Nantes in France will host Velo-city 2015, the global urban cycling planning conference. Nantes was the first French city to allow for ‘right turn on red’ lights for cyclists.
The city was chosen in part due to recent commitments to improve cycling. The region of Nantes will spend an estimated €40 million on cycling between 2009-2014.
“Hosting Velo-city in Nantes in 2015 will be a great encouragement for the government and all local authorities to invest in cycling infrastructure and services,” says Genevieve Laferrere, president of the FUB, France’s national bicycle association.
“The return of the bicycle as a means of transport in French cities is the result of continuous lobbying by our 180 member associations. Our federation is proud that the internationally acclaimed Velo-City acknowledges this important field work. “
The last time France hosted a Velo-city was in Paris in 2003. France released a national cycling plan last year and the present government will accelerate its implementation.
Bernhard Ensink, secretary general of the European Cyclists’ Federation, co-owner of Velo-City, said: “Now it’s time for Nantes, and France’s national government to make the most of this opportunity. It’s time for them to continue putting cycling at the heart of transport policy.
Countries that host the prestigious conference generally see substantial growth in cycling numbers. The 2013 edition of the conference will be held in Vienna in mid-June.
Photo: "Right Turn on Red" in Nantes. Credit: Patrick Garçon, Nantes Métropole