On the occasion of World Bicycle Day on 3 June, Renew Europe CoR President Mayor François Decoster inaugurated a new bicycle lane on the EuroVelo 5 route in his home city of Saint-Omer, France. The ‘Via Romea Francigena’, aims to link Canterbury, UK to Rome, Italy on a 3,200 km route co-funded by the European Union.
“This new route is an excellent illustration of today’s European construction” said Mayor Decoster, commenting on the new path. It is set to pass through seven different countries, linking modern and ancient institutions such as cathedrals, as well EU hotspots like the EU institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. The project mixes history, mobility and European construction all in one scenic route.
This isn’t the first step that Mayor Decoster has taken for greener mobility. Saint-Omer implemented a national programme to encourage people to make more use of bicycles for their transportation, with policies allowing cyclists to ride in both directions in all streets of the historic downtown, foresaw secured parking for bikes and limited the speed of vehicles to 30 km per hour. The city of Saint-Omer also offers financial aid to citizens to buy a bicycle and equipment for safety – those with reduced mobility are able to access a subsidy of up to 600€ when buying a tailored bicycle.