EU CYCLE Action Plan implementation: Italy overview

Puglia Region, one of the EU CYCLE project partners, identified during the implementation of the project a series of good practices with the potential of positively influencing the quality of projects financed through ERDF 2014-2020 programme, namely the Action 4.4 “Interventions aimed at increasing sustainable mobility in urban areas and suburban”.

The following good practices were considered as being the most relevant for the region:

• the ‘Bike & Ride services in the Austro-Hungarian border region’ that address the integration of bicycle and public transportation;

• the ‘Cycle streets’ identified in the Dutch-German border region;

• the Utrecht bike parking station case, the largest bicycle parking in the world with 12,500 bicycle spaces.

Action 1

The first action included by the Puglia Region in its Action Plan, was to insert references to Hungarian good practice and guarantee intermodality between bicycles and public transportation, through inclusion in the tender of the ERDF POR PUGLIA 2014-20 of the elective B+R quality element for candidate cities for action 4.4b "Fleet Renewal", financing 20 municipalities for the acquisition of new means of public transport. The tender provided for the new urban buses to be equipped with special external bike racks.

During Phase 1, potential beneficiaries were offered a capacity building session on a) Types of B+R intermodal solutions and their use; b) Communication to bus users and drivers; c) ticket office; d) Data collection and monitoring of success and increase in the number of users.

Two tenders were published by the Puglia Region.

In the 1st tender "SMART GO CITY" the external bicycle rack structures have been foreseen as optional;

In the 2nd call SMART GO CITY the external bike rack structures have been requested as mandatory.

 At the end of the 2nd tender, 4 municipalities were awarded ERDF funds for a total of n. 13 new electric buses and therefore required to equip the purchased buses with external bike rack supports. These are the first urban buses equipped to transport bicycles in Puglia and probably throughout Italy.

Action 2

The second intervention of the Puglia Region, inspired by the ‘’Cycle streets’’ good practice (priority roads for bicycles), concerned the improvement of the construction and use of sections of cycle infrastructure classified, according to the Italian Highway Code, as Urban Cycle Streets E-bis, in support of the tenders concerning the POR FESR PUGLIA, Action 4.4d "Construction of cycling infrastructures in urban and extra-urban areas".

The Puglia Region has therefore published a tender to create cycle and/or pedestrian cycle paths in urban and sub-urban areas.

During Phase 1, a meeting with the interested entities was organised, dedicated to transferring the concept of the cycle path, its characteristics and feasibility, comparing them with the foreseen urban cycle streets E-bis by the Highway Code.

At the end of the procedure, 15 projects were admitted: 8 of which will be completed by 31/12/2023 while for the remaining n. 7 by 12/31/2025.

Action 3

The third intervention of the Puglia Region, inspired by the Utrecht (NL) bike parking station, the largest in the world with over 12,500 bike spaces, concerns the possibility of intervening on already financed projects, of velostation to be built inside or near the railway stations.

The Puglia Region has published a call for tenders to build bike parking stations inside or near railway stations.

Projects were presented by 11 municipalities but only 7 municipalities started the tender procedures for the execution of the works. Contacts are underway with the Municipalities to verify how to share the standards of Dutch good practice.