Fifty three transport ministers were supposed to discuss "seamless transport" at last week’s International Transport Forum, held in Leipzig, Germany. Instead, they talked about sea piracy, cruise ship safety and other non-related topics. The most popular side visit for the transport ministers was a selection of tours at luxury car factories.
Manfred Neun, president of the European Cyclists’ Federation, said the forum’s lack of focus on the tabled subject was "bizarre."
The European Cyclists’ Federation had a booth at the forum, part paid by the Cycle Industry Club, a collection of bike companies set up last year to raise money for campaigning efforts.
“We brought cycling onto the agenda of transport ministers of the leading industrial countries at the International Transport Forum but we’ll need to work harder if we’re going to take on the multi-million dollar lobbying campaigns of the shipping, car and airline industries,” said Neun.
The ECF wanted to tell minister that shifting 10 percent of traffic from cars to bicycles reduces travel times by more than a fifth and saves OECD economies €615 billion in congestion annually. Highlighting the bicycle industry’s ability to innovate, ECF also promoted the use of cargo bicycles in cities to deliver goods.
Moreno Fioravanti, chairman of COLIPED, the European Association of Bicycle Parts Manufacturers, said:
“It was good to see all the efforts ECF does to get cycling on the agenda of the ITF. We can see even more why industry and ECF have to work together to highlight the real solutions offered by cycling. The bicycle industry as a whole needs to invest more resources to counter balance the lobby campaigns of the other transport industries.”
PHOTO: Moreno Fioravanti (right), chairman of COLIPED, with ECF secretary general, Bernhard Ensink.