Heated cycle lanes to warm Dutch winter cyclists

Cyclist in the snow in Den Bosch, Netherlands - file pic Snow in Den Bosch: The scheme could make winter more comfortable for cyclists

Towns in the Netherlands are considering a proposal to heat cycle lanes to encourage greater use of bicycles in winter.

The scheme proposes to use geo-thermal energy to prevent ice forming.

The idea has been provisionally costed at 20-40,000 euros per kilometre (£25-50,000 per mile).

But the man behind the proposal, Marcel Boerefijn, said there would be savings from fewer accidents, less salt needed to grit roads and reduced car expenses.

Mr Boerefijn said it was possible that the final net cost would be less than putting straw down on the paths.

Arien de Jong, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Cyclists Unions said: "We are very excited about the heated paths, because they could prevent so much misery. If cycle lanes are frozen over for four weeks, that results in about 7,000 more accidents involving cyclists.

"So of course we welcome all ideas to improve road safety for cyclists."

More bikes than people

The town of Zutphen in the east of the country is awaiting the result of a preliminary assessment before it embarks on a feasibility study next year.

The province of Utrecht is also considering the scheme.

The Netherlands has an estimated 18m bicycles for a population of less than 17m. There are more than 35,000km of cycle paths in the country.

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • Two women in  JohanesburgYour pictures

    Readers' photos on the theme of South Africa


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.