Danes cycled less than 20 years ago

With the Tour de right on the doorstep of the Danes – and DKK 3 billion set aside for nationwide cycling projects over the next 13 years – the Danish has named 2022 ‘The Year of the Cycle’.

However, according to the Danish Road Directorate, investments in cycling infrastructure over the past two decades have not managed to increase the popularity of cycling in the country. In fact, cycling has declined markedly compared to 20 years ago.

The Danish Road Directorate’s figures show that a stretch of road with an average of 100 cyclists in 2000 would now only have 94 cyclists on average.

Danes cycle less outside the big cities
Marianne Foldberg Steffensen, head of department at the Danish Road Directorate, has said that the decline in cycling is partly a result of the country’s economic success.

“We have become more comfortable, and many have got a car – some have even got two cars. Once you have a car, there is a high probability that you will use it – even on very short trips, “said Steffensen DR.

In addition, Steffensen noted that the convenience of cycling differs markedly between larger cities and smaller municipalities. With longer distances to travel to , school and other activities, Danes who live in large parts of the country understandably choose not to cycle.

In , citizens cycle an average of three kilometers a day against only 1 km a day in the country’s smaller municipalities, Steffensen stated.

Young initiatives and financial incentives put forward as solutions
The trend is noted in both the public and private sectors. Minister of Transport Trine Bramsen focuses on the country’s youth. She told DR that the government is preparing initiatives in schools and day care institutions to encourage children to cycle.

Jens Peter Hansen, national chairman of the Norwegian Cyclists’ Association, has called for new policies to stimulate cycling.

Hansen’s recommendations include a tax deduction for cyclists who drive more than 6 km in a day, as well as a program that will enable employers to pay their employees to cycle to work.

Jeppe Bruus, Minister of Taxation, has said that a tax deduction for cyclists is unlikely, and is instead focusing on the country’s efforts to improve cycling conditions.

Source: The Nordic Page




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