Be it as a mode of transport for the journey to work or for leisure time or holiday activities: the bicycle is more popular than ever in Germany. More than 80 percent of Germans use bicycles. This makes us one of the leading cycling nations. Especially if their journey is 15 km or less, more and more people are doing without their car and using a bicycle instead. Good thing! Cycling is good for the environment and increases personal fitness. Moreover, the bicycle is an important technology platform: it is at the forefront of electric drivetrains, and digitalization is making it even more attractive. This is reason enough for the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to emphatically progress the development and improvement of cycling.
What will the future of cycling look like? This is the question that we want to answer. With the National Cycling Plan, we want to improve cycling. Online, you can influence what cycling will look like the future. I am looking forward to your visions for the future and to practical suggestions for the cycling of the future.
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
National Cycling Plan 3.0
The National Cycling Plan is the Federal Government’s strategy for the promotion of cycling in Germany. It includes concepts, thematic focuses and concrete objectives that the Federal Government, federal states and local authorities as well as additional actors pursue within their field of responsibilities.
The current National Cycling Plan will apply until the end of 2020. Therefore, it is now time to look ahead and develop the next cycling plan. In order to do so, we have invited numerous experts to engage in a professional dialogue and called upon all citizens to contribute as well.
The way towards the National Cycling Plan 3.0
Shaping the future of cycling together Cycling is not only good for your health and quality of life, it is also a social trend. More and more people are cycling these days. Furthermore, cycling is good for the environment and the climate. To further develop the National Cycling Plan, we want to include not only technical experts but also, and in particular, cyclists - including those who could become cyclists.
We will gather ideas, wishes and suggestions concerning cycling until 30 June 2019 at zukunftradverkehr.bmvi.de (German only). The contributions will be taken into account during the technical debates. In these debates, representatives from academia, associations, public authorities and industry as well as civil society will discuss proposals, potential and ideas on all relevant topics for 12 months. The outcomes will lead to the further development of the National Cycling Plan.
The National Cycling Plan 3.0
Be it more safety and security, faster links or digital services - the options for shaping the cycling of the future are diverse. With its guiding objectives, the National Cycling Plan 3.0 takes all relevant topics into account and identifies future key areas of action for promoting cycling in Germany. During the upcoming dialogue process, these guiding objectives will be discussed in the technical debates and fleshed out.
Guiding objective: Seamless cycling infrastructure in Germany
Infrastructure that encourages people to cycle is the decisive key for the cycling share in all regions. Cyclists are more and more strongly demanding it. With a safe and attractive infrastructure, with well-developed cycle tracks and junctions as well as parking infrastructure and sharing systems, we can unlock the comprehensive potential of cycling, reduce conflicts among road users and optimise the transport system as a whole.
Guiding objective: Vision Zero for cycling
Cycling in Germany should be safe for every age group from children to senior citizens. This applies to both objective safety as well as the personal feeling of safety. Everyday use of bicycles and personal fun when cycling are promoted, as is the role of bicycles as an everyday means of transport.
Guiding objective: Urban cargo transport by bicycle Smart city logistics means a steadily increasing involvement of bicycles. (Cargo) bikes use their full potential in the supply chain and guarantee zero-emission delivery on the last mile.
Guiding objective: Germany becomes a country of cycling commuters
Commuters opt for bicycles as their transport mode of choice. Bicycles become the preferred mode of transport for both their daily trip to work as well as for work-related journeys while at work.
Guiding objective: Germany becomes a country of cyclists
Society’s and the expert community’s perception and knowledge of bicycles and cycling are consistently improved. In this way, innovative and economic potential is developed and systematically used and promoted.
Guiding objective: Cycling becomes intelligent, smart and interlinked Digitalization boosts innovation - also true for cycling. Data allows precise infrastructure planning and traffic management, optimizes the connectivity between different mobility services and makes cycling faster, safer and more attractive.
Guiding objective: Cycling becomes ubiquitous in urban and rural areas Attractive public spaces with suitable solutions for cycling in urban and rural areas increase the quality of life and amenity value and encourage citizens to actively exercise. This creates lively and attractive cities and regions.
Guiding objective: Cycling at the heart of modern mobility systems Cycling is ambitiously promoted as a key element of sustainable mobility through streamlined processes and effective political support and planning. Society and the expert community are actively included in the process, resulting in the development of solutions that meet the requirements.
Today, there are already cycle tracks along federal highways with a total length of 18,600 km (as at: 1 January 2017). To maintain and extend these tracks, the Federal Government has been making available 98 million euros per year since 2015.
Express roads for cycling
The cycle superhighways are a relatively new form of cycle infrastructure. These premium cycle tracks are characterized by particular structural standards aimed at ensuring a quick and smooth flow of traffic. Cycle superhighways are particularly well suited for urban areas and metropolitan regions. They help to increase the share of commuting by bike, prevent traffic jams and make transport in general flow more smoothly. Cycle superhighways can reduce the negative impact of transport, such as noise and emissions, and make a contribution to climate change mitigation.
Current funding by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
The Federal Government is providing an annual 25 million euros of funding for cycle superhighways for which the federal states and local authorities are responsible. The corresponding act has entered into force. Initial estimates predict a nationwide potential with regard to cycle superhighways of around 1,400 km of route length. A first section of cycle superhighway No 1 (RS1) in the Ruhr has already been inaugurated.
On 13 May and to the applause of the audience, the winners of the 2019 German Cycling Prize received their awards at the National Cycling Congress in Dresden.
In the Infrastructure category, the Further Development of the Regional Network of Cycle Tracks in the Ruhr Area project was awarded first prize. The network of cycle tracks that currently focuses on tourists is to become a network of cycle tracks for utility cycling in the Ruhr area, which is the largest agglomeration in Germany. There already is a requirement plan for the future network covering around 1,800 kilometres.
In the Service category, the Free Cargo Bikes strategy beat 39 competitors. With 85 initiatives, around 200 bikes and more than 10,000 users, it is the largest bike rental system that offers bikes to the public free of charge.
In the Communication category, the #RingFrei action group from Cologne came first. Through targeted communication with the public and inclusion of pedestrians, cyclists, retailers, planners, administration staff and policymakers, the action group has managed to get the mandatory use of cycle tracks on the Cologne ring road revoked and brought about a transformation of the Cologne boulevard, aiming at one lane for cars, one lane for cyclists and sidewalks for pedestrians.
The school student Lennard Prediger won the Photo Competition. Under the motto "Cycling connects people", the best photos by professional and amateur photographers were chosen from the around 400 submissions. For his photo showing his grandparents on e-bikes, Lennard Prediger received a majority of the audience vote.Trend-setting innovations – by cyclists for cyclists
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said:
With the German Cycling Prize, we want to raise awareness of good and innovative projects for the promotion of cycling among decision-makers and experts and promote cycling. Therefore, in addition to best practices, we also honour the most cycling-friendly public figure – a kind of ambassador for cycling. I am very happy to award this prize to Max Raabe this year. There are few people as passionate about cycling as him. He does not only cycle throughout the entire year - no matter whether there is wind and snow outside. In his song “Fahrrad fahr'n”, he also sings about his love for cycling and says, among other things, that life is easier if you have a bike.
Trend-setting innovations – by cyclists for cyclists
Since 2000, the German Cycling Prize has been organized every year by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle-Friendly Cities, Towns and Districts in North Rhine-Westphalia (AGFS NRW). Its partners and sponsors include the Cycling Industry Association (Zweirad-Industrie-Verband e.V.) and the Service and Bicycle trade association (Verbund Service und Fahrrad g.e.V.).
Please refer to the website of the German Cycling Prize for comprehensive information on the nominated projects, the jury’s statement, fact sheets on the winning projects and pictures of the award ceremony.
Cycling from Bonn to Berlin – or the other way round?
When the 25th anniversary of German reunification was celebrated in 2015, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure launched the German Unity Cycle Route project. The cycle route connects the cities of Bonn and Berlin and is a symbol of the growing together of the transport infrastructure of the former German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. It weaves through seven federal states altogether: North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Berlin. On your way, you will cycle past around 100 historic sites and memorials.
For instance, have you ever visited the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz or the Church of the Redeemer in Sacrow (Potsdam)? You will soon be able to use sophisticated service points with Wi-Fi access, digital touchpads, and solar cell technology free of charge along the entire route. At these points, cyclists can recharge their electric bikes, obtain information on the region, plan their route or simply book a room for the next night. And should you want to change to a bus or train, the cycle route features 180 nodal points with connections to local public transport, including 135 train stations and 19 long-distance coach terminals. The German Unity Cycle route starts and ends at the offices of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Bonn and Berlin.
You may download the route planning app komoot on your smartphone to plan your trip or even single legs easily.
Digital connectivity – always in touch with the latest trends
The cycling portal is the biggest German-speaking information and communications platform for up-to-date information on cycling. It is a central instrument of the National Cycling Plan for experts from public authorities and the research community, but also for members of the public. The information provided includes that on the latest measures, developments and statistics, information on amendments to legislation, events, research reports, publications, examples of good practice and funding options. While most reports deal with Germany, you may also find selected developments, publications, research findings and practical examples from other countries, which offer a “look beyond the horizon”. In summary, the cycling portal is a vital tool to promote the implementation of a cycling-friendly policy by means of knowledge exchange and communication.
Cycling is something that is near to my heart. Cycling will become even more important in the future. We will not be able to do without cycling if we want to reconcile enhanced mobility and environmental protection.
Karola Lambeck, Cycling Officer of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
The bicycle is an extraordinary invention and well established as a modern means of transport in our society. Since 1817, riding a bicycle has ranked among the most beautiful ways of getting from one place to another.
Our bikes accompany us loyally throughout our lives like almost no other invention. We enjoy cycling from the time we go on our first wobbly ride as a child to the days when we are older taking little rides at a slow pace. However old we are, we never forget how to ride a bike. But bicycles are much more than a simple means of transport. For two centuries, the bicycle has been reinvented time and again bringing about a lasting change of our world and the way we live. From the day of its invention by Karl Drais 200 years ago, the bicycle has gone through a process of continuous development. Be it a racing, folding, recumbent, cargo or electric bicycle - with one, two or three wheels: with its broad variety of models, the bicycle is a visible proof of the fact that passion is the mother of invention.