France to Spend 2 billion Euros to Develop Bicycle Industry
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said "We will invest in many ways to develop the French bicycle industry."
The plan is based on three objectives: firstly, to make bicycles accessible to all, secondly, to make bicycling and walking an alternative to private cars and public transport, and thirdly, to build a complete economic sector by supporting the development of the bicycle industry, making it one of the most important sectors of the economy.
The five-year plan aims to develop French industrial competitiveness and technology, and France has set their ultimate goal of producing 1.4 million bicycles in France by 2027 and 2 million by 2030. This is nearly a threefold increase compared to the actual production of 854,000 units in French factories in 2022.
To facilitate bicycle travel, the French government has decided to build a network of bicycle lanes starting this year, increasing to 80,000 km by 2027 and 100,000 km by 2030, compared to 28,000 km today. The investment will be $250 million per year until 2027. Because some cities already have priority for national cycling infrastructure funding, this time the plan will give priority to provincial capitals and rural areas, said Élisabeth Borne: "We will work with local authorities and hope that we can invest €6 billion with them in the meantime."
The government will also increase spending on train stations and secure urban bicycle parking facilities. In addition, €500 million will be allocated to subsidies for the purchase of bicycles, including second-hand bicycles. More than 300,000 French people received €67 million in financial assistance to buy bicycles between 2017-2022. The government has announced the extension of these financial assistance until 2027. To support the transition to a low-carbon last mile, the government will also develop measures to support businesses to invest in electric-assisted cargo bikes.
To facilitate the rapid growth of the sector, France will develop a national bicycle tourism strategy with plans to become the world's number one bicycle tourism destination by 2030. To accelerate the integrity of the sector's construction, the government will also support the bicycle production and repair industry. Among other things, it will call for projects to encourage innovation in industrial enterprises, as well as the transfer of parts production and bicycle assembly to France.
Bicycle organizations have welcomed the initiative, with Olivier Schneider, president of the FUB bicycle union, calling it a "visionary initiative" that will change the way French citizens commute and live. The move is expected to boost France's bicycle infrastructure and culture, and make it a global leader in sustainable mobility.
The investment in bicycle infrastructure is part of France's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development, with their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030, and many countries are now investing in bicycle infrastructure and promoting alternative modes of transportation. This includes cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which have long had a strong focus on bicycle infrastructure, and cities like New York and London, which are investing in bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets, and France is taking an important step toward a more sustainable future by investing in bicycle infrastructure and promoting sustainable transportation.