Cycling is indispensable in the European Union’s efforts to reduce emissions – this was clear from the European Urban Mobility Framework a year ago. But as policymakers set ambitious targets, transport is emitting more than before, using a third of the EU's energy, and keeping Europe dependent on Russian oil. EU’s structural and cohesion funds come to the rescue – or so it seems from pretty graphs. But when cyclists roll onto cycle paths built with these funds, they find an obstacle course: patchy, poorly maintained, sometimes too narrow paths leading nowhere.
A team of three journalists talked to experts, officials, NGOs, and dozens of cyclists in four countries. They also reviewed tendering documents, a sample of EU-funded projects, and some of the actual cycle paths and lanes.
From tiny Malta, which benefited from three EU instruments to produce a basic transport plan, to Romania – one of the largest beneficiaries of EU spending on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure – the team found vague standards and opportunistic planning, driven not by cyclists’ needs but by administrations’ convenience.
© Justinas Stonkus
- Vienkartinė planeta. Žurnalistinis tyrimas. Dviratininkai podukros vietoje, LRT- Lithuanian Radio and Television, 24/10/2022
- How EU funds for bike infrastructure are being misused, EUobserver, 03/01/2023
- How EU funded bike infrastructure is used to 'greenwash' new tarmac, EUobserver, 04/01/2023
- Cycling's legislative chaos: do they know what they're building? EUobserver, 05/01/2023
- Bicikliutak Romániában: a látványtervek szépek, az ígéretek nagyok, a valóság szomorú, Átlátszó, 30/01/2023
- Dokud nebude mít Česko pro cyklisty a pěší bezpečnou infrastrukturu, jen další cyklostezky dopravě nepomohou, a2larm, 27/01/2023
- Piste de biciclete în România: de la machete promițătoare la trista realitate, Átlátszó Erdély, 20/02/2023
- European transport’s Cinderella, EUIdeas, 22/03/2023
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