public buildings and educational centers.
  • Support the development of installation planning for bicycle racks in neighborhood and local spaces (bicycle racks, bicycle sheds, etc.).
  • Publish a range of best practices for companies in adopting pro-cyclist measures, launching a seal that recognizes nationally when a company is pro-cyclist.

Finally, in the block relating to the creation of a professional network of urban planning and cycling mobility specialists, the following has been established:

  • Manage a network of specialists in urban planning and cycling mobility.
  • Collaborate in the development of urban training programs in cycling mobility.
  • Launch a forum of experiences and solutions for the integration of the bicycle into interurban traffic.
  • Prepare studies on technologies applied to cycling infrastructure.
  • Promote the creation of chairs related to urban planning, mobility and cyclist road safety in the field of university research.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

The fact that there is a block dedicated exclusively to improving the operability and safety of bicycle parking facilities is a good sign to detect a problem that urgently needs to be solved. Within this block of actions, the State Cycling Strategy highlights the desire to encourage the integration of bicycle parking facilities in new housing and community spaces.

The catalog of actions linked to urban planning and bicycle mobility also plays a key role in the creation of a bicycle-friendly urban environment.

Tools to facilitate cycling mobility

This fourth line offers action planning focused on cycling mobility services that make it easier for citizens to use bicycles.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Develop public bicycle service networks.
  • Intermodality generalization with public transport, in particular facilitating the transport of bicycles on board.
  • Connection of metro, tram, train and bus stations to cycle lane networks.
  • Installation of secure car parks and bicycle rental services in train and bus stations.
  • Promote pricing integration between public transport and integrated public bicycle systems in each locality.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

In this case, the State Bicycle Strategy is divided into two action blocks: the development of shared bicycle systems and bicycle-public transport intermodality. In the first, two key actions are established:

  • Guide with recommendations for the implementation of bike-sharing services, either as a public service or for workplaces wishing to offer it to their employees.
  • Support the design and implementation of long-term bicycle loan schemes by municipalities and businesses.

In the block of actions aimed at promoting intermodality, with a focus on the bicycle-rail link, the following has been implemented:

  • Create a procedure for coordination among stakeholders for the construction or installation of bicycle parking facilities in stations.
  • Foster the development of commercial policies which consolidate, group together and update all information relating to bicycle-public transport intermodality.
  • Design a logo that easily identifies the concept of bicycle-public transport intermodality.
  • Collaborate with public transport managers with platforms for the promotion and cycling distribution.
  • Provide connectivity projects for railway and bus stations, airports with urban cycle networks, including the adaptation of passenger stations for the use of cyclists.
  • Create guidelines for the implementation of bike loan services and bike parking facilities at intermodal stations.
  • Gradually introduce rolling stock that facilitates bicycle-public transport intermodality.
  • Set up seat reservation systems for cyclists on medium and long-distance trains.
  • Development of single ticket and transport subscription solutions. Integration of the shared bicycle system.
  • Integrate the bicycle into the multi-trip logistics platforms offered by the various public transport managers.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

Understanding the bicycle user means understanding that he/she is a dynamic user: he/she does not wish to travel exclusively by bicycle but rather tries to complement its use with other sustainable means of transportation. In this sense, developing bicycle-public transport intermodality is absolutely necessary.

The development of long-term bicycle loan systems, one of the actions considered in the first block.

The bicycle as a means of daily transport

As we established at the beginning of the article, one of the goals of the State Bicycle Strategy is to ensure that the bicycle is considered as a regular and daily means of transport.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Make cycling a widespread and inclusive transportation option.
  • Encourage walking or cycling on short trips around town.
  • Promotion of commuting by bicycle as a sustainable mobility solution.
  • Prepare schools to adopt their own bicycle mobility solutions.
  • Support for bike-friendly measures in stores, especially local shops.
  • Promotion of bicycle use in stores, especially local shops.
  • Encourage bicycle use for different audiences according to sex, age or social class and according to their own modes of mobility.
  • Assessment of fiscal policies in favor of bicycle useas a means of transport.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

The catalog of actions in this area is divided into actions aimed at promoting cycling at work and encouraging cycling from the workplace. Although the two blocks can be perfectly combined into one, the former considered:

  • Promote the implementation of work transport plans of companies and entities, by encouraging the most sustainable modes.
  • Create the Bike to Work platform, which will include a list of entities facilitating the cycling mobility, with tips for safe cycling.
  • Prepare an advice manual for companies wishing to facilitate cycling mobility.
  • Launchcampaigns to boost cycling mobility plans in work centers promoting sustainable mobility.
  • Design the implementation of bike-to-work event programs accompanied by a guide to promote bike-to-work commuting.

On the other hand, in the block dedicated to work incentives, the following is proposed:

  • Explore the possibility of changing tax regulations to include cycling mobility to work as a concept of in-kind compensation.
  • Advertise and benefit from facilitating conditions in the acquisition or maintenance of bicycles for commuting to work.
  • Create a list of companies that offer such facilities to their employees.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

It is not trivial that the action blocks are intended almost exclusively to promote the use of the bicycle as a means of transport to commute to work. It is something that we applaud and in which we have worked for a long time with different entities, so the commitment to contribute to the growth of this practice is more than welcome.

Safety and regulations. Improved safety, updated regulations, training, communication and awareness of cyclist mobility

As we have said on other occasions, safety has a lot to do with the daily use of the bicycle. It is for this reason that the National Cycling Strategy gives special priority to this area, which has been divided into a total of 4 blocks of actions.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Provide security guarantees to the most vulnerable road users.
  • Raise cyclists’ awareness of the risks with users who are more vulnerable than them.
  • Promotion of the use of active safety devices and protections.
  • Development of safety systems aimed at reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Provision of mobility and safety analyzes for cyclists.
  • Training of cyclists in cycling traffic, cycling skills, basic mechanics and first aid.
  • Promotion of good citizenship among cyclists, drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
  • Standardization of national, regional and local bicycle regulations.
  • Regulation of the cyclist as an unsafe road user
  • Enable the circulation of bicycles in the corresponding regulations for the transport of children and goods
  • Extension of BikeRegistration as a means of preventing theft.
  • Extension of the legal protection of cyclists to cover the risks of civil liability and theft.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

The actions envisaged in this part of the National Cycling Strategy have been divided into a maximum of 4 blocks: strengthening road safety for cyclists, updating regulations concerning bicycles, registering bicycles and legal protection for cyclists. All aim to make the cyclist a regulated and visible entity in the eyes of the institutions.

In the block dedicated to improving road safety for cyclists, we find actions such as:

  • The promotion ofpolice surveillance instructions for risky behavior on cyclists, but also risky cycling behavior.
  • Promotion of police surveillance instructions and implementation of measures to calm automobile traffic in urban and interurban spaces.
  • Development of the “Protected cycle paths” program for the particular monitoring of traffic on interurban roads with heavy cycle traffic.
  • Launch campaigns to adopt safe cycling behaviors.
  • Launch of awareness campaigns to respect the cyclistas a vulnerable group in traffic.
  • Diagnose high cycling accident points.
  • Publish a report on urban bicycle accidents in order to be able to make recommendations for urban and interurban surveillance.

When it comes to updating regulations that affect bicycles, the State Bicycle Strategy considers:

  • Prepare a model ordinance to regulate the use of bicycles in cities, as well as their use in the urban natural spaces.
  • Introduce changes in the regulations to calm traffic in spaces shared with cyclists.
  • Evaluate the inclusion in state regulations of measures that enhance the safety of cyclists.
  • Evaluate the inclusion of bicycle theft in “vehicle robbery and theft” crimes and offenses.
  • Adapt the regulations governing bicycle traffic in natural areas based on common and objective criteria on the impact of cycling in these territories.

In the third block, referring to actions related to bicycle registration, 8 new actions are faced:

  • Study the functionalities of the bicycle register.
  • Develop the information systems necessary for the registration of bicycles.
  • Migrate the data from the current BiciRegistro to the bicycle register.
  • Introduce solutions such as geolocation or radio frequency identification for bicycle registration.
  • Develop Strong Bicycle Registry Funding Model .
  • Design and implement registry access systems for State security forces and corps.
  • Implement a system for bicycle registrations in sale points, cycling associations and clubs, city councils, county councils, etc.
  • Launch dissemination campaigns on the usefulness of the bicycle register.

Finally, in the section concerning the legal protection of cyclists, it is proposed:

  • Perform an analysis of coverage and product available for bicycle and cyclist insurance.
  • Launch awareness campaigns on the risks of civil liability and the advantages of having bicycle insurance.
  • Study improvements to the law on civil liability and insurance in motor vehicle traffic to protect cyclists.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

Cycling should be SAFE. And to be sure in all its senses, the range of actions must have the broad vision that is contemplated in the State Bicycle Strategy. Moreover, it must cease to be something foreign to almost any regulation or rule to every aspect of it. It’s noteworthy that special attention has been committed to this section.

Cycle-touring

Cycle touring is considered in the National Cycling Strategy as one of the five key points to promote the cycling world. Not only because of the economic benefit it entails, but also because it can be used to develop a more sustainable, seasonally adjusted tourism model. In addition, it helps to generate a special interaction between the natural environment, the landscape and the cultural heritage.

To this end, the planning of a network of services associated with cycle tourism that will help to fill the gaps in the market still immature in Spain, but starting to emerge in some territories.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Make Spain a benchmark destination for national and international cycle tourism.
  • Developing a network of routes connecting cultural, natural and recreational destinations at state level, regional and local level, including major tourist routes with international connections.
  • Recover and equip roads with little traffic.
  • Connect cycling routes with the different public transport in order to provide access.
  • Promote a network of cycle routes through the web and app to distribute to schools, clubs, associations, etc.
  • Inform by signage, applications, etc., of cycle routes
  • Manage a correct coexistence between cyclists, walkers, motor vehicles for a good management of the space they share.
  • Control the impact of cycling on the rural and natural environment, committed to maximizing the local economic impact.
  • Promoting leisure and family tourism by bicycle.
  • Develop the different methods of cycle tourism and link them to other attractive tourist products.
  • Professionalize the offer of cycle tourism and associated tourist services, by adopting quality and sustainability commitments.
  • Promote cycling in a coordinated manner by all the administrations concerned.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

Promoting cycle tourism is not an easy task and requires a global vision of this type of tourism. To this end, the National Cycling Strategy divides three blocks of actions: the network of cycle routes and destinations, the Club of cycle tourism products of Spain and the professional network of cycle tourism specialists.

As far as the action covering the network of cycle routes and destinations, the following is established:

  • Develop a general network of multi-level cycle routes that connect local, regional, state and European routes.
  • Promote the recovery and conservation of infrastructure for cycle routes, including information panels for access to cycling routes, the provision of cycling equipment and control of eco-meters.
  • Support the connectivity of train and bus stations with cycle lanes.
  • Prepare a manual of numbering, indications and information panels on cycle lanes.
  • Publish an open data portal on cycle routes (route, status, difficulty, regulations, facilities, destinations) that can be used for the development of route planning applications.
  • Prepare a manual for proper use of cycle routes.
  • Prepare studies on the degree of cyclability of routes.

Regarding the actions to create the Cycling Product Clubin Spain, the following are planned:

  • Identify the stakeholders involved in the promotion of the cycle tourism product in Spain and the elements that compose it.
  • Perform a comparative analysis of the cycling tourism situation in different autonomous communities.
  • Create a national club of cycling products and brands in Spain as a public-private alliance. Analyze the figure that will configure the entity that will manage this product club.
  • Declare the Cyclotourism product in Spain at a “founding” congress.
  • Develop a model of excellence in the tourist offer for cyclists, with a system of recognition seals and the annual “Cycling in Spain” awards.
  • Design national and international promotion planning for a product cluband a network of cycle paths and destinations.
  • Analyse the sustainability of a unified information portal on the bicycle tourism product in Spain, integrated into the official tourism portal and coordinated with the information and dissemination resources available to regional and local administrations.
  • Develop guidelinesfor the promotion of urban cycling routes with cultural, natural and leisure destinations.
  • Launch awareness campaigns on the coexistence of walkers, cyclists and other users on cycle routes.
  • Support the signing of agreements between tour operators, administrations and other entities involved in routes.
  • Support the managers of destinations specializing in cycle touring to obtain tourism sustainability plans.

Finally, the block aimed at generating a professional network of cycling tourism specialists includes:

  • Create a professional network of specialists in sustainable cycle touring.
  • Prepare urban cycle touring manuals for local entities.
  • Create a repository of best practices for bicycle-friendly cities.
  • Issue guidelines to unify the regulations governing cycle tourism activities.
  • Create a sectoral working group on cycle tourism.
  • Create a forum of entities, companies and associations of the rural territory on cycle routes.
  • Study the opportunities for an economic benefit on cycle lanes.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

We believe that it is essential that cyclotourism has been contemplated from a professionalizing perspective, understanding that the development of this sector has to focus not only on growth but also on the quality of the offer.

This quality is based on specialization in the sector, and for this reason, both the creation of the Product Club and the generation of a network of specialists are two good approaches from which to start towards a promising future in Spanish cycle tourism.

Recreational and sport cycling

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Making cycling popular as an instrument for sustainable, healthyand socially inclusive recreation and sport.
  • Encourage the use of the bicycle for leisure and sports from childhood and adolescence.
  • Increase the number and distribution of professional and amateur cycling events with particular attention to those organized in cities.
  • Raising the profile of women’s cycling and adapted cycling.
  • Adapt the road infrastructure for leisure and sports activities by bicycle.
  • Establish a common regulatory framework for the use of the bicycle and cohabitation between users in natural spaces.
  • Promote coordination among agents involved in natural areas and benefit from bicycle tourism.
  • Promote cycling awareness so that the group becomes a reference in terms of respectful use of natural environments and coexistence with other users.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

The space dedicated to leisure and sport by bicycle has been subdivided into two action blocks: the promotion of cycling and its integration into rural areas and natural spaces. As is the case with other sports practiced in natural settings or protected environments, cycling can be perceived as a threat that negatively impacts the sustainability of a place. Thus, in the first block of actions, it is considered:

  • Develop a coordination guide between organizers, promoters and administrations in leisure and sport cycling events.
  • Develop a road adaptation and management guideline for cycling events.
  • Launch an aid program for children’s cycling events, young people, women and adapted.
  • Launch a grassroots cycling plan to promote competitive cycling in children and adolescence.

With reference to the integration of bicycles in rural environments, the following is considered:

  • Issue guidelines on coliving in rural areas and natural spaces that adapt the circulation of bicycles in these spaces.
  • Promote the revitalization of rural depressed areas located in natural areas through cycle touring.
  • Develop a guide for the proper adaptation and management of roads located in rural and natural areas.
  • Support research, training and dissemination of studies on the impact of cycling in nature.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

Just as in many areas the bicycle can be seen as a vulnerable element compared to other agents, in other areas it can be seen as the opposite: a threat.

This is why it is essential that clear guidelines are established for the coexistence of cycling in rural and natural spaces, for it depends on it that cycling is transformed from being perceived as a threat to being an opportunity.

Cycling opportunities and value chain

The ninth theme area aims to “boost the manufacture and trade of bicycles, engines of job creation and self-employment characterized by innovation and flexibility”.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Development of the business cycling sector as a strategic entity for the economy.
  • Professionalization of the business network around the bicycle.
  • Cycling-friendly measures in stores, with special attention to local stores.
  • Strengthening collaboration between companies and Public Administrations for the development of the business sector linked to cycling.
  • Promotion of cooperation and joint action by small businesses in the bicycle sector.
  • Development of cycling as a sustainable last mile solution.
  • Professionalization of cycling in urban commuter distribution systems.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

This penultimate area of the National Cycling Strategy is divided into three sub-blocks, highlighting the last one dedicated to the development of cyclology.

In the first block, dedicated to the innovation and business development cluster, the following is planned:

  • Creation of a business and innovation cluster in which companies, public administrations, universities and research centers are integrated.
  • Develop a proposal for a business and industrial strategy for internationalization and R + D + i in the bicycle sector.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, internationalization and R + D + i in the sector.
  • Implement collaboration agreements between business, administrative and university sectors in the area of bicycle innovation and technology.

In the second block of actions, focused on the Brand Club of specialized bicycle stores has been considered:

  • Branding of sales outlets and workshops for collaboration in different spheres: digital, shopping, training, etc.
  • develop a model of excellence with a seal of recognition in cycling businesses, according to recognized and verifiable standards.
  • Organize the annual “Excellent Cyclotrade” awards which reward companies with the highest level of excellence and the most innovative practices.
  • Develop a digital transformation program for specialized commerce, ensuring points of sale and workshops competitive in the e-commerce field.

Finally, in the aforementioned section of actions dedicated to the development of cycling, it is established:

  • Support local administrations in defining standards and implementing cyclology in the urban distribution of goods.
  • Create a portal to collect data on this sector in the European reference countries, on companies in Spain and the types of cycles used.
  • Provide guidelines for the inclusion in the SUMPs of standards for the facilitation of cyclology.
  • Define the requirements for bicycle homologation suitable to transport goods.
  • Organize the annual “Excellent Cycling” Awards, as well as specialized conferences on the sector.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

The key role giving to cycling is not trivial, given that one of the pollution problems in cities is linked to freight transport. In this sense, the real commitment to this type of sustainable and less invasive solutions for the urban territory invites us to have a little more optimism about the cities of the future.

Institutional coordination and funding

This last section of the State Bicycle Strategy is the one that may go unnoticed, but the one that will set the guidelines on which each of the thematic areas established in the previous sections can truly be articulated. The basic idea is to generate a certain proactivity among the agents involved in public administration, the private sector and associations.

What are the goals of this theme area?

  • Generate an organizational structure aligned between administrations, focused on cycling and open to public.
  • Provide budgets for cycling infrastructure, supporting the cycling economy.
  • Generate synergies between cycling and health, climate, tourism, education, sport, economic policies, etc.
  • Promote research and innovation in cycling mobility.
  • Prioritize the promotion of bicycles as a common goal of all political parties, territories and administrations.

What actions are planned in this theme area?

Up to 4 blocks of actions are planned in the coordination and financing part.

In the first block, aimed at the General framework of policies and strategies for cycling, the following is foreseen:

  • Encourage the transformation of cities towards greater bicycle use and the inclusion in the SUMPs of standards for urban bicycle mobility.
  • Support the development of local and regional plans for the development of cycling networks, for the structuring between towns and tourism, and for the interrelation between cycling plans.
  • Conduct surveys on bicycle mobility policies.
  • Create an interdisciplinary network to promote public policies aimed at promoting cycling.
  • Promote the “Pact for the bicycle”in which political parties, administrations, associations and companies may join.

In the second block focused on the creation of a Governance System for Cycling

  • Establish a General Bicycle Office that will be a point of reference in the General State Administration for the rest of the administrations that may be involved.
  • Create a network of contact points for bicycles in all institutions of the General State Administration. This includes promoting the figure of the “responsible for the bicycle” in the Autonomous Communities and Local Governments.
  • Provide support to public administrations interested in promoting participation, negotiation, collaboration agreements, etc. processes aimed at promoting joint actions to promote cycling.

The third block addresses the management of funds for the promotion of cycling, and raises:

  • Creating a repository of grants, public procurement and financing tools to serve as an example for interested administrations.
  • Developing guidelines for the granting of aid and loans by companies to workers for bicycle mobility.
  • Launching public aid programs to promote cycling.
  • Developing guidelines to apply for public aid and subsidized loans for bicycle promotion projects.
  • Developing a comparative study of European fiscal policies to promote cycling as a mode of transport, with a special focus on mobility to work.

Finally, a final block on cycling and R + D + i knowledge is determined with the idea of:

  • Creating a shared knowledge space on bicycle mobility.
  • Supporting and advising on innovation projects related to cycling.
  • Creating a network of agents involved in R + D + i in the bicycle sector.
  • Promoting the establishment of centers committed to innovative projects related to the use of bicycles.
  • Studying the economic quantification of the benefits that the implementation of actions contained in the State Bicycle Strategy would entail.

What do we consider to be the highlights of the actions proposed?

The establishment of the Central Bicycle Office as a centralizing element to coordinate actions among entities is an excellent initiative, but it remains to be seen what actual competencies it will be able to cover and whether it will be able to play a role that is not only symbolic.

It also seems important to work for a “Bicycle Pact” to ensure that this State Bicycle Strategy is understood as a matter of state. Such a pact should guarantee some continuity beyond the 2025 horizon, and would make it possible to work on the proposed long term actions.

Final conclusions

It would be hasty to describe this State Bicycle Strategy as a success or failure. In order to evaluate the EB, it will be necessary to review whether its execution is real or whether it remains a symbolic approach. However, it should be noted that this approach lays the foundation stone for the execution of many of the demands that have been made by the cycling sector.

For our part, we won’t hesitate to continue working to do our bit.

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