Euros for EuroVelo

Continental bike route receives EU cash to promote cycle tourism

A meeting of the EU Committee for Transport and Tourism has earmarked €300,000 to support EuroVelo, which aims to coordinate the creation and operation of a European cycle route network.

Particular targets for investment were the Iron Curtain trail and trans-border combined train and bike offers.

The Iron Curtain trail is intended to be a 6,800km stretch of tourist trail that stretches from the ArcticSea to the Black Sea. A brochure with maps in German and English should be ready during 2009 and it's hoped that eventually the trail will be marked by a single type of sign, with information boards along the way.

German MEP Michael Kramer is a driving force behind the trail’s creation – he’s both ridden and set the route of the German section – and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is also backing the project.

Kramer is also associated with the Berlin Wall bike trail, a 160km trail along the wall that previously encircled West Berlin, and has published a book of maps and descriptions about the riding near the historic monument.

EuroVelo is a project of the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF). The project is sponsored by the ACCELL group which makes European brands such as Batavus, Koga, Sparta, Hercules and Winora. The first route to open officially is the French section of EuroVelo Route Six, which – when complete – will connect the Atlantic to the Black Sea.     

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