The share of road users on two wheels is growing in cities and rural areas. The growing share of bicycle traffic in the total traffic volume is desirable and worthy of support due to its positive aspects for the environment and climate. Cities benefit from better air quality and a better quality of life.
The current challenges in transport and environmental policy also and especially affect the promotion of cycling in Germany. All levels are involved in the restructuring of the transport system: from the federal government to the federal states to the municipalities. Based on the scope conditions of the National Cycling Plan (Nationale Radverkehrsplan), administrations and interested citizens can find suitable funding opportunities in the funding primer.
The National Cycling Plan: Germany switches to cycling
In view of the many challenges posed by climate change and ongoing environmental degradation, the transport transition towards more sustainable mobility is inevitable and increasingly urgent. In cities and conurbations, but also in rural areas, sustainable cycling has great prospects for the future. Central topics of current volatility are the promotion of cycling in rural areas as well as capacity problems in cities and growing electromobility in cycling.
As part of a modern transport system, cycling can make mobility more sustainable, while maintaining mobility and improving the quality of life, especially in cities. This is why the National Cycling Plan was drawn up by the federal government. It forms the basis of cycling promotion in Germany. This plan, abbreviated NRVP, serves not only as an information platform, but also as an initiator and coordinator of sustainable transport policy. The federal, state and local governments are responsible for promoting cycling. To do so, however, they need clear support and networking with associations, entrepreneurs and local citizens.
Since the first NRVP in 2002, the plan has been continuously expanded and revised. In the process, subsequent versions always address new challenges from transport policy and society. The NRVP identifies potentials and develops strategies to promote cycling in Germany. In 2020, the NRVP was again given the meaningful title “Developing cycling together”. The task of the transport transition, the title emphasises, is a joint one for the federal government, the federal states, for authorities and also for society.
With the goal of making cycling safer and more attractive for all, the NRVP sets priorities in various areas. For example, it ensures continuity in funding by promoting the creation of suitable infrastructure, the further development of legal framework conditions and the support of model projects and measures with an exemplary effect. The necessary linkage with topics such as environmental and climate protection, health promotion and urban development is the focus of the National Plan. The NRVP does particular justice to the regional aspect of cycling promotion. Different conditions in individual municipalities are to be more strongly integrated into the planning and implementation of projects.
Unlike in the cities, where cycling is experiencing dynamic development, cycling use in rural areas still has more room for expansion. This is a particular focus of the NRVP. In urban areas, attention is increasingly focused on the growing market of pedelecs and electric mobility in general. Here, new impacts on infrastructure and on road safety arise, which must be taken into account.
Last but not least, promoting the safety of all road users is important. Thus, the NRVP presents federal activities such as those in safety campaigns. With its funding programme and federal funds amounting to 3.2 million euros, the NRVP supports non-investment projects that are characterised by innovation and that can serve as a model for other regions and cities.
The funding primer: finding funding opportunities regionally and nationally
At first glance, it is confusing to grasp which funding and financing options are available locally for planned projects. This is why you can find information on the NRVP cycling portal in the online funding primer. Legal bases and regional specifics for adaptations on federal and state roads, in urban development funding, but also state building codes, ERDF funding and opportunities for rural development can be found here.
What current funding and financing opportunities are offered by the federal and state governments? This question is answered clearly and with the help of filtering options by the funding primer on the NRVP cycling portal. Here, administrations and municipalities, but also the interested public, have the opportunity to find out about regional opportunities in their city, municipality or federal state. Overviews of existing funding opportunities and the corresponding funding agencies are shown. This way, interested parties can get in touch with the funding agencies they have researched. The overview provides information on relevant funding and funding bases, details on funding guidelines, funding options such as funding rates, application deadlines and funding agencies. PDF files on the legal basis can be uploaded by the relevant funding agencies.
As the largest database on federal and state funding and financing opportunities for cycling, the funding primer has become one of the most important contact points for cycling funding in Germany.