Flemish government to invest an additional 45 million euros in bicycle highways

Flemish government to invest an additional 45 million euros in bicycle highways
Credit: Belga

The Flemish government will invest an additional 45 million euros in bicycle highways, ministers Lydia Peeters and Bart Somers, responsible for Mobility and Domestic Governance respectively, announced on Monday in Mechelen.

The additional financing comes from the recovery fund and will be granted to projects in the five Flemish provinces, which are putting equal amounts of funding on the table. The money is to be attributed through the Copenhagen Fund.

The Copenhagen Plan was established in March last year by Minister Somers and provides 150 million euros from the Flemish government for investing in cycling infrastructure. For every two euros a local government invests in cycle roads, the government contributes one euro.

Since the start of the Plan, 127 cities and municipalities have submitted projects, representing 575 kilometers of cycling infrastructure, for a total of 141 million euros, of which 47 million euros come from Flemish funds.

Although the initial package of 150 million euros has not yet been exhausted, the Flemish government is stepping up with the additional 45 million euros. Provincial authorities are also contributing 45 million euros. "We know that it is a financially difficult period for municipalities," said Minister Somers, "but we still want to give them the boost to invest even more in cycling infrastructure."

Each province is entitled to nine million euros, and they can submit projects by November 15 of this year. This may involve the construction of new bicycle highways, as well as structural maintenance or improvements. If money is left over after the deadline, ways to utilise it will be considered.

At the end of last year, the five provinces made a joint appeal to the Flemish government to invest more in cycling infrastructure. Of the 2,700 kilometers of cycle highways that have been mapped out, a good 50% have been completed so far.

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