Hungary Drafts Nat'l Cycling Strategy


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A National Cycling Strategy drafted by Hungary's Active and Ecotourism Development Center together with a number of civil organizations was unveiled in Budapest on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Máriusz Révész, the state secretary for an active Hungary, pointed to advances made in the six years since he has overseen cycling developments, such as the construction of cycling paths and changes to the rules of the road, but said a strategy was necessary to set targets and outline directives. The strategy for the period until 2030 contains measures affecting infrastructure, cycling tourism, incentives for commuting by bike, and bicycle manufacturing, he added.

Active and Ecotourism Development Center project director Miklós Berencsi said the goal of the strategy is to make cycling a safe and feasible alternative to getting around by car. It focuses on cycling to work, tourism, safety, and shaping people's attitude toward and understanding of cycling, he added.

The strategy aims to make all roads "cyclable" that aren't exclusively designated for motorists and establish geographical regions for cycling tourism. It envisions financial incentives for commuters who cycle to work and school and recommends the establishment of a bicycle manufacturing cluster.

The cost of achieving the goals outlined in the strategy is estimated to reach HUF 248 bln, Berencsi said.

Gábor Kürti, the president of the Hungarian Cyclist Club, said the strategy is feasible, features concrete targets, and assigns accountability. He noted that surveys show 90% of Hungarians cycle as a means of transport, while just 10% bike for leisure. The bicycle is the primary form of transport for 16% of Hungarians, while just 1% of European Union funding goes toward upgrading cycling infrastructure, he added.

Observations regarding the strategy may be submitted until May 22.

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