The BITS-project: a source of experiences for cycling solutions for the Flemish Government
According to Pim Bonne, transport expert at the Flemish Ministry of Mobility and Public works, North Sea Region projects play a crucial role in decarbonizing transport and mobility. They allow for innovative solutions to be tested and developed at a smaller scale before being implemented across Europe. As he told the North Sea Region Blog, “North Sea Region projects are test beds and living labs, demonstrating the feasibility of solutions that can subsequently be rolled out on a larger scale in the EU”.
Innovation is definitely needed to counter the strong car-centric nature of an important amount of road traffic in the North Sea Region. Not only are levels of long-distance commuting particularly high, the region is also the logistics heart of Europe. Knowing that transport accounts for 25% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and road transport for more than 70% of it, decarbonizing transport and mobility is key to fulfilling the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Climate Pact. Interreg projects allow for that to happen from the bottom up and make it easier to take the local context into account. These projects thus being more varied and innovative, they are ideal for developing new mobility alternatives and new technologies. Such alternatives and technologies are essential to creating a low carbon and zero emission transport mix.
Bonne further explained that in view of decarbonizing transport and mobility, the Flemish Ministry of Mobility and Public Works looks at North Sea Region projects for experiences and best practices. As cycling is high on the list of priorities for the new Flemish coalition agreement 2019-2024, they look at the BITS-project for experiences and innovation. In the BITS project, Intelligent Transport Systems are used to improve cycling infrastructure and safety, nudge cycling behavior and overall enhance the urban cycling experience with the main objective to reduce CO2 emissions by 9% and increase bicycle use by 10%. The implementations tested in the BITS project will play a key role in the sustainable mobility transition and best practice could be used by all regions and cities to help achieve their climate ambitions.
Read the full article on the North Sea Region Blog here.