Cyprus to promote cycling to reduce emissions

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Cyprus will promote the use of bicycles by offering subsidies as part of its overall strategy to cut down on CO2 emissions, said Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Wednesday.

Karousos presided over a meeting of the Council for Promoting the Use of Bicycles, in the presence of Commissioner for the Environment Klelia Vasiliou, focusing on an action plan to get people peddling in towns.

The council decided on a 15-step action plan, which includes investment in cycling infrastructure, in schools, sport and training centres, a grant for people to purchase a new bicycle as a means of transportation and a grant to repair and maintain bikes.

“The Ministry wants to see bicycles becoming a part of our daily lives as a healthy and reliable means of transportation and sport,” said Karousos.

“This effort is part of the wider EU Member States’ commitment to cutting down on carbon emissions, as set out in the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, which provides for climate neutrality by 2050,” he added.

Karousos said Cyprus with its short distances and Mediterranean climate, the bicycle can become an alternative means of transportation, apart from a means of sport and recreation.

State spending allocated to the bicycle scheme “has not been decided yet, but the Ministry of Transport has included in its 2021 budget €500,000 to subsidise the purchase of new bicycles and for the repair of old bicycles”.

Vassiliou said: “Bicycle sellers say they have almost sold out. That is why we need to make use of existing infrastructure and invest in new projects.”