The Dutch cycle more. Almost a quarter of the Dutch population cycles every day. They cycle more often and longer. But the modal share of cycling has been more or less stable for the last three decades at 27% of all trips. How can both these facts be correct? Time to dig into some of the cycling figures in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has a growing population of 17 million people. All together the Dutch own 22.5 million bicycles. This means that on average they own 1.3 bicycles per capita. More than any other country in the world. Runner up is – not surprisingly – Denmark, with 0.8 bicycles per Dane. Many people might think the Chinese cycle a lot too, but they own only 0.4 bicycles per person, just slightly more than the US with 0.3 bicycles per person.
Not everybody has a bicycle though, not even in the Netherlands. The bicycles are owned by 84% of the Dutch, which teaches us that there are many people who own more than one bicycle. Bicycle ownership in some countries in the world. The Dutch own more bicycles per capita than any other country in the world.
In the cities, cycleways became noticeably busier: cycling has increased by 12% since 2005. But at the same time cycling decreased in the country side, the population is growing and the use of motor vehicles has increased: these factors make the final model share figure deceptively stable. The infrastructure the Dutch have at their disposal for all their cycling is phenomenal. The figures vary a little depending on the source, but there is currently at least 33,000 to 35,000 kilometres of dedicated cycling infrastructure. That does not include the road space where cycling takes place in the same space as private motor traffic. That is another 55,000 kilometres of streets and roads.
And yet, with all these record figures, the Dutch national government still feels cycling should be promoted. With local governments and other parties in the transport market they have cooperated to create a new joint cycling agenda called “Tour de Force“. It aims to increase the cycled distance by 20% in 2027.
But is it possible for cycling to grow even further in the Netherlands? The answer is yes, and easily when you consider that more than half of all the Dutch trips in a car are under 7.5 kilometres! But what the Dutch really are doing, is setting the perfect example for all other countries. It’s clear that when we add up al our individual small changes, we can really make a positive impact on our environment. So join our #cycleurmovement and take the bike instead of the car!
(Source: NL Cycling )