EuroVelo and TEN-T network: a tandem to fight for

Jun 30, 2020

During an extraordinary meeting on 23 June 2020, the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism had an exchange of views with the EU Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, over the upcoming revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Guidelines. We were very pleased to note that cycling and the EuroVelo network were part of the discussion.
The ECF closely follows the revision process for the TEN-T Guidelines and advocates for including two major changes in the revision:

  1. Recognition of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network as another TEN-T network – in addition to existing networks such as road, rail, or inland waterways.
  2. Integration of cycling into projects on other networks – so when building or upgrading for example a railroad line, the potential for cycling along and across the line is evaluated, and key elements, such as bridges and tunnels, are integrated into the project.

On 23 June 2020 the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism had the first exchange of views over the upcoming revision of the TEN-T guidelines. Both elements proposed by ECF were a part of the discussion.

Member of the European Parliament Ciarán Cuffe inquired about the possibility of including a network for active mobility, along the lines of the EuroVelo European cycle route network, in the TEN-T revision. He also mentioned cycle highways, stressing that they could be built for significantly less money than infrastructure for cars, improve connectivity, and reduce emissions. Finally, he asked whether the future TEN-T projects can facilitate rather than hinder active mobility, citing the Marynarska interchange in Warsaw and M5 motorway near Szeged as examples of projects that have made conditions for cycling worse.

EuroVelo, the European cycle route network

“Can the TEN-T projects facilitate rather than hinder active mobility?” – MEP Ciarán Cuffe

In her response Commissioner Adina Vălean reassured that active mobility will be a part of the Commission’s strategy.  She also recognised that many Member States are asking the European Commission to encourage cycling as a form of active and green mobility.

“A lot of Member States are asking the Commission to encourage cycling” – Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport

The European Commission will publish a summary of the results of the evaluation of the current TEN-T guidelines towards the end of 2020. In line with the Action Plan included in the Commission’s Communication on the European Green Deal, a proposal for a revision of the TEN-T Regulation is planned in the second quarter of 2021. If the ECF proposals are incorporated in the legislation, cycling networks will be easier and cheaper to develop, especially in agglomerations. At the same time TEN-T projects will become more efficient and future-proof.