Mobility Cycling Five Major EU Projects on Cycling - and Their Key Takeaways

Five Major EU Projects on Cycling – and Their Key Takeaways

Tanja Polonyi
I can't imagine my daily life without my bike (and coffee)! But cycling often means fighting over space on the road with car drivers.  That's why I want cyclists and pedestrians to get the space they deserve. Give me green spaces, walkable streets, and fresh air!

The European Union gives out funding worth millions of Euros each year. Luckily, a lot of these funds are spent on projects committed to the decrease of CO2 emissions and the increase of sustainable mobility. We are taking a look at the top 5 major cycling EU projects to see what we can learn from them.

Why Even Care for EU Cycling Projects?

How can your city profit from checking out EU projects on cycling? These projects often consist of case studies in specific cities, helping you understand what was done right and what could have gone better. The EU funding allows projects to test out different ways to find solutions for increasing and promoting cycling – take them as an inspiration for your own city’s goals, even if you’re working on a smaller level. 

There’s one limiting factor though: the vast number of projects with long and complex evaluation documents are likely to scare people away and prevent many from even taking a look at the results. Here’s our Top 5 list of the most important EU cycling projects, with their most crucial lessons learnt to give you a first overview.

PTP Cycle

Aims of the Project

PTP Cycle (Personalised Travel Planning for Cycling) aimed to overcome the habit of car use, enabling more journeys to be made with bikes or public transport. The goal was to find a cost-effective mechanism for behavioural change. Individuals were provided with information, incentives, and motivations to voluntarily shift towards sustainable choices.

Methodology

The approach of PTP Cycle is pretty simple. To get people to change their behaviour, they were contacted by telephone, directly on their doorstep, at work or during city events. 

They were then divided into groups of interested people, regular users of sustainable choices, and non-regular users. The interested participants later received a PTP order form that allowed them to choose from local travel information and take part in services such as advice sessions and local bike maintenance sessions.

What They Achieved

  • 47.823 PTPs were delivered (twice as much as the original goal!) and 65.700 people were contacted
  • Throughout the project, a 5% decrease in car use was recorded from home to work trips
  • An 8% increase in modal share for cycling 
  • A 7% increase in modal share for walking
  • Health: after one year, the number of sick days per person was reduced by 2.2 days on average
  • Education: over 200 trainees were trained, over 1000 hours of PTP training were delivered, and over 100 volunteers were recruited

Where They Did It

Participating cities included Antwerp, Burgos, Ljubljana, London (Haringey and Greenwich), and Riga.

When They Did It

April 2013 to March 2016

Budget

2.044.813,00 € (75% funding from the EU)

Key Takeaways

  • In some cities, the doorstep approach is not common practice, making household engagement more difficult. In that case, it is crucial to know what people are familiar with and go ahead with that alternative.
  • If direct communication is not common, public events, however, proved to be successful as people were more open to a conversation about their mobility habits and more accessible to new information in a public environment
  • Antwerp linked the project to major infrastructure works in the city, which maximised the project’s impact.

For a more detailed report on the project, click here.

PRESTO

Aims of the Project

PRESTO was funded to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution by increasing the cycling modal share. Besides the environmental factors, the project aimed at increasing traffic safety and improving health. This was done by promoting cycling for everyone as a daily mode of transport, offering a set of tools specifically for technicians to create cycle-friendly environments. 

Methodology

The promotion of cycling for everyone as a daily transport mode was based on three thematic pillars.

  • Planning better infrastructure (included cycle lanes, parking)
    • Soft measures to change attitudes and develop a cycling culture
    • Promotion of pedelecs (e-bikes) to target groups that wouldn’t usually bike, including elderly and businesspeople 

Results

  • Policy guides on (1) General Cycling Framework, (2) Cycling Infrastructure, (3) Promotion of Cycling, (4) Electric Bicycles 
  • 25 factsheets giving concrete implementation advice
  • Infrastructure implementation plans, covering lane networks and bicycle parking, nurturing the establishment of real cycling cultures in participating cities
  • Improved image of cycling through several promotional activities in all participating cities
  • Citizens got the chance to test pedelecs, experiencing the advantages themselves
  • E-learning: through modularised on-site training sessions and e-learning classes, interested stakeholders were trained by selected experts and gained knowledge on different cycling issues and policies

Where They Did It

PRESTO didn’t take place in specific cities but consisted of several different organisations such as the European Cyclist’s Federation, the Grenoble Alpes Métropole and the German Cyclist’s Federation Bremen as well as the Cities of Zagreb, Venice, and Tczew.

When They Did It

May 2009 to January 2012

Budget

1.865.632,00€ (75% funding from the EU)

Key Takeaways

  • Obligations to PRESTO have given cities continuity to work on local issues and served as a catalyst to get certain work back on track
  • The approach and understanding required to develop and foster a cycling culture differs depending on whether the city is a starter, climber or champion cycling city (makes no sense to send a Dutch expert to Poland or Croatia if the expert is trying to impose Dutch experiences on them without considering the local context)
  • An exchange between cities on common problems benefits technicians who are the most difficult people to involve (within the project, they got the opportunity to speak to like-minded people, making it easier to take-up each other’s experiences)

Check out this presentation to get more information about PRESTO. You can find all related project resources on this website.

CARMA

Aims of the Project

CARMA was created to develop new marketing methods for cycling, not based on mass communication but with a focus on selected target groups. It aimed at a better understanding of these target groups’ beliefs and behaviours when it comes to cycling.

Methodology

  • Target groups were identified and analyzed
  • Internal and external networks were established 
  • To build capacity, training sessions and workshops were held
  • Communication activities were implemented

Results

  • CARMA was able to identify the target groups with the highest potential of changing their travel behaviour in favour of cycling
  • 38 campaigns ran in all CARMA cities to increase knowledge and improve the attractiveness of cycling
  • 100.000 students and 40.000 employees were targeted
  • 54 internal and 34 external network meetings, as well as 36 focus group meetings were held to increase the promotion further

Where They Did It

Budapest, Gothenburg, Eindhoven, Kensington & Chelsea, Parma, and Riga were included in this project.

When They Did It 

May 2010 to April 2013

Budget 

1.762.800,00€ (75% EU Funding)

Key Takeaways

  • Knowledge around marketing is vital, cities are advised to study the art of planning communications campaigns, seek advice, and don’t start without a proper communication plan
  • Good marketing communication can’t make up for a bad product, aka poor cycling infrastructure
  • CARMA was specifically focused on identifying and analysing the target groups, which proved successful. It is crucial to know about the lifestyles and habits of those you are trying to reach to promote cycling in a way that speaks to them and fits into their lives
  • Targeted campaigns are much more cost-effective, give better results and can be measured better

Eager to learn more about CARMA? Here’s the project’s Handbook!

TrendyTravel

Aims of the Project

TrendyTravel, similar to CARMA, focused on the promotion of cycling but aimed to show how sustainable travel can be made more attractive by appealing to people’s needs using an emotional marketing approach.

Methodology

TrendyTravel used five different emotional approaches:

  • Storytelling
    • Focusing on habits to encourage the use of the bicycle as a daily mode of transport. This was partly done by developing annually cycling event- calendars.
    • Using the same high-quality marketing approach that is employed by the car industry
    • Being sensually appealing by pleasing the eye (guidelines on how to make cycling routes more attractive, eye-catching pictures)
    • Using children’s Pester Power, persuading parents to let them use sustainable modes of transport to school

Results

  • An emotional approach is much more effective than previous approaches outlining rational arguments like health and environment
  • The power of storytelling is a useful tool to develop the emotional side of public transport
  • Austria: 10 best stories (personal stories about sustainable choices) from over 340 submissions have been published and 21.000 copies of this booklet were distributed amongst season ticket holders for public transport
  • Some cycling events have now been integrated permanently into cycling policies
  • An Audiobook of stories relating to sustainable transport produced in English, German and Italian
  • Achieving a change of perception and attitude with key decision-makers, making them aware of the high potential that soft policies and sustainable transport have for solving traffic problems in cities

Where They Did It

Campaigns took place in Bolzano and Salerno, Cork, Graz, Aarhus, Györ, Plovdiv, Vilnius, Martin and included the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Netherlands Railways) as a partner as well.

When They Did It 

October 2007 to September 2010

Budget 

2.006.346,00€ (EU-funding 50%)

Key Takeaways

  • You can’t overestimate the pester power of children to persuade their parents.
  • Similar to CARMA, the project underlined once more how beneficial the evaluation of target groups and target-specific campaigns can be
  • What became clear within this project is the efficiency of storytelling and the importance of high quality but non-complex campaigns

Click here to find out what each city had to say about the do’s and don’ts of emotional marketing!

CHAMP

Aims of the Project

The project aimed at raising awareness amongst decision-makers in European cities on the economic, ecological, and energy-efficient benefits of cycling. CHAMP set out to improve expertise on integrated cycling policy through capacity building and exchange of experiences. 

Methodology

The participant cities were categorized into two groups: Champion Cities, cities with an existing cycling policy and Beginner Cities, who participated to learn from the other group’s achievements. 

Based on a gap analysis, all CHAMP cities then drew up a revised cycling strategy. The strategies included a description of several measures and actions for filling the gaps.

After that, the Champion cycling cities exchanged their implemented policies and ideas and a CHAMP performance analysis was developed. 

Each city implemented two innovative measures in their city and then transferred their results to the beginner’s cities in Eastern Europe. 

Results

  • 10% increase of trips done by bike in the CHAMP cities
  • The CHAMP analysis tool is available to offer an easy-to-use procedure for analysing a city’s cycling strategy and improve the policies
  • Several training workshops have been organized
  • An exchange program was created that is open to external cities, at least 20 cities scheduled to take part in these training sessions
  • CHAMP catalogue was designed for advice and inspiration
  • As a long-term effect of the CHAMP project, an estimated reduction of 80.000t CO2/year by 2020 was calculated

Where They Did It

CHAMP cities included Groningen, Örebro, Bolzano, Edinburgh, Ljubljana, Burgos and Kaunas

When They Did It 

2011 to 2014

Budget

1.385.550,00€ (75% EU funding) 

Key Takeaways

  • Every city can improve, which was especially proven in the case of Groningen. With a modal share of cycling around 50%, the city has a high cycling network. However, through a peer review, the city became aware that there are still some areas of improvement for example in the organization of secure bicycle parking. 
  • The bicycle account is an important tool to monitor the development of cycling, giving an overview of figures, data and ambition of a city concerning cycling. Besides a monitoring tool, the bicycle account is also a communication means showing the interest and progress of cycling in a city.
  • Well-designed infrastructure is equally important as creating a bicycle culture, hence, it is necessary to communicate positively and involve relevant stakeholders. 

Check out the full CHAMP Catalogue to find out about the do’s and dont’s for successful implementation of cycling policies!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

You Might Also Like