Future Belgian governments should provide federal bike plan, say Green parties

Future Belgian governments should provide federal bike plan, say Green parties
Credit: Belga / Jonas Roosens

Both of Belgium's green parties (Ecolo and Groen) have put forward a proposal which would force future governments to implement a federal bike plan, La Dernière Heure reports. This would ensure that "one in four commutes are done by bike," according to the proposal's authors.

The plan would see ministers promote and support cycling through set objectives and accompanying measures, as the current government already does through its BE CYCLIST plan.

MPs Nicolas Parent (Ecolo) and Kim Buyst (Groen) both want the government to continue the initiative, with their parliamentary proposal calling for a similar plan to be created within the next governing coalition's first six months in office.

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For both MPs, the plan would also result in a quarter of all Belgian commutes being done by bike within the next ten years, which is why they want a Federal Cycling Commission to also be created. The committee would consult and collaborate with various cycling organisations, such as Gracq or Pro-Vélo, to give their opinion on any biking measure decided by the government.

Parent and Buyst laid out their arguments for the plan to La Dernière Heure and focused on the benefits cycling can offer to citizens' health and the country's economy. Parent claimed that more cycling would "prevent 472 deaths per year," while explaining that bike repairs would create over 2,100 jobs by 2030.

However, other politicians are critical of the proposal, which they believe is the greens' way of forcing citizens into cycling. The Brussels-Capital Region's Employment Minister Bernard Clerfayt even accused them of "preempting the future choices of voters" and municipalities.

Translation of tweet: "The greens are preempting the future choices of voters and the region and municipalities authority. Yes to alternatives to the car, but no to the doxa of political ecology!"

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