The Dutch and Belgium bidders did not come to the FIFA-headquarters in Zurich by limousine, like the other countries bidding for this championships did, but by bike! Former football heroes like Johan Cruijff, Ruud Gullit and Pol van Himst chose the bike to connect sustainability and health with this mega-venue. And they want to use the bike as main transport in the towns to overcome the road and public transport cappacity problems. In Holland and Belgium, they said, people just come to the stadium by bike, which is the most easy and convenient way to go there. So why not the rest of the world? Not only by looking at healthy sport, but also by moving your own body healthily.
Every visitor can experience the pleasure of biking in the host cities, so the bidbook begins. Large facilities for hiring bikes will be available on all the stations of the ‘mainframe’, at the main railway stations, at the World Cup stadiums, at park and ride facilities and in the inner cities of all the host cities. The scheme will offer officials, people from the press, personnel and supporters the opportunity to rent a bicycle using their World Cup 2018 mobility card. People can return their bicycle at different locations. Keeping inner cities and main routes to the stadium free from cars also provides the inexperienced cyclists from abroad with a safe environment to experiment with riding a bicycle.
The use will be safe and easy for every host city will provide a network of high quality bike lanes between the stations of the ‘mainframe’, the historic cities, the stadiums and the park and ride facilities. This makes ‘park & bike’ an attractive alternative for parking in the direct surroundings of the stadium. By offering fun bikes in all kinds of forms we show that biking is not only sustainable but also about having fun and living healthy.
During the world cup the inner cities of the host cities will be free from cars during match days. People that come by car can switch to other modes of transport at designated park &ride-facilities on strategic locations where highways and high-quality public transport meet. During the match-days a zone around the inner city and the stadium will be exclusively for clean cars and busses. On the edges of this zone Park & Ride facilities as well as Park & Bike facilities will be offered. Within this zone walking and cycling will be dominant. Also at the stations of the mainframe bikes-for-rent will be offered. Within the zone corridors with high-quality biking facilities ensures a safe and pleasant journey. A limited access will be provided for parking around the stadiums.
In host cities where the stadium is located in the urban periphery dedicated bicycle highways will be constructed or provided using existing infrastructure to give cyclist the opportunity to travel fast and safe from the inner city to and from the stadiums. The bicycle routes give priority to the bicycle at crossings or provide for multi-level crossings. Building these bicycle highways fits within the existing transport policies of the Netherlands/Belgium. The aim of these highways is to increase the number of trips by bicycle over longer distances. In both countries currently six of such bicycle highways exist and many plans for more are under construction. The World cup is an extra incentive to speed up those plans.