The municipality of Budapest has earmarked an additional 800 million forints (EUR 2.4m) in its budget for the development of cycle paths, Mayor István Tarlós said on Monday.
The state will provide matching funds of 800 million forints, Tarlós told a press conference. With a total of 1.6 billion forints, the first phase of the development of the European cycling route network Eurovelo will be implemented, he said.
Over the past ten years, Budapest’s leaders have invested far more money in cycling paths than previous municipal leaders, Tarlós said.
The MOL BuBi bike-sharing scheme and the cycling path network have been expanded, and funding has been provided to promote the cycle to work scheme, he said.
Mariusz Révész, government commissioner for an active Hungary, said promoting cycling would benefit car drivers as it reduces congestion.
Csaba Horváth, a Budapest assembly lawmaker for the opposition Socialists, said Tarlós and Révész had “kept secret” that 85 percent of the funding is European Union money. With the European parliamentary elections around the corner, this is something Budapest residents should know, he added.
Horváth said the cost per kilometre of 120-150 million forints was extremely high.
The construction of cycling paths should not require substantial spending on associated projects, he argued.
As we wrote a week ago, ten thousand cyclists took part in I Bike Budapest which was organised to emphasise the fact that bicycle roads and zones in Hungary need urgent change, and new ones need to be built by 2024. Despite the rain, many people rode their bicycles across the capital. Photos, video and more details HERE.