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Le 11/12/2020

Cycling boom

Cycling was growing in Lille Metropole at a rapid pace (+67% between 2015 and 2018) in the recent years but since June 2020, it has been booming.

Boosted by its 223 stations and approximately 10.000 daily trips, the V’Lille service (public bike sharing system) will celebrate in 2021 its 10th year anniversary and has completely transformed the relationship between citizens and cycling.

Following the lockdown, more and more citizens are converting to this active mode of travel. As in many other metropolitan areas and cities, Lille Metropole has installed temporary cycling lanes (32km) to face the increasing demand and guarantee road safety for cyclists.

In order to provide better and more accurate services to all road users (cyclists but also pedestrians, drivers, micro-mobility users), a consultation process has been launched and will help determined which zones will be permanently transformed in cycling lanes and how roads should be divided between different users.

Moreover, the city of Lille is currently deploying secure parking spaces in streets, which will be available for citizens to store their bicycles for 4 euros a month. As of the end of 2020, 56 have been installed and another 50 are planned for the first semester of 2021. The system opens and closes with an app or a badge for those who do not have a smartphone. This measure will contribute to attract new users that did not have previously the opportunity to store their bicycles at home and were reluctant to use bike sharing services.

More and more cities of the metropolis, such as Lille since 2020 or Loos in 2021, are limiting the speed to 30km/h on all streets, which has a positive impact on road safety for cyclists. Following good practises from other northern European cities, Lille Metropole in partnership with the “Association Droit au Vélo” (ADAV) developed its first bicycle boulevard, giving priority to cyclists over cars and is looking to expand the experience in other selected streets.

The metropolitan area also benefits from the historical presence of Decathlon. The company, which has its headquarters located in Lille Metropole is one of the leading bicycle retailer in the world and has helped spur the actual dynamic. Decathlon is currently testing a bicycle renting model in Paris and Lyon to convince users to adopt cycling as a daily means of travel.

Some efforts still have to be done in terms of investment and raising awareness among car drivers but cycling is on the right track in Lille Metropole.

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