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Financial assistance programme

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Around 3.2 million euros of funding are made available per year for the implementation of the NCP. These funds are used for (non-investment) measures which are especially innovative and transferable to other towns and cities. They are designed to improve the conditions for cycling, secure sustainable mobility (including interaction with other modes of transport) and to generate new findings in the sphere of cycling.

Financial assistance is provided for (non-investment) pilot projects in the nine action areas of the National Cycling Plan (planning and developing a cycling strategy; infrastructure; road safety; communications; cycle tourism; electric mobility; linkage with other means of transport; mobility and road safety education; creating and safeguarding qualities) as well as in areas of societal importance and related to cycling, like health promotion, urban development, climate change mitigation and environmental protection. The range of funded activities includes publicity and communication campaigns, competitions, such as the “Cycling to Work” or the “Cycling in the City” campaigns, mobility education measures, such as the “RADschlag” or the “Mobility at the kindergarten” projects which are aimed at children and young persons, research projects and studies, such as the “Cycling Monitor”, and safety campaigns, such as the “Show Consideration” campaign in Berlin and Freiburg. As part of the NCP, the Cycling Portal, the Cycling Academy, the Funding Guide and the German Cycling Prize will receive significant assistance from the Federal Government.

A total of more than 180 projects received funding under the NCP and have made a major contribution to boosting cycling in Germany.

Cycle portal

The internet portal for the implementation of the NCP (in short: cycling portal) www.nationaler-radverkehrsplan.de is the largest information and communication platform on cycling in German. The portal is addressed to all players involved in the promotion of cycling and is a key instrument of the NCP to promote the implementation of a cycling friendly policy by an exchange of knowledge and information. The cycling portal regularly informs on news in the promotion of cycling, such as changes to the regulations or the progress made in the implementation of the NCP. In addition, the cycling portal provides latest research findings, funding possibilities, information on events and literature as well as a growing number of good practice examples.

The “Cycling Portal News” newsletter regularly provides information on news within the cycling portal and in the promotion of cycling. The cycling portal is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure from resources for the implementation of the NCP.

Cycling Academy - Training, information and networking

With the NCP, the Federal Government is pursuing the objective of promoting cycling in Germany as part of an integrated transport and mobility policy. In this context, it is of crucial importance that all stakeholders involved in the promotion of cycling be trained, well-informed, linked up and that they exchange experience. The Cycling Academy is funded from resources for the implementation of the NCP.

The Cycling Academy at the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) has been pursuing these objectives since 2007 with the support of the German County Association, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities and the German Association of Cities and there is a continuously growing interest in its services.

The training courses include seminars (lasting one or several days) all over Germany, workshops as well as excursions to neighbouring countries. In addition, the annual Local Authority Cycling Conference supports the cooperation between local authorities.

Funding Guide

In the Funding Guide provided on the cycling portal, interested persons can obtain information on the current funding options offered by the Federal Government and the federal states to promote cycling. Other issues addressed are cycle tracks on federal highways and regional roads, urban development assistance, the federal states' building regulations, ERDF resources and funding possibilities under aid schemes for rural development. The Funding Guide is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure from resources for the implementation of the NCP.

The German Cycling Prize

“The German Cycling Prize” is a nationwide competition to promote cycling in Germany.

As part of the Federal Government’s NCP, the “German Cycling Prize” contributes to bringing good practice examples to the attention of decision-makers and experts. The entries to the competition thus serve as an example at national level and as an incentive for further projects and measures in the promotion of cycling. Another objective of the competition is to enhance the public image of cycling and thus to encourage more people in Germany to use their bicycle.

The three prizes in the categories “Infrastructure”, “Service” and “Communications” are awarded to projects and measures which contribute to improving the conditions for cycling in everyday life, in the leisure time or in tourism. Such measures or projects may include structural works, services as well as communication activities for informational or motivational purposes. The “most cycling-friendly decision” is selected by a jury. Candidates for the prize can be public or private institutions, individuals, groups and clubs.

The “most cycling-friendly public figure” is an influential public figure who openly expresses its preference for cycling and thus enhances the image of this means of transport in a special manner.

As part of the German Cycling Prize, a photo competition is organized in the categories “PRO” (professional photographers) and “FUN” (amateur photographers). The interested public was given the opportunity to vote on the winning photos. The final choice is made by a jury.

The prize is awarded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, together with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle-friendly Cities, Towns and Districts in North Rhine-Westphalia (AGFS). Further partners are the Cycling Industry Association (Zweirad-Industrie-Verband – ZIV) and the Service and Bicycle trade association (Verbund Service und Fahrrad e.V. – VSF).

The financial assistance programme “2020 National Cycling Plan”

Cycling accounts for a sizeable and increasing share of the traffic volume in Germany. In addition, it can help to tackle many current and future transport and social challenges, because it has a positive impact on the environment, the climate, the quality of life in towns and cities and people's health. Against this background, the Federal Government attaches great importance to promoting cycling as part of a modern transport system in urban and rural areas. The Federal Government wants to accompany and support this development, also in view of the energy and climate change objectives it has set itself.

For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure provides financial assistance to innovative projects in the sphere of cycling whose purpose is to implement the 2020 National Cycling Plan and which support its objectives also in interaction with other modes of transport.

Every year in spring, a call for projects is published for the following funding year (the closing date for submitting project ideas is 1 August). The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is thus providing financial assistance to (non-investment) pilot projects in the action areas of the NCP (planning and developing a cycling strategy; infrastructure; road safety; communications; cycle tourism; electric mobility; linkage with other means of transport; mobility and road safety education) as well as in areas of societal importance and related to cycling, like health promotion, urban development, climate change mitigation and environmental protection. Every year, two new funding priorities are selected.