In the province of Bizkaia, cycling is still largely a recreational or sportive pursuit, however that is changing. The General Deputy has stated that increasing and encouraging more cycling throughout the municipalities of Bizkaia is a key goal in their future mobility plans. In November of 2019, they hosted a day-long conference to hear from local and international best practices how to best achieve these goals. Mobility Advisor, Robin Kleine, travelled to Bizkaia to deliver a masterclass on Dutch experiences and take-aways for Bizkaia as well as experience cycling in the province to help give them insights into how to stimulate cycling in the region.
Following the masterclass, Robin discussed the plans and approaches in Bizkaia. He saw one of the biggest contributions to be shifting the province’s focus from just implementing new infrastructure to a more integrated approach. One in which the cyclists (to be) and their various characteristics, motivations and needs were central. As a result, the province wanted to develop a strategy that would help both the province and the municipalities within Bizkaia to make it a better place for cycling. This would include both stimulating people to start cycling and to keep them cycling. Mobycon was hired to assist with developing the strategy and writing the final plan, which included a return visit to the province.
To inform the strategy, the following questions needed to be answered:
To help answer these questions, we applied the ‘cycling participation ladder’, turning it into a framework that can guide targeted actions. A survey will be used to get insight into people’s motivations to cycle and the barriers, with the responses used to define further actions.
Understanding the needs and wants of the target groups became the first step in defining measures, and included education, promotion, ITS, marketing etc. This was further explored during a 3-day intensive workshop, exploring more of the area and working with the project team to gain a greater perspective of how to plan for improving and encouraging cycling in the province. Collaboration and communication among the whole team was open and constructive, which lead to a positive final product.
The final strategy produced, Libro Blanco de la Bicicleta (The White Book of the Bicycle), describes what approaches can be best applied and in what situations, and how they should be done. Specific measures are not identified, but rather provides them and their municipalities with principles, examples and tools that can be used in implementing their plan and achieving their goals of getting more people in Bizkaia to choose, and continue, to cycle.
‘In my work I support projects for passenger transport, chain mobility and research. My interest in the field of mobility is broad, meaning I can quickly understand and adapt to new topics.’