More and more Belgians cycle to work

According to a BeMob survey by FPS Mobility, 32% of Belgian workers used a bicycle to commute to work last year, either for all or part of the journey.

This is an increase compared to 2019, when 29% of Belgian workers (partly) cycled to work. However, there are big differences between regions as, on average, a Fleming cycles more than twice as much as a Walloon.

75% of Flemings use the bike

“The systematization and the increase in the kilometer allowance for daily cyclists, combined with the abolition of the ceiling on the employer’s contribution, are apparently an effective incentive for using bicycles to get to work,” notes federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo).

However, there are big differences between the different regions. In Flanders, 75% of the inhabitants are bicycle users, compared to 37% in Brussels and 31% in Wallonia. Flemings and Brussels residents are more likely to use bicycles for useful journeys, such as commuting to work, shopping, or going to a hobby. In contrast, Walloons use bicycles more for recreation.

In addition, 30% of cyclists plan to start cycling more, and 17% of non-cyclists say they will start.

Evolution of the proportion of respondents using bicycles, non-electric and electric (at least a few days a year) between 2022 and 2023/FOD Mobility

The average distance is 21,2 km

E-bikes are also gaining in popularity: the number of users has risen from 24% to 28% in one year, and 10% of respondents also plan to buy one in the next two years. This trend is particularly noticeable outside the cities, as is the fact that now all age groups, not just the over-55s, see the benefit of an e-bike.

In general, more than half of adult Belgians use bicycles (57%). Nevertheless, the car remains the most popular way to travel to work, followed by cycling and public transport.

The average distance between home and work is 21.2 km, and 6,4% of people who cycle to work do this on a company bicycle. About 7% of train users sometimes take their bicycle on board the train, and in one-third of cases, this involves a folding bike.

“We must continue to do everything possible so that the full potential of cycling can unfold in Belgium,” Gilkinet concludes. “Improve the infrastructure, install secure bicycle parking, encourage the combination of train and bicycle, encourage the use of bicycles through an increased and generalized kilometer allowance, but also by stepping up the fight against bicycle theft.”

A few weeks ago, the EU recognized cycling as a key element in its mobility strategy.


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