National Plan for the promotion of the bicycle and other soft modes (Portugal)

By Raf Canters / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
An Interministerial Working Group has completed and submitted the first “National Plan for the Promotion of the Bicycle and Other Soft Modes 2013-2020 to the Portuguese government.
Portugal has a very low level of bicycle usage. According to the last census in 2011 only 0.5% of all commuting trips were done on the bicycle. Walking is also losing ground, going down from 25% of all commuting trips in 2001 to 16% in 2011.

An Interministerial Working Group, coordinated by the Mobility and Inland Transport Institute (IMTT, the Portuguese Focal Point of EPPOM), has completed and submitted to the government the first “National Plan for the Promotion of the Bicycle and Other Soft Modes 2013-2020. This Group was established following a recommendation from the Portuguese Parliament and integrates various ministries and agencies of the central government, as well as the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities, the National Association of Parishes and the National Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development.
The work benefited from public participation, with stakeholder engagement in different areas: municipalities, transport operators, users associations, non-governmental organisations and entities linked to mobility, industry and innovation. It was also launched an online survey open to all members of the public.

The Plan was developed for the period 2013-2020, with the following vision:
  • To value the use of bicycles and walking as practical in everyday travel, integrated into the transportation system and giving priority to sustainability, economic efficiency, as well as environmental and social criteria;
  • To advise urban public policy for the goal of sustainable mobility, protecting public space, health, quality of life and well-being of members of the public.

Promoting more sustainable means of transport is the great motivation and the main challenge of the project. It is part of a new mobility paradigm that aims to combine improved quality of life through the economic development of cities and towns with accessibility, transport and mobility.

Based on best-practices, the successful implementation of the Plan and the comprehensive set of planned measures and actions will depend on the involvement, commitment and participation of a high number of public bodies, economic and social players and residents at both national and local levels.

Now that the proposal has been submitted to the government, it will follow the necessary steps for validation and approval.
Walking and cycling