Denmark and the Netherlands are deemed Europe's most bicycle-friendly nations, with Malta ranking last. The list has been drawn up by the European Cyclists’ Federation. ECF's Cycling Barometer is a benchmarking report which provides a view on cycling in all 27 EU countries.
The barometer measures daily cycling levels, cycle tourism, advocacy activity, bicycle sales and cyclist safety.
The UK was tenth on the list, behind Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and - in fifth place - Germany. Sweden was the the third most bike-friendly EU nation in ECF's rankings and Finland was fourth.
ECF Cycling Barometer Project Manager Chloe Mispelon said:
“We are constantly asked which countries in Europe are ‘best for cycling’. The ECF Cycling Barometer is our way of prompting a debate around five dimensions of cycling we are prioritising.
"We are confident in our results which show a strong correlation with other data and knowledge about cycling but we call on the EU Horizon 2020 research program to establish data that is updated and maintained through to 2020. The barometer shows that we really need reliable statistics on cycling in the EU to enable governments and advocates to assess progress on cycling and to allow collaborative working between countries to improve cycling for European citizens.”
Up to now, it was considered difficult to compare European countries and the state of their cycling across numerous fields. Different national statistics and lack of data make it hard to be certain about the cycling record of each country. The ECF Cycling Barometer was based on five verifiable EU-wide surveys.
ECF Secretary General Bernhard Ensink said:
“This is a valuable analysis carried out by our ECF staff working across several disciplines. Now the advocacy community and our partners can use this to press governments for real, measurable change. If we are to double cycling in Europe it is also vital for the EU to use this data and develop it to show where strategic investments, structural funds and research funding must be focused in coming years.”