Thursday, 7 February 2013

European climate change "success story": EU taxpayers finance 10 electric bicycles at a cost of €315,000

The tentacles of the green lobby have reached all levels of the EU bureaucracy. The WWF sponsored "Well Spent" site, quoted by the European Commission, highlights EU "success stories" (presumably achieved as a result of WWF lobbying). 

Here is one of the "success stories" - a project, that provided ten electric bicycles for the inhabitants of the city of Agueda in Portugal. The cost for European taxpayers: €315,000


The city of Agueda (50,000 inhabitants) in north west Portugal has pledged to reduce its CO2 emissions by one third by 2020. One strand of its transport policy is the creation of a new public electric bicycle scheme, named operation "Center", which allows citizens to reduce their carbon footprint and access new parts of the city.
The scheme's overall aim was to encourage more citizens to see cycling in general – and not just the new bikes – as a viable transport alternative. This builds into the overall emissions reduction plan of Agueda that seeks to support a shift of mentality in how citizens view the environment, energy and transport.
Between July 2010 and February 2011, a pilot project introduced ten electric bikes, each of which had a WiMAX tracking system that allows the scheme's administrator to track their use. After the first six months of the trial, 13,000 km were covered by the bicycles, saving the equivalent of two tonnes of carbon emissions. There has also been a reduction in car use and noise pollution, as well as cleaner air. Following the success of the pilot phase, it was decided to expand the project throughout 2012 and increase the number of bicycles available, using the data collected to sensibly distribute the bike stations.
As the bikes become an established feature of the city of Agueda and more and more appear on the streets they will further increase in popularity and the benefits are likely to increase exponentially. This project shows how small savvy investments in transport can change attitudes, lead to better transport choices and yield large environmental returns.

 €315,000 is not a huge sum of money, but at a time of austerity and recession in the Europan Union, it is highly questionable that European taxpayers' money is wasted on this kind of meaningless activities. 

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