Take cyclists seriously, says SP Euro-MP

10 April 2008

Take cyclists seriously, says SP Euro-MP

In its newly-issued discussion document on urban mobility, the European Commission has given almost no attention to cyclists and their needs. For SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer, coordinator on the European Parliament's Transport Committee for the United European Left parliamentary group, this simply isn't good enough. Describing the omission as a "considerable oversight", Meijer explains that, together with other sympathetic MEPs, he will be trying "to fill this gap with our own proposal, expressing the views of the EU Cyclist Group." The EU Cyclist Group brings together MEPs with employees of the EU institutions to campaign for improved facilities for cyclists. Meijer first presented his proposal earlier this week at a lively meeting and reception held to welcome the Group's 1000th member.

The European Commission's Green Paper on a New Urban Mobility Culture will be debated during May at a meeting of the European Parliament Transport Committee. Erik Meijer complains that more attention should be paid to bicycles as "not only an environmentally friendly, but also a safe and cheap form of transport that reduces the need for car traffic within cities and towns. That's why the construction of the necessary infrastructure for bikes should be taken seriously, and why in my proposed amendment to the Parliament's response to the Green Paper I call for just that." Meijer also urges the member states to take responsibility for the incorporation of bicycle traffic in their town planning and mobility policies.

Erik Meijer en René Roovers bieden fiets-amendement aan aan Tom Diderich, 9 april 2008
René Roovers, Tom Diderich and Erik Meijer

Earlier this week Meijer presented his amendment to Tom Diderich, chair of the EU Cyclists’ Group. Rene Roovers, an SP policy adviser in Brussels and a keen cyclist, is an enthusiastic member of the group. "We've managed to have bicycle parking provided so that we can cycle to work and also between the different institutions, as well as hundreds of bicycles which can be borrowed to travel around the part of Brussels where the Parliament, Commission and Council have their various buildings," he explained. On the broader stage, Diderich expressed his support for Meijer's proposal.

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