Government to pour €300m into creating cycle paths throughout country

in World · 20-09-2018 10:04:00 · 0 Comments

The Portuguese government has said it is willing to invest €300 million in creating over 1,000 kilometres of cycling tracks throughout the country, with a view to improving mobility in urban areas and reducing polluting emissions.

The amount of cycling tracks found throughout Portugal has multiplied in recent years, and councils have been a driving force in their creation.
However, one major obstacle that is becoming increasingly obvious is that many cycling tracks do not interconnect between neighbouring municipalities, meaning in cases, car travel is still essential.
To overcome this hurdle, the Government has said it will finance a programme, via the Environmental Fund, to link existing cycling tracks between neighbouring counties as well as create new ones in various parts of the country.
According to the Government, to qualify for funding, councils should draw up proposals for municipal or inter-municipal projects and submit them for consideration with a view to receiving funding of up to 75 percent, depending on the sub-programmes.

The project is divided into three segments designed to meet the needs of different types of urban agglomerates.
Initially, €160 million will be allocated to 34 cycleway projects linking cities in different municipalities. In a second phase, €110 million will be invested in 55 projects of cycle paths that interconnect contiguous locations. Finally, the third phase will promote the construction of structural bicycle lanes in isolated locations, a measure that has a budget of 30 million euros for 21 track projects.
In total, it is planned to build 960 kilometres of cycle paths, that is, 110 cycle paths. An investment of 300 million euros will be made over a 12-year period.
The main goal, according to Environment Minister João Matos Fernandes, who presented the programme in Amadora last Friday, will be, within 12 years, to “match” the European benchmark of bicycle use as a means of home to work commutes, which is currently at 7 percent.
The figure currently registered in Portugal is just 1 percent.
The use of old railway lines for this purpose and the linking of infrastructures to the public transport network will be another of the programme’s priorities.
The “Cyclable Portugal 2030” plan was unveiled during a presentation held in the Parque Aventura, in the municipality of Amadora. It is currently open for public consultation.


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