On the occasion of International Bicycle Day on June 3rd, the city of Saint-Omer with Mayor François Decoster inaugurated its contribution in the form of a new bicycle lane to the EuroVelo 5 route, the “Via Romea Francigena”, aiming to link by bike Canterbury in the UK to Rome, Italy, a 3.200 kilometre route co-funded by the European Union.
“This new route is an excellent illustration of today’s European construction” argues Mayor Decoster, linking people using alternative and a green mobility on a route that passes through 7 different countries, linking modern and ancient institutions such as cathedrals, and throwing in along the ride some major EU hotspots like the EU institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. The project mixes history, mobility and European construction all in one scenic route.
This isn’t the first step that Mayor Decoster and his city took for a better, greener mobility. Saint-Omer didn’t wait for a national programme to encourage people to make more use of bicycles for their transportation; it implemented their own policies, such as allowing cyclists to ride in both directions in all the streets of the historic downtown, foresaw secured parking for bikes, and limited the speed of vehicles to 30 kilometres per hour. The city of Saint-Omer also offers financial aid to citizens to buy a bicycle and equipment for safety; if you are a person with reduced mobility you could get a subsidy of up to 600€ when buying a tailored bicycle.