Wageningen University students compile report on cycling in Malta

In November 2017, BAG was approached by Karen Fortuin and Michiel Lamers from the Environmental Systems Analysts Group at Wageningen University near Arnhem in the Netherlands. BAG was asked to commission a study on sustainable mobility in Malta by a group of Masters students for Wageningen’s European Workshop in Environmental Science and Management, the aim being to carry out an analysis of bottlenecks to cycling in Malta and how to improve the current situation.

Together we identified some key issues and in June, 30 students arrived in Malta to study them across five different localities (Valletta, Sliema, Mosta, Luqa, and the University of Malta) using a variety of methods including literature reviews, expert interviews, street interviews, observations, and questionnaires. Towards the end of their two-week stay BAG organised a bicycle ride from St Julians to Valletta for all the students.

Despite the lack of cycling facilities and direct exposure to heavy motor traffic, students found that, with guidance, they were in fact able to manage, and greatly appreciated the opportunity to obtain first-hand experience of cycling in Malta in contrast to the excellent cycling conditions in their home country. The ride was followed by a presentation of initial results and a well-organised discussion session.

The final report was delivered mid-July. One of the main conclusions was that to tackle the bottlenecks to cycling effectively a well-integrated approach between different entities is necessary in contrast to separate piecemeal initiatives that we see so often. The full report, which includes a great deal of useful data, can be downloaded here.

The students also produced a short video of their experience.

BAG thanks all those involved with this project for their efforts. It was a great opportunity for international collaboration to further the cause of cycling in Malta. We will be studying the results in detail and hope to follow this work up with future activities with University of Wageningen and others.

Bicycle Advocacy Group