16 Sep 19

Turning the theory into practice

European Mobility Week is more than just a slogan. Along with the ‘car-free day’ many of us are familiar with, there are some 661 registered actions across 49 countries (which, for reasons which must make sense to somebody, include Argentina, Brazil,  Nepal, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA).

Below is a very small sample of these actions, designed to show what sort of priorities are occupying the minds of those in charge of our future mobility.

In Austria, on 21 September there is a bicycle ride from Vienna to Wiener Neustadt (about 50km) to explore Vienna's suburbs, discussing how mobility patterns are shaping the built environment and vice versa.

In Belgium, PwC employees are given the chance to discover all the mobility possibilities offered by eBikes and foldable bikes (in combination with car and/or public transport). This feature popular bike brands and models, which may be included in PwC’s coming SmartReward plan. Employees will also get the opportunity to get a pre-check of the condition of their own bike.

In Denmark, people are given the opportunity to borrow an electric bike in Horsens Cykelbibliotek. They can choose from a wide selection of different electric bikes, some fitted with a highchair or children's bike trailer (these bikes can also be borrowed without).

There is a particularly safety-relevant event taking place in Chaumont, France, where a partnership between ‘Chaumont by Bike’ and bus company Kéolis will see pedestrians and cyclists being able to take the seat of the bus driver and thus realise they are invisible in many positions around a bus or lorry, and so in real danger. 

In Germany at Bad Kreuznach, there will be a ‘special critical mass’ of handicapped bike riders doing a public cycle ride together (handicapped and not). This will show the needs of physically handicapped people for mobility on wheels, which does not always or necessarily mean a wheel chair but can be a converted tricycle or a tandem or anything in between. 

Organised by ‘Moms in the Street’ is the intriguingly named activity ‘Do it like the Beatles’, to take place in Greece. Celebrating 50 years since the crossing of Abbey Road by the Beatles, they are organising celebratory crossings of various crosswalks, aiming at showing drivers and pedestrians that respect of the rights of pedestrians makes cities safer and better for all.

In Budapest, Hungary, the Emobility Forum 2019, is aid to be the biggest regional and Hungarian trade fair and professional conference of the electromobility sector. In addition to the decision-makers of the state and local government sector, the event will include domestic and international senior executives, opinion leaders and marketers.

A different twist in Spain, where 22 September sees Madridpatina organising an event with the aim of promoting skating as a means of transport for short journeys in the city.

In the UK, Next Plc says that as world car free day is 22 September, Next will embrace this event on 20 September, by asking all of its workforce to consider leaving the car at home for just one day.

So, many concrete actions across the continent as the issue of mobility charges forward towards a less car-oriented future.

Image: There is naturally a considerable focus on bikes throughout the actions

Authored by: Tim Harrup