Barely 5 percent of cycle paths are safe in West Flanders

    Stricter standards for cycle paths have been laid down in the Bicycle Vademecum, which was thoroughly updated in the middle of last year. For example, cycle paths along Flemish roads must now be at least 2 meters wide in each direction of travel. Figures requested by Flemish Member of Parliament Annick Lambrecht (Vooruit) show that barely 5.4 percent of the one-way cycle paths along the regional roads meet this standard. For two-way cycle paths this is 11.4 percent. They are at least 3 meters wide.

    The cycle paths in the province of Flemish Brabant score the worst. Barely 2.8 percent of the one-way cycle paths meet the standard there. East Flanders also scores badly with 3.4 percent. Limburg (5 percent) and West Flanders (5.5) form the middle ground. The one-way cycle paths in the province of Antwerp are on average the widest. 9.6 percent of the 1,309 kilometers of cycle paths are 2 meters or wider.

    “Wide and free-lying”

    “If we want to guarantee the safety of our cyclists, safe cycle paths are crucial,” says Lambrecht. “But that means they have to be wide enough and separate. Unfortunately, today only a small part of our cycle paths meets this new standard, despite the high budgets that have been spent on cycling infrastructure in recent years. If Flanders wants to achieve its own standard, there is still a lot of work ahead.”