Coronavirus: France offers a grant to try to block cyclists


Cyclists in Paris wearing face masks during coronavirus locking

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Elisabeth Borne, Minister for Ecological Transition, described the bicycle as “a real transport solution”

France encourages people to cycle to keep pollution levels low once the lockout restrictions end.

Under the 20 million euro (£ 17 million; $ 21.7 million) program, everyone will be eligible for bicycle repairs up to € 50 from licensed mechanics.

The funding will also help fund cycling training and temporary parking spaces.

Nations around the world are looking for ways to change urban transportation in the light of the coronavirus.

Emergency planners in London fear that the underground will not be able to cope after the lock is lifted. A report seen by the BBC indicates that social distancing rules would reduce capacity to 15% of normal levels and to 12% on buses.

In addition, pollution levels have dropped worldwide and many seek to keep these levels low.

On Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a 6% drop in energy demand for the year – it said it would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 8%, six times larger than the largest drop in 2009 following the financial crisis. crash.

What are the proposals?

Elisabeth Borne, Minister for the Ecological Transition, said that this decision was aimed at reducing driving while traveling or for short trips in order to reduce air pollution levels once the restrictions are lifted.

Normally, 60% of trips made in France are less than 5 kilometers [3 miles] – cycling “a real transport solution”, she said.

France has announced its intention to gradually lift its restrictions from May 11. On Wednesday, the latest figures indicate a recorded death toll of 24,087, with nearly 130,000 confirmed cases.

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On Wednesday, Ms. Borne announced the program in association with the Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB).

They will register a network of over 3,000 repairers on the FUB website who will agree to repair any bike up to € 50, such as changing tires or old chains.

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Citizens will not receive a printed check, but will go to these registered mechanics who will then be reimbursed by the state. People will have to pay all the extra costs out of their pocket.

The rest of the funding will go to temporary bike racks and training and refresher courses. Local governments are also encouraged to develop cycle paths across the country.

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Meanwhile, Brussels, the Belgian capital, announced Wednesday the creation of 40 km of additional cycle paths to ensure that fewer people use public transport as restrictions are relaxed.

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The government wants the French to pedal more on short journeys


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