The Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG), a Maltese NGO dedicated to bicycle commuting, has called presented its proposals for Budget 2018, including incentivising commercial entities to make deliveries using bicycles.
BAG’s main aim is to reduce traffic concerns and increase bicycle commuting.
The group said commercial entities should be encouraged to make deliveries by pedelecs (electric bicycles) or cargo-bikes by means of fiscal incentives. They also stressed the importance of the adoption of an aggressive fiscal policy, with grants given to other electric vehicles.
BAG’s demands include a ring fence, accounting for 20 per cent of the transport budget, in line with WHO and ECF guidelines to prepare the ground for mass transit projects that will require walking infrastructure.
They maintained that cycling infrastructures effectively triple the reach of mass transit systems, and insisted that the removal of VAT on bicycle rentals would place cycling on the same level as other public transportation.
The group also encouraged the need for bicycle friendly schemes such as shower and secure racking facilities, as well as the implementation of tax incentives for commuters to cycle to work, as is seen in other EU states.
“The restrictive legislation continues to depress sales and utilization, a trend that urgently needs to be reversed”, the group said.
“With the current spend on road tweaking encouraging car use, these measures are now non-negotiables.”