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What solutions are being considered to finance cycling infrastructure?

Promoting cycling is essential to successfully complete the ecological transition. This involves in particular the creation of infrastructure dedicated to cyclists. From the State to communities, various actors put in place mechanisms to subsidize them.

Promote the use of bicycles among as many people as possible

Some evocative figures

Environmentally friendly, economical and beneficial for the health, traveling by bicycle deserves to be encouraged. According to the website, the use of “the little queen” is increasing in France. Thus, compared to the year 2019, the number of traveling by bike in 2023 is 48% higher. The trend must be sustained, especially since the potential for development of soft mobility remains significant. In fact, no less than 60% of journeys made between home and work are still made by car, compared to 5% by bicycle.


Creating the desire among French people to get on a bicycle requires the deployment of adequate infrastructure. These must allow you to cycle comfortably and with a feeling of security. In this matter, insurers also have a role to play. For a cyclist, take out a bicycle insurance proves interesting in terms of protection. For example, guarantees are offered against the theft or damage to a bicycle. Assistance in the event of a puncture as well as care for falls are also on the agenda: all elements which favor the use of the velocipede. For its part, the government has put in place an ambitious Bicycle Plan which provides, among other things, for the financing of several cycling infrastructures.

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Presentation and objectives of the Cycling Plan

It was during 2022 that Élisabeth Borne, then Prime Minister, launched an important measure intended to develop a taste for cycling and soft mobility among the French. Called the “Cycling and Walking Plan”, the system will run from 2023 to 2027. Its primary ambition is to make cycling accessible to everyone, from childhood and throughout their life. Different avenues are favored to do this.

Increase the number of cycle paths

In order to carry out its Cycling Plan, the State plans to invest no less than six billion euros (including local authorities). According to the newspaper the echoes, the French government has injected 200 million euros into the development of cycling infrastructure in 2023. The effort will continue until the end of the Cycling Plan in 2027. Each year, 250 million will be allocated to facilities intended for cyclists. In total, nearly 1,25 billion will be devoted to this project alone. The aim is to reach 80 km of cycle paths in 000 (compared to 2027 km in 57), then 000 km in 2023. Often used by cycle tourists, cycle routes are also the subject of great attention on the part of the State and the regions.

Change the highway code in favor of cyclists

According to the National Interministerial Observatory for Road Safety, sixteen cyclists lost their lives in 2023 on the roads. In this context, various road improvements as well as a review of traffic rules are necessary. The installation of footrests at the edge of the road should allow the user of a two-wheeler to stop at a red light without having to get out of the saddle. The passage of the green light can also be shifted to allow the cyclist present in the airlock to start earlier in order to quickly move away from other vehicles.

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Parking and mobility package

In addition to the aid provided for the acquisition of a bicycle, the State has decided to increase the sustainable mobility package (300 euros instead of 200 euros) for public sector professionals. All sites hosting them must also have a secure space dedicated to bicycle parking by 2027.

What about financing schemes for cycling infrastructure?

According to a study published in 2020 entitled: “Economic impact and development potential of cycling uses in France”, the investment budget that local authorities devote to projects associated with the practice of cycling has increased by nearly by 40% in 10 years. It thus increased from 328 to around 468 million euros. The regions, departments and municipalities act in concert with the State, particularly within the framework of the Bicycle Plan. The development of cycling infrastructure relies on several financing levers.

Calls for projects “Active Mobility Funds” dedicated to cycling developments

This is a key principle of the Cycling plan. It consists of providing support to local authorities in the establishment of cycling infrastructure within their territory. The main focus is on the development of cycle routes. Since 2019, no less than 1130 development projects linked to the use of bicycles have been subsidized. The number of territories over which they are distributed amounts to 725. As for the amount of subsidies, it reaches 465 million euros. Investments are expected to continue until 2027.

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The call for programs called “cyclable territories”

It saw the light of day for the first time in 2023. Its role is to support areas located outside major urban centers in order to create cycling routes and facilities. Supported by the Ministry of Transport, its objective is to help at least one territory per region, for a period of six years maximum. The “cyclable territories” project has a budget of 100 million euros.

Some other financing solutions

Several programs, led by the State and local authorities, subsidize development projects dedicated to cycling. Let us mention the following devices:

  • Support funds and investment grants: the DSIL (Local Investment Support Grant), for example, finances cycle path projects.
  • State-Region plan contracts (CPER): strengthening the network of cycle routes, an essential development for the development of cycling tourism, in the territory is part of their priority. The State plans to devote a budget of 200 million euros to them.
  • Alvéole Plus: the following program aims to install 100 sheltered and secure parking spaces for bicycles. It runs until the end of 000.

In a context of promoting soft mobility, we see significant financial support from the State and communities for cycling developments. Since its launch in 2022, the Cycling Plan has been its pillar.

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