1.7km Wageningen to Arnhem link set to be kept snow-free by energy from local paper plant
Daniel BoffeyLast modified on Tue 10 Apr 2018 22.34 BST
The longest heated cycle path in western Europe, and possibly the world, is set to be built in a Dutch beauty spot to cut the commuting time between two of the country’s cities all year round.
The new 1.7km “cycle highway”, which forms part of the route linking Wageningen and Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands, will be kept warm by residual heat from a local paper plant.
Concerns have been raised that frogs might find the warm path a little too comfortable, putting them and cyclists in danger. But Gelderland council has promised to monitor the impact on the local wildlife, which includes many water birds and beavers.
Towns across the Netherlands have been investing in heating stretches of cycle paths, but nothing on the scale proposed in Gelderland has been constructed.
Cutting through the Jufferswaard, a nature reserve near the Nederrijn in Renkum, the two-way cycle path is also likely to be one of the most idyllic, and is due to be completed in time for the winter of 2019.
De Jufferswaard, a nature area of 31 hectares (77 acres), is located in the floodplain along the Nederrijn river, between the factory site of the paper mill Parenco, one of the area’s biggest employers, and the Rhine bridge at Heteren village, 7.5 miles (12km) south-west of Arnhem.