The new 'RER line for cyclists' that will link Paris to its suburbs

The Local France
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The new 'RER line for cyclists' that will link Paris to its suburbs
Photo: AFP

Paris transport chiefs have shared plans to create a suburban cycle network that will make it easier for commuters to cycle into the city.


The RER V cycle network, named after the RER train networks that links Paris and the suburbs, aims to expand the cycle paths so that cycling to work is a viable option for people who live outside the Paris ring road.
The plans were shared by te Vélo Île-de-France collective - which formed in March this year to promote and develop the practice of cycling in the greater Paris Île-de-France region and has united nearly 4,000 members from twenty associations.
Although there has been a lot of work on cycle lanes inside Paris city centre, too often the routes stop at the ring road.

The collective envisions "large, comfortable lanes” so that cyclists can “ride without question, without danger, over long distances”, explains Charles Maguin, President of Paris in the Saddle, an association that encourages cycling now part of the Vélo Île-de-France collective. 


“The problem with cycle lanes is that they often stop at the administrative limits,” he adds.

“The aim of this collective is to go beyond the logic of the communes."

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe pointed out the “discontinuity on the bike lane maps” in a speech last year in Nantes, and spoke about how this “creates insecurity and discourages people from cycling.” In France, bike lane construction is not a national but a local responsibility, which often leads to inconsistencies. 

"For the moment, there is no real map established", Vincent Degove, project manager, told Le Parisien. "The one we shared was mainly there to present the project and to encourage members to make proposals in their zone." 



There has been a 12.5 percent ​increase in bike accidents over the last twelve months in Paris, including a record 147 cyclists wounded in just three months, and so the new cycle network also aims to improve bike safety.

Asked on Twitter by the collective, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, said she was "interested in the proposal of RER V" but has yet to confirm this officially. 



The project would support the French government’s plans to triple the number of cycling commuters in France in the next six years, up to 9 percent by 2024, as currently, only 3 percent of workers in France commute by bike, whilst 70 percent take the car.

The government plans to invest €350 million in cycling infrastructure over the next seven years. This includes ensuring more two-way bike traffic on one-way streets, and introducing cycling lessons in all secondary schools by 2022.

There will also be financial incentives in a bid to encourage bike commuting, with civil servants set to receive a 200 euro per year tax-free incentive for cycling to work.

The plans follow the increased restrictions on cars in the French capital, where diesel cars made earlier than 2006 have now been banned from the French capital on weekdays.



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