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18. March 2013

“Trains and bikes are natural partners”

Cycling association ADFC joins Pro-Rail Alliance

Berlin. March 18. The Pro-Rail Alliance has a new member: from today, the German cycling association ADFC will help strengthen the political transport alliance, in which civil society organisations  – environmental and consumer groups, automobile clubs and trade unions – work together to promote modern, environmentally friendly rail transport. “Our alliance is aligned to broadly represent multiple modes of transport. For us, trains and bikes are natural partners,” said Dirk Flege, managing director of the German Pro-Rail Alliance, on Monday in Berlin. “In urban areas, bicycles are becoming ever more important as a mode of transport, and cycling-based tourism is booming,” said Flege. It is no coincidence that the longest cycling tours take their orientation from railway lines. “Dedicated cyclists need the railways. No coach service and no car can compete with the combination of train and bicycle. This is why the ADFC belongs to the Pro-Rail Alliance,” added Flege.

“Action needs to be taken by policy makers at the point where cyclists and the railways intersect,” said the ADFC’s national managing director Burkhard Stork, with reference to the lack of facilities for cyclists at many train stations. “Even stations that have been modified to provide barrier-free access often have lifts that are too small for bikes, and many stations lack bicycle parking facilities,” said Stork. “As a member of the Pro-Rail Alliance we want to make sure that the railway sector and the public authorities start to look more carefully at the places where these two modes of transport interact,” said the ADFC managing director. “For the ADFC, the Pro-Rail Alliance is therefore an important point of contact to the railways and policy makers.”

The ADFC has become the 19th member of the the Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene). Current members that make up the not-for-profit section of the alliance are: the environmental organisations BUND, NABU, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and NaturFreunde Deutschlands; the consumer groups Pro Bahn, DBV and VCD; the automobile clubs ACE and ACV; the two rail unions EVG and GDL; the German Conference of Christian Railway Missions; the rail organisations BDEF, BF Bahnen, VBB and VDEI; and the Technical University Wildau. Financial support for the alliance, which is aligned to broadly represent multiple modes of transport, is provided by well over 100 companies operating in the rail sector, including Deutsche Bahn, Veolia, Keolis, Bombardier and Siemens.