Compulsory scheme to cut theft would use motor vehicle-style ownership certificate
Kim WillsherLast modified on Thu 18 Oct 2018 19.40 BST
French cyclists would have to register their bikes on a national database under a proposed law aimed at increasing cycle use and reducing thefts.
Bike owners would be given a “certificate of ownership” similar to car documents to be either presented to the police if the bicycle is stolen or transferred with the bike when it is sold.
Each cycle frame would be marked “in a readable, indelible, permanent and unforgeable way in a clearly visible place”, the draft text says. The registration number will be in a form that can be verified by an optical reader.
The proposal is part of a 25-point, €350m (£308m) “Plan Vélo” to be unveiled by the government before the end of the year. It is expected to come into effect in 2020 and is aimed at tripling the number of short journeys made by bicycle by 2024.
As well as creating larger networks of cycle lanes, the plan includes safety measures and a programme to teach children to ride at primary school.
The government is also considering improving financial incentives for those who chose to cycle to work, similar to those given to employees to subsidise their use of public transport, of up to €400 a year.
The plan, to be financed over seven years, is intended to increase the proportion of people in France commuting by bike from 3% to 9%.
France’s national rail company SNCF has been asked to create secure bike parks at stations.
A study by Insee, the national statistics agency, in 2015 suggested fewer than 2% of workers cycle to work. Just over 70% used a car, 13% public transport and 4.5% walked. Even if the distance was less than 1km, 58% chose to drive.
In the UK, 686,000 bicycles are reportedly stolen each year from an estimated pool of 22m.