Puglia Region hosted the 3rd Local Stakeholders meeting on 7th December 2020. The meeting was attended by 16 stakeholders in addition to the working group members. The session focused on discussion of a good practice from Belgium, namely the “F3 Cycle Highway Leuven-Brussels” that will be presented during the online study visit on urban-rural connections in January 2021.

After a presentation of the working methodology by Antonio Massari, facilitator of the Regional learning process, and a summary by Raffaele Sforza, EU CYCLE Project manager, who illustrated the good practice sheet received from the Belgian partner European Cyclists Federation, the debate started.

The stakeholders noted that the cost per kilometer indicated in the sheet shows investments that are much higher than those they are used to in Puglia in the field of cycling. During the discussion also emerged that the level of quality of technical design of works similar to F3 is higher than the local one, as perhaps the reference regulatory framework is more detailed.

More information was requested by stakeholders in regard to the level of connections of the F3 with the other cycle routes in the district or with other systems (inter-modality) and support of digital infrastructure based on IOT (Internet of things) technologies.

Apulian stakeholders found very interesting the fact that today in Belgium 50% of the cycle park is attributable to E-bikes and they would appreciate more clarifications on how this percentage was reached in a few years.

In the 90 minutes of engaging discussion the stakeholders also tackled the learning and transferability potential of this good practice. Raffaele Sforza illustrated how the integrated planning approach of cycling ensures that the Cycle Highways are however perfectly an integral part of the cycling system, while one of the stakeholders raised the idea to use the coplanar roads - of the state roads - as a basis for the development of a "credible" network of cycle paths similar to the F3, after the appropriate safety measures and the signage equipment will be put in place.

At the end of the meeting, Antonio Massari invited stakeholders to candidate local good practices in the urban-rural connections with an objective to present some of them in January 2021 to other project partners.