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Two-thirds of Dutch people live within 15 minutes cycling distance of railway station

A study conducted by Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) shows that 11.7 million Dutch people live within 15 minutes cycling distance of a railway station. The study was conducted to gain insight into the bicycle accessibility of all municipalities in the Netherlands. This is particularly important now, because the Netherlands is facing a major housing challenge in the coming years. If bicycle accessibility is not considered when planning housing, we will fall behind the sustainability ambition in the field of mobility. The results of the study are presented by BUas in the Atlas Reachable City, a so-called Digital Twin of the Netherlands.

Bicycle accessibility central

The research conducted by the BUas lectorate Urban Intelligence looked at the cycling and walking accessibility of train stations, bus stops and important locations such as city centres, schools and shopping centres. The importance of walking and cycling for a liveable and accessible city has been recognised for years. Yet, concretising this in spatial policy remains a challenge for many municipalities. Therefore, the Bicycle Oriented Development ("BOD") concept has been developed.

This integrated data-driven planning concept maps the current bicycle accessibility of important destinations in municipalities in detail and makes it possible to draw up future scenarios. This allows for better coordination of spatial development and cycling policy in municipalities. "With BOD we make the integral approach of spatial development and cycling policy explicit". Paul van de Coevering, Professor of Urban Intelligence at BUas.

Analysis and results

In order to visualise the bicycle accessibility of relevant destinations, an important step has been taken by working with actual bicycle travel times from GPS-data instead of straight-line distances. For BOD, cycle travel times are based on GPS data from the National Cycle Weeks. A remarkable result is that on average two thirds of Dutch people live within 15 cycling distance from a train station. Of the provinces with over a million inhabitants, North Holland scores the highest with 77% and North Brabant currently the lowest with 55%. "At the same time, the construction of express cycle routes offers potential for improved cycling accessibility in provinces like North Brabant. This shows that the bicycle-train combination still has great potential in the Netherlands". Joost de Kruijf, programme leader Dutch Cycling Intelligence at BUas.

Journey time bicycle from train stations

Digital Dashboard

The results of the research are made available to government agencies via an online digital 3D dashboard of the entire Netherlands, a Digitwin. The online 3D display makes it possible to make statements down to individual building level. It is also easy for users to orientate themselves and get started with the analyses. This Digital Twin was developed by the company Argaleo.

Walking time from bus stops

National developments

Recent developments in the field of Talking Bikes, in which up-to-date GPS data is collected on a national scale, will only increase the opportunities for realising BOD in the coming years. The national Tour de Force action programme endorses the opportunities for BOD in the task of urban cycling and high-quality (fast) cycle routes. With the development of BOD, BUas hopes to strengthen the national data-driven bicycle policy.

Number of inhabitants per metro stop

Do you, as a (semi) public service, also want to know what the accessibility of your city or region is?

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