On your bike - around Andalucia! Plan Bici 2020

logo_bici This week, the Junta de Andalucia (Andalucian Government) announced the "Plan Andaluz de la Bicicleta". This ambitious but admirable project aims to complete a network of over 5,000km of cycle lanes and routes throughout the region, in cities and countryside. The investment is 420 million euros, with benefits including job creation - not just in the construction of the cycle network, but, in rural areas, long-term employment at cafes and hotels along the routes. It is estimated that 15,000 positions will be created. Not to mention the advantages for the environment - less traffic on the roads, less pollution, and of course a healthier, fitter population. Many of the routes link towns just outside cities, in suburban areas, or in the case of Seville, the Aljarafe area to the west, with the nearby provincial capital where many residents in the surrounding area commute to work during the week. Instead of driving a car, why not ride a bike? Plus for tourists, an ever-great number of whom are looking for activities as part of their holiday experience, there is the opportunity to explore more of Andalucia's stunning and varied countryside. Tracks include easy, low-gradient paths, as well as steeper, more challenging routes. So families can take a relaxed ride, while those after something more spectacular and gruelling will find the path they want. The date given as the target to complete this network is 2020. I think the Junta has realised what a massive untapped resource tourism is for the region, that it will take time, money and planning to reach its full potential, and this seems a good starting point. Yes, Andalucia is already extremely popular with tourists - 22.5 million visited in 2013 - but it could be considerably more visitor-friendly. You can see all the details, including plans for all eight provincial capitals and their surrounding areas plus the Campo de Gibraltar here.
Blog published on 24 January 2014