Bilbao wins EU Road Safety Award

19 April 2021

Eurocities member Bilbao’s ground-breaking move to limit speeds to 30km/h in its urban area has won the city the  EU Road Safety Award.

The announcement came at the European Sustainable Mobility Awards this afternoon, which saw German city Moenchengladbach winning the European Mobility Week Award for larger municipalities, while Lilienthal, in north-west Germany, took home the title for smaller municipalities.

The Greater Grenoble Area Mobility Authority, the transport body serving Eurocities member Grenoble-Alpes Metropole, also picked up the ninth Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP).

Winners were presented with their awards by Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility, Matthew Baldwin and European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean.

Commissioner Vălean said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to all finalists and winners. Your inspiring achievements really show how cities and towns across Europe can improve people’s wellbeing by shifting towards cleaner, greener and more sustainable travel options for all.”

The representatives of the winners along with European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean (left), Matthew Baldwin and moderator Katrina Sichel

Raising awareness for safer roads

Bilbao edged out other finalists Heraklion and Quart de Poblet with its scheme to reduce speeds on its streets that started in June 2018. The jury was impressed by the city’s communication and awareness-raising activities to promote road safety.

The Greater Grenoble Area Mobility Authority’s SUMP award won praise for its goal setting to make sustainable mobility accessible to all, prioritise active and shared travel options, and render city travel more interconnected.

The big winners of the ceremony, Moenchengladbach and Lilienthal, convinced the jury with their submissions falling under the 2020 theme of ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’.

Moenchengladbach organised several information and awareness-raising initiatives on sustainable mobility, including public participation meetings where residents could ask questions and voice their opinions during last year’s European Mobility Week from 16-22 September.

Poetry for sustainable mobility

The jury awarded the creative approach to promoting sustainable mobility, which included colouring competitions for children, poetry recitals and transforming car parking spaces into areas for people to relax or park their bicycles. The other finalists were Grenada, Spain, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Lilienthal was chosen over Bruck an der Leitha, Austria, and Nea Moudania, Greece, for its activities. The jury commended the strong support of local government to plan range of activities including walking and cycling tours, information sessions with senior citizens, a rubbish collection event, and an exhibition on the history of city transport. More than 2,000 residents took part in activities.

In total, more than 2,900 towns and cities across Europe registered for the European Mobility Week last year, making 2020 the initiative’s second most successful year to date.

The juries were composed of an independent panel of mobility and transport experts. The theme for the 2021 edition will be ‘Safe and Healthy with Sustainable Mobility’.

You can re-watch the ceremony here.