The BBC Information Channel is to air a 30-minute documentary on what it calls “Europe’s Biking Revolution.” The documentary—fronted by Netherlands-based reporter Anna Holligan—shall be broadcast in the morning and evening of October 3 and twice on the following day.
“From Bucharest to Brussels, and from Lisbon to Lyon, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered unprecedented funding in biking round Europe,” reported the BBC’s Kate Vandy, producer of the documentary.
Because the pandemic’s lockdowns started in March greater than €1 billion has been spent on 1,400 miles of pop-up cycleways with a purpose to maintain key employees shifting.
Milan-based environmental lawyer Anna Germotta informed the BBC: “Coronavirus is a second wherein each policymaker can change their very own cities,” she mentioned, including that the “failure to have the braveness to vary now, in a scenario wherein you’ve a while to organize the folks, could possibly be disastrous.”
The documentary additionally options some cautious of the modifications, mentioned presenter Holligan, a each day cargobike rider.
“It was essential for us to replicate the considerations of people who find themselves afraid of giving extra room to bikes means much less for automobiles,” she mentioned.
Claudio, a veteran taxi driver in Milan, informed the BBC crew: “Milan is just not Amsterdam; Amsterdam was born that means.”
Holligan mentioned: “In our movie, [Claudio] drives us round and reveals the place he believes the regional council is portray cycle paths by way of the center of his metropolis with out sufficient consideration for automobiles. The hazard is that on this rush to facilitate various modes of transport, those that depend on autos will really feel alienated or anxious about the place this ardour for pedal energy will go away them.”
The movie stresses that getting extra folks strolling and biking is a suggestion from the World Well being Group.
In keeping with monitoring by the Brussels-based European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), native and nationwide governments throughout Europe pledged to put in 2,315 kilometers of pop-up cycleways through the pandemic. Greater than 1,000 kilometers have been efficiently put in and are nonetheless working, in accordance with the ECF’s on-line COVID-19 cycleway tracker.
The set up of those cycleways was really useful by the World Well being Group (WHO).
“Each time possible, take into account using bicycles or strolling,” mentioned WHO on April 21 in new technical guidance on moving around during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Biking and strolling had been deemed to be helpful for each social distancing and assembly the minimal requirement for each day bodily exercise, acknowledged the WHO steering. From early within the pandemic, cities around the world began giving over highway area to cyclists and pedestrians, offering folks with the type of beneficiant area usually allotted to motorists.
“Biking has come out a giant winner,” ECF’s CEO Jill Warren informed the BBC.
“This has proven us the potential biking has to vary our cities and our lives.”
“The extra cyclists there are, the less site visitors jams you’ll be sitting in, the extra parking areas there shall be for you and the cleaner the air you breathe,” Holligan informed me by e mail.
“Our movie isn’t about changing folks or preaching in regards to the joys and environmental, bodily, and psychological well being advantages of biking,” she careworn.
“We got down to exhibit what can occur when cities construct bike lanes that allow everybody to go by bike.
“The Dutch don’t cycle as a result of somebody informed them to, they cycle as a result of it’s secure, sensible, and sometimes the quickest option to get round.
“As a working mum, I exploit my bike each day within the Netherlands as a result of the tradition and infrastructure makes it probably the most logical possibility. And I’m reminded of that day by day as my 4-year-old daughter giggles with glee and shouts to ‘go sooner, go sooner, Mummy’ as we overtake queues of automobiles on the varsity run.”