A €100 million cycling plan that runs until 2028 to accelerate soft mobility in Occitanie and Gard

A €100 million cycling plan that runs until 2028 to accelerate soft mobility in Occitanie and Gard

Jean-Luc Gibelin, vice-président de la Région, délégué aux mobilités, a présenté le plan vélo chez Morgan Cycles à Nîmes. Midi Libre – K. H.

La Région Occitanie change de braquet pour développer l’usage du vélo, l’intermodalité, les voies vertes et pistes cyclables.

A figure, first of all, which shows that cycling is still on the rocks: in 2023, at the national level, the share of trips by bicycle was only 5%. nbsp;% when the State had the objective of reaching 12%! Several obstacles: our old habits which push us to take the car rather than the bicycle, even for short daily journeys, but also the lack of infrastructure – safe cycle paths and greenways – and intermodality which allows you to go from bike to train and vice versa without hassle. An encouraging figure, all the same: bicycle sales have increased by 7% in one year!

6 M€ per year to create cycle paths

"The bicycle is not reserved for a few sores in the city center, there is a real challenge in developing it in rural areas and in supporting communities that do not have a transport service by helping them to build mobility plans or on the engineering of cycle paths, 20 territories will be supported each year", explained Jean -Luc Gibelin, vice-president of the Occitanie Region, delegate for mobility for all and transport infrastructure, presenting, at Morgan Cycles, in Nimes, the second bicycle plan for the Region. An envelope of 100 M€ – after the previous of 65 M€ – and fifteen measures implemented until 2028 to achieve this. Objective: "Make cycling a popular and practical means of transportation for short, everyday trips."

1/More cycle paths and greenways

Since 2001, 46 cycle paths, cycle routes and greenways have been created in the region, representing 270 km and an investment of €8.50 million. The more secure lanes there are for bicycles, the more practice there will be. The Region therefore plans 6 M€ per year to increase the number of cycle paths and 6 M€ for greenways and cycle routes, "with aid capped at 30 % of the amount of work for greenways", specifies Jean -Luc Gibelin. Bicycle plan 1 thus enabled the development of the section of the Via Rhôna between Beaucaire and Fourques. Is it better to have a greenway or a tram-train in Vaunage ? "There is no opposition between the two, evades the vice-president, but the cost of the tram-train could be an obstacle…"

Morgan Cycles and the Vélo Vallée

Opened seven years ago by Morgan Champiot, the cycle store on rue de l’Agau à Nîmes is the leading retailer of cargo bikes in Occitanie. He also relaunched the historic brand of Nemausa bicycles created in 1906 by the Dumont family, which disappeared in 1986. "An urban bicycle, design, solid, with sturdy rims, stainless steel spokes, which is manufactured by Arcade, in Vendée", says Morgan Champiot, passionateé bicycle. I have Nemausas from 1980 that still run." He already has some. made two series of twenty.

Morgan Cycles is part of Vélo Vallée, a cycling industry of 70 companies in Occitanie (and 1 000 jobs) which brings together manufacturers, resellers… , supported &agrav; height of 2.90 M€ since 2016.

2/More intermodality

The other crux of the matter for cycling to truly become a common practice is intermodality, in other words the easy connection between different means of transport. "There will be other multimodal hubs like those created in Beaucaire and Saint-Génies-de-Malgoirès in Gardonnenque" with carpool parking, soft mobility and access to trains and buses. "But the solution is no longer cycling on the train. It’is counterproductive",insists Jean-Luc Gibelin. The future therefore holds a (small) revolution for cyclists with the creation of secure boxes in each station where you leave your bike (500,000 euros will be invested). And we pick up another one at the arrival station (one of our own or rental) for the end of the journey.

3/More bikes purchased or rented

To achieve this dream intermodality (bike-train-bike), the Region is therefore imagining aid either for the acquisition of a second bike or for long-term rental (500 & nbsp;000 € invested). "We are going to create a new Lio station bicycle rental service which will be tested first between Sète and Montpellier for 18 months from fall 2024", details Jean-Luc Gibelin. Two hundred standard or electric bikes will be offered.

4/An experiment with high school students in Sommières

To encourage cycling from high school onwards, an experiment (500 000 €) will be launched next September and for 18 months in five high schools in Occitanie including the Lucie-Aubrac high school in Sommières where bicycles will be loaned to students.

Elsewhere, to facilitate the travel of second-year scholarship students, the Region has put in place aid of up to 50% of the cost of purchasing a school. a bike, for 200 €.

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