European Cyclists’ Federation grows stronger – AGM 2016 Report

Stockholm was the host city for this year’s AGM of the European Cyclists’ Federation – the annual gathering of the member groups of ECF. Colm Ryder and Damien Ó Tuama represented Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network.

ECF welcomed three new member groups on board – from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece and Poland. It’s very encouraging to see new cycle campaigning organisations emerging and joining forces with the more long established groups of ECF.

Further good news was that Cyclist.ie’s National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, was elected to the board of ECF. Also elected for a two year term were Manfred Neun (from ADFC Germany, re-elected as President), Ksenia Semenova (AVK -Kyiv Cyclists’ Associaton) and Raluca Fiser (Green Revolution Association, Romania). They join Lars Strömgren (Cykelfrämjandet / Swedish Cyclists’ Association), William Nederpelt (Fietsersbond, NL), Jaki Lowe (Cycling UK, formerly known as CTC) and Barry Flood (also Cycling UK; Treasurer) each of whom has one year left on their two year terms on the board. Speaking after his election, an elated Damien said

I’m thrilled to be bringing Cyclist.ie’s campaigning experience to ECF and helping to raise ECF’s game to elevate everyday cycling all across Europe. Equally I’m looking forward to applying the cycling advocacy expertise from across ECF to help grow cycling at home. It’s especially urgent that everyday cycling gains more ground in cities as part of the solution of making cities more sustainable, less car dominated and with improved air quality standards.

Complementing the formal AGM was a civic reception in Stockholm City Hall hosted by Vice Mayor for Transport, Daniel Helldén, a social evening in the fabulous Bianchi bicycle Café – well worth a visit if you are in Stockholm, and guided bicycle tours throughout the city and suburbs of Stockholm led by local campaigners (as shown in the photo above). While Stockholm’s transport system is currently very much defined by its high quality sub-way, commuter rail, tram and bus systems – as well as many decades of road/bridge building that were strongly influenced by American traffic engineering and commercial interests (see Blomkvist, 2004), there is also a fairly strong urban cycling culture and large parts of the city centre and inner suburbs in which cars are permitted ‘as guests only’ rather than dominating the streets.

Hats off to Cykelfrämjandet / Swedish Cyclists’ Association for running a terrific AGM 2016. We wish them the very best as they work to further develop everyday cycling in Stockholm and throughout Sweden.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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