EU: Road Safety Paramount

In Promoting Cycling


CyprusPHOTO: POLICE.GOV.CY19 APR - The EU institutions adopted last week the European Declaration on Cycling to reduce pollution, promote good health and transform urban transport.

The declaration was signed by Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, Karima Delli, Chair of the Transport Commitee of the European Parliament and Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium (current EU Council president country), the Brussels Times informed.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy in February 2023. In 2022, six EU member states prepared a European Cycling Declaration, which has so far been signed by the majority of countries.


This time, the declaration which lists a number of voluntary commitments, has been signed by all EU member states. The Commission describes it as a joint political commitment and a strategic compass for existing and future policies and initiatives related to cycling. "We recognise cycling's myriad benefits: it reduces pollution, eases urban congestion, and promotes healthier lifestyles,” commented the transport Commissioner. “Moreover, cycling is a cornerstone of the European industry, driving innovation and growth while creating high-quality local jobs. Embracing cycling aligns with the EU's industrial strategy and its objectives."


The comprehensive document describes cycling as one of the most sustainable, healthy and efficient forms of transport for achieving the EU’s climate, zero pollution and energy efficiency objectives, with considerable potential to support the decarbonisation of urban transport. In view of the document cycling comprises a broad and dynamic range of human-powered road vehicles, including bikes for various terrains, cargo bikes, bikes for transporting children, bikes for people with disabilities, trikes, recumbent bikes, velomobiles, tandems, e-bikes and bike trailers.


They cater for a wide range of transport and mobility needs and require appropriate infrastructure. Cycling is playing an increasingly important role in the urban transport of goods, in particular parcel deliveries and shopping, thanks to cargo bikes and alike. In order to reach the full potential of cycling, cycling policies should reflect this diversity.

Furthermore, cycling improves social inclusiveness, contributing to people’s physical and mental health and well-being. It is a moderate physical activity that reduces health risks and premature deaths linked with sedentary lifestyles.


Safe cycling is key for encouraging people to cycle. A safer infrastructure includes separated cycle paths and secure parking. Integrated safety plans should apply to both cycling and to motorised vehicles and drivers sharing the road with cyclists. This includes safe speeds, safe road use and safe vehicles, underpinned by the strong enforcement of road traffic rules. Developing standards for cycling lanes would increase design-embedded safety for new cycling.


To that end, the EU member states commit to improve road safety and work towards the target of halving the number of fatalities and serious injuries in the EU by 2030 from the 2020 baseline. In a recent audit report, the European Court of Auditors warned that that the EU and its member states are set to miss the road safety goals by 2030.