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Bicycle NGO says budget 2018 requests are now ‘non-negotiable’

Local bicycle NGO presents their their main aim being to 'reduce traffic concerns and increase bicycle commuting'

Amy Micallef Decesare
13 September 2017, 9:30am
'With the current spend on road tweaking encouraging car use, these measures are now non-negotiables', according to B.A.G
'With the current spend on road tweaking encouraging car use, these measures are now non-negotiables', according to B.A.G
The local NGO dedicated to bicycle commuting has called upon Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to include its proposals in the Budget 2018, with their main aim being to reduce traffic concerns and increase bicycle commuting.

“With the current spend on road tweaking encouraging car use, these measures are now non-negotiables”, they said.

The Bicycle Advocacy Group’s (B.A.G) demands include a ring fence, accounting for 20% of the transport budget, in line with WHO and ECF guidelines to “prepare the ground for mass transit projects that will require walking infrastructure”, maintaining that “cycling infrastructures effectively triple the reach of mass transit [metro, bus, monorail, train and ferry] systems”.

The group also encouraged the “need for bicycle friendly schemes such as shower and secure racking facilities”, as well as the implementation of tax incentives for commuters to cycle to work, as is seen in other EU states.

The NGO went on to say that the removal of VAT on bicycle rentals would place cycling “on the same level as other Public Transportation” and believe that the government should support “local councils and companies that invest in bicycle sharing schemes”.

The NGO insisted that the removal of VAT on bicycle rentals would place cycling “on the same level as other Public Transportation”.

The group’s final demands, to be considered by Scicluna, include encouraging commercial entities to “make deliveries by pedelecs [electric bicycles] or ‘cargo-bikes’ by means of fiscal incentives”, which are “an ideal solution for congested cities used elsewhere in Europe”, they said. They also stressed the importance of the adoption of an aggressive fiscal policy, with grants given to other EV’s and went on to include the example of a “50% absorption of the cost of purchase of either a 250w pedelec and subsequent batteries”.

“The restrictive legislation continues to depress sales and utilization, a trend that urgently needs to be reversed”, the group said.

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