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Cycling in Germany

Roadway marking with a bicycle symbol

More and more people in Germany use their bicycle to get to work every day or in their leisure time. Cycling offers many advantages: It is environmentally friendly, fast, has many health benefits and contributes to a high quality of life in towns and cities. Cycling is therefore popular with large parts of our population.

The Federal Government wants to further increase cycling’s share of the modal split and, for this reason, the Federal Ministry of Transport und Digital Infrastructure is promoting cycling with the 2020 National Cycling Plan (NCP). With the NCP, a broad societal dialogue on new ways and implementation strategies to promote cycling is launched in order to contribute to an even more cycling-friendly environment in Germany. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure initiated the “German Unity Cycle Route” project on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of German unity and will implement it in the years ahead, together with the seven federal states through which the route leads.

Figures and data

The promotion of cycling benefits everyone, including those people who mainly use their car or public transport or walk. Because cycling is an environmentally friendly means of transport that does not produce noise or harmful emissions. It requires little space. In combination with local public transport and walking, it makes it possible to reduce the levels of motor vehicle traffic, especially in city centres, thereby tackling congestion and lowering pollutant and noise emissions. This is one of the main reasons why towns, cities and regions with a high modal share of cycling are usually rated as especially vibrant and liveable. In addition, cycling is an economic factor that is becoming increasingly important.

At present, about ten per cent of all trips in Germany are made by bike. The aim is to increase this share considerably over the next few years. Cycling’s increasing modal share in many German towns and cities as well as the high level of public attention given to the issue show that we are heading in the right direction. Over the last years, many people have rediscovered cycling. About 80 % of all households in Germany have a least one bicycle. 30 % have three or more bicycles. That makes a total of around 78 million bikes which are being used more and more frequently.