Safe cycling in the Netherlands

Pictures © Courtesy is for'Fietsberaad'

Cycling is very popular in the Netherlands: with about 16.5 million inhabitants and circa 18 million bicycles. Almost all Dutch citizens own a bicycle and together they travel 15 billion kilometres a year, amounting to circa 1000 kilometres per inhabitant/cyclist. These trips are to and from schools (especially secondary schools and universities), work, shops and leisure trips. The length of the majority of trips is shorter than 7.5 kilometres. Cycling is part of the'Dutch culture' and is of course related to the fact that the Netherlands is a flat country with a mild/moderate climate. Children start their cycling career at a rather early stage, the age of 6, accompanied by their cycling parents. From the age of 8 they start riding a bike on their own. A great majority of students make their daily trip to and from schools by bike. We see a growing number of elderly people using a bike. Data shows that this is also related to the growing market penetration of'e-bikes' (electrical-assisted bicycles with pedalling support). This type of bicycle has a market share in newly sold bicycles of 14%.The ownership of e-bikes amounts to 3% of all bicycles; among elderly people this share is 8%.