Taking into account the aim of improving the quality of cycling projects through enhancing the effectiveness of specific policy instruments, EU-funded operational programmes, and through a learning process between participating regions and regional action planning, the EU CYCLE project partner West Pannon Nonprofit Ltd. (HU) developed a regional action plan that was designed primarily to have a positive impact on the calls for sustainable transport under the Territorial and Settlement Development Operational Programme (TSDOP) implemented during the 2014–2020 programming period.
The calls mainly provided opportunities for cycle-friendly improvements, including: making the road network of municipalities or parts of municipalities cycle-friendly by designating and constructing cycle facilities, the creation of cycle routes between settlements or between the centre of a settlement and a residential area outside the inner area, the creation of a cycle route between a workplace located outside the inner area and the town centre, and the construction and extension of a public bike-sharing system. In addition, there were also opportunities to support activities related to traffic calming, road safety, accessibility and the development of public road transport.
As a preparation for the new period, the call for proposals “TSDOP-1.5.1-20: Strategic and project-level preparation for the 2021–27 planning period" was launched under the TSDOP, which, in addition to the preparation of spatial development concepts and programmes, provided the opportunity to prepare Integrated Territorial Programmes (ITPs), and – as the most relevant element in terms of EU CYCLE – to elaborate County Cycling Master Network Plans (CCMNPs).
The experience of the interregional learning process and the 2014–2020 programming period revealed that without adequate professional capacities at regional and local level, cycling development is less effective, the process is less smooth, and the development of networks of sufficient quality and density is not possible or is much slower. According to the work and exchange of experience with the Stakeholder Group set up in the frame of project, both from the programme and beneficiary side, there is a strong need for professional support for beneficiaries, during the planning and project preparation phase and during the implementation period.
In the frame of the cooperation with the Stakeholder Group and the international partnership, a couple of actions have emerged for the targeted policy instrument that could play a significant role in overcoming and mitigating these gaps and difficulties.
One of the actions was to support the regional cycle network planning process by incorporating the Integrated Cycling Planning Guide developed under the EU CYCLE project into the beneficiary support package.
The main objective of the action is to help beneficiaries to identify and choose the most appropriate technical solution for their area and municipality and to be able to “think in networks”, going beyond administrative borders. The implementation of the planned activities will thus contribute to the improvement of the management of the Territorial and Settlement Operational Programme Plus (TSDOP Plus), thus to the efficient use of the resources for the development of cycling infrastructure, which is being implemented as a continuation of the TSDOP 2014–2020, in particular the resources allocated to the projects of the calls for proposals "TSDOP_Plus-1.2.1-21 Livable Settlements" and "TSDOP_Plus-1.3.2-21 Sustainable Urban Development".
As part of the action, the Integrated Cycling Planning Guide has been incorporated in the documents to be taken into consideration during project development process.
More information on the call can be found here in Hungarian language: