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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Euro MPs get on their bikes
Erik Meijer and Rene Roovers from the Netherlands, and Thomas Graeck from Germany
The MEPs are promoting bikes as healthy and green
Members of the European Parliament are well known for their lavish travel budgets - but a group of them have decided to break with convention and cycle to Monday's plenary session in Strasbourg.

Between 10 and 12 MEPs are taking part in the 430-kilometre ride from Brussels, in order to promote cycling as a healthy and green mode of transport.

The event is the first project of a new cycling group in the parliament - dominated, predictably, by Dutch politicians and Greens.

They are inviting enthusiasts to join them for the first and last legs of the six-day journey.

We hope that many of you will support cycling as one of the mode of transport for the 21st Century, which protects not only the environment but the health of its users as well
MEPs' statement
The group is calling for a Europe-wide network of cycle paths, funding for bicycle-friendly projects, and for international policies to recognise cycling issues.

Around 50 people, in total, were expected to take part in Wednesday's ride from Brussels to the southern Belgian city of Namur, including three MPs from EU candidate states.

"We hope that many of you will decide to participate in this event and support cycling as one of the mode of transport for the 21st Century, which protects not only the environment but the health of its users as well," says a statement on the parliamentary cycling group website.

"Sustainable transport is one of the keys to a sustainable energy system," Dutch Green MEP Theo Bouwman told the Associated Press.

"Good cycling policies can help us to achieve the goals set out in the Kyoto Protocol."




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