As part of RTPI London’s Centenary celebrations a group of London based planners spent a long weekend experiencing the world’s most cycle friendly country.
The group of 12 planning practitioners spent four days cycling around the Netherlands to learn how the Dutch integrate cycling into the design of their cities and highways. Cycling is an increasingly prominent feature of UK transport and planning policy; however, despite efforts such as the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London, UK cycling levels are among the lowest in Europe.
The study group included some keen cyclists, as well as others who rarely rode a bicycle, or had not done so for years. Having disembarked at the Hook of Holland, the group followed a dedicated cycleway up the Scheur to Rotterdam, before heading inland to the pretty city of Gouda and on to Utrecht, a distance of over 90km in one day.
The following day included a cycling tour of Utrecht by Herbert Tiemens, a reknowned Dutch cycle guru, before heading north to Amsterdam (40km), just in time to see the Netherlands beat Costa Rica. A rest-day in Amsterdam provided some respite for saddle-sore bottoms and an opportunity to explore Dutch housing developments including IJburg and Almere, before remounting the following day for a further 100km ride back to the Hook of Holland.
Tour organiser George Weeks (RTPI London Communications lead) said: “Dutch cycling infrastructure makes it possible to cover vast distances by bicycle, not by travelling at breakneck speed, but by never having to stop for gates, stiles, barriers, steps, or any of the accoutrements that all too often characterise the British cycling environment. This, coupled with good food, attractive scenery and exciting historic and contemporary architecture, made for an engaging and thought-provoking trip”.
RTPI London Chair Tom Venables said: “This tour gave us an opportunity in our Centenary year to experience great cycle infrastructure and see what could be achieved in London and the wider UK with a strong vision and joined-up planning”.
A full report is being produced and will be published on our blog http://www.rtpilondoncalling.wordpress.com
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For further information contact George Weeks – firstname.lastname@example.org
RTPI London’s #cyclecity: Shaping the Development of Cycling Across London event takes place at the LV Velodrome on Thursday 17th July featuring Andrew Gilligan the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, Annett Jezierska of Sustrans, Paul Coates of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects.