The recent Green Week organised by the European Commission and held from the 3rd to 6th of June saw ETRA use persuasive techniques to introduce cycling as a policy enhancer.
During the event ETRA organised a test track for the Commission to sample e-bikes within the Brussels-based Green Week venue. The aim was to demonstrate cycling’s green credentials to MEP’s who were given a number of bicycles to test. Several were also displayed in parliament.
Batavus, Dahon, Flyer, Gazelle, Giant, Koga, Schauff, Schwinn and Sparta were present with a variety of electric bikes, folding bikes and cargo bikes.
Additionally, Stuttgart’s brand-new electric bike leasing scheme was also demonstrated in this Green Week event. To illustrate the feasibility of the e-bike, there was a charger station and a battery vending machine on display in Brussels.
Following the event, ETRA President Nigel Hill sent a letter to Commissioner Dimas insisting that the European institutions should have more consideration for the political potential of cycling. He stated: “The European Union currently faces considerable challenges: climate change, emissions, air and noise pollution, the quality of life of the citizens, congestion and road safety. Technological progress alone does not offer adequate solutions to these problems. The bicycle fits perfectly well in this story. It is a clean, low-cost and quiet means of transport that allows us to travel swiftly. The promotion of cycling and also walking is a simple and low-cost measure, which offers enormous opportunities for enhancing the quality of life in urban areas. Since all member states are confronted with the same problems, the EU has without any doubt an important role to play in collecting know-how, experience and best practice and in ensuring through information dissemination, promotion, financing and legislation that all European member states devote themselves to sustainable urban transport. We hope, Mr Dimas, that you and your directorate general will take up part of that important role.”