The first of 100 new sustainable cycle benches placed

In Zuid-Holland, 100 new sustainable cycle benches are being placed on locations chosen by the cyclists themselves. The benches are made of plastic waste, using a 3D printer. On Monday 1 October, Regional Minister Floor Vermeulen, Marga de Jager (ANWB Executive) and Douwtje de Vries (Head of the Cyclist Association (Fietsersbond)) unveiled the first bench in Wassenaar, together with the cyclist who had indicated this location.

Recent ANWB research shows that cyclists are quite satisfied with their bike tour in Zuid-Holland (they score it a 7.7 on average), but that there is a particular need of additional resting places. Regional Minister Vermeulen: “We want Zuid-Holland to be the best accessible province, also by bicycle. This means that we must ensure that cycling is as attractive as possible. That is why we took this signal seriously and have made 100 benches available." The province is the road authority of about 600 kilometres of bike paths along the N-roads; most of the new benches will be placed along these routes.

Chosen by the cyclists themselves

Where the benches are to be placed exactly, has been determined by the cyclists themselves. With the campaign #evenzitten (sit down for a moment) they were called upon to report their favourite location via a practical site. In 2 months’ time, more than 250 unique locations were reported, with often beautiful motivations. Benches are now being placed on the 100 most beautiful ones. The placement will take a spread across the entire province into account, as well as the available space on the side of the road, security and, for example, the road authority.

The first bench, which was festively revealed on Monday, 1 October by Regional Minister Floor Vermeulen, Marga de Jager (ANWB Executive), Douwtje de Vries (Fietsersbond) and the cyclist who had indicated this location, stands along the Papeweg in Wassenaar. The website includes a map showing where the benches will be placed during the coming period. In any case, all benches will be placed before the start of the cycling season of 2019.

Sustainable benches

The benches are not the standard benches you would find along most cycle paths, but are specially developed by the company 10XL, a start-up participating in the provincial programme Start-up in Residence. This programme challenges young businesses to come up with refreshing and innovative ideas for the challenges that the region faces. With a 3D printer, they make the 100 benches from plastic waste such as bottle caps.