The study visit was aimed to learn about the bicycle friendly solutions developed in Bentheim with a view to develop ideas for Kalisz and Ostrów Agglomeration.
Polish team was invited to a bicycle ride in order to see in practice how the system works. Then the hosts from Graftshaft Bentheim explained how the citizens participated in the process of creating the wide bicycle network in the district which allowed to reach a high share of cycling among transport modes. They shared information about the financing of the various stages of creating the network. In addition to the development of bicycle transport, a lot of attention has been paid to rail transport, or rather to the combination of these two modes through Bike & Ride stations and creation of additional places for transporting bicycles on trains.
A main take-away from the study visit is therefore the practical confirmation of the idea that in order to switch the population of the area from private car into active transport modes like cycling a broad approach must be applied. Visitors from Kalisz-Ostrów Agglomeration decided to follow the example of Bentheim effective bicycle-friendly policy which consists not only of construction and maintenance of bicycle paths and regular monitoring of users of this infrastructure but also various ways of promotion and incentives, including competitions for individuals as well as support for companies which reward their employees for choosing a bicycle for commuting. They are also aware that this process will take time to roll-out.