The city of Szombathely, Hungary, hosted the second stakeholder meeting of the EU CYCLE Project on December 12, 2019. Within the framework of the event, representatives of the Managing Authority of the targeted operational programmes, of three NUTSIII regions counties and larger regional cities, destination tourism management organisations, cycling associations and NGOs came together to discuss the current state of cycling-related policies.
Sessions for the event began with the presentation of the EU CYCLE project by Tibor POLGÁR, strategic director at West Pannon Non-profit Ltd., who highlighted the importance of interregional learning opportunities provided by the Interreg Europe programme.
Zsuzsanna KATONA, representative of the Hungarian Ministry of Finance’s Managing Authority of Territorial and Settlement Development Operational Programme, summarized the experiences gained during the implementation of cycling-related projects, emphasising the importance of high-level technical standards expected by the Ministry.
“We should focus more on cooperation of the three counties in the region when developing or cycling networks.” concluded Mr. Péter PETŐ, Vice President of Győr-Moson-Sopron County Council, after summarizing the recently implemented, ongoing and planned projects in the region, who participated in the event with his counterparts, Bálint KONDORA, Vice President of Vas County Council and Imre PÁCSONYI, Vice President of Zala County Council.
After the presentations, the stakeholder event branched out into working groups that focused on analysing regional needs and assets, considering different aspects of spatial plans that support cycling, route infrastructure, organisational measures, cycling products and services, and finally communication and monitoring of cycling developments.
“Still, the most important factors are road safety and awareness-raising”, was the main sentiment emphasized by representatives of local cycling associations, as a closing thought for the day’s activities.