Bicycle highways in the Netherlands – BESV

Bicycle highways in the Netherlands

In no other country is there so much cycling as in the Netherlands. Together, we make around 5 billion trips every year, covering more than 15 billion kilometres. That’s from here to Pluto, and back! This is a good thing, because by cycling a lot we stay healthy and reduce our impact on the environment.  It is therefore logical that our government is investing heavily in the bike path network. In recent years, a large number of cycling highways have been constructed and in the coming years, hundreds of kilometres of cycling highways will be added. At BESV we are very much in favour of this development. That’s why we like to tell you more about them and where you can find them.

What is a bicycle highway?

Bicycle highways (also called express cycle routes or express bike paths) are specially constructed, high-quality cycle connections between living and working locations. They are often long paths with bridges and tunnels, specially intended for cyclists (and therefore forbidden for cars and motorbikes). They are usually located in and between urban areas. Of course, there have always been bike paths there, but thanks to a solid qualitative upgrade and the construction of new routes, the new bike paths are now of extra high quality. They are wider than normal bike paths and have a nice smooth and optimally maintained surface. In addition, you will hardly encounter cars, because there are hardly any intersections and on the ones that there are, you as a cyclist almost always have the right of way.

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Express cycle paths are everywhere (and there are more and more)

Since 2006, express cycle paths have been constructed everywhere in the Netherlands. All these projects are the result of close cooperation between the State, the provinces and the municipalities. And it is going faster and faster. In 2018, there were approximately 500 km of express cycle paths in the Netherlands. By 2021, this number will have doubled, and if all goes according to plan, there will be over 1,600 km of fast cycling paths within a few years. Meanwhile, every province has at least one express cycle route.

The best cycle highways in the Netherlands

Are you curious whether there is a bicycle highway in your neighbourhood? Especially for you, we have put together the best and most popular cycle superhighways.

Haarlem – Amsterdam

The express bike route between Haarlem and Amsterdam-West is a great solution for the many inhabitants of Haarlem who work in Amsterdam Sloterdijk or the districts Geuzenveld/Slotermeer, Westpoort and Bos en Lommer. The 15 km long route starts in the centre of Haarlem and consists of three subsections that make commuting by bike very pleasant.

F59 Den Bosch - Oss

This F59 between Den Bosch and Oss is with 20,5 km one of the longest express cycle routes of our country. It is a beautiful route with nice wide asphalt. The F59 consists of several parts, sometimes you have to share the road with cars. A small minus, but otherwise a beautiful path!

The Velostrada Leiden - The Hague

The Velostrada is one of the first real express cycle routes in our country, and certainly one of the most beautiful. The countless commuters between Leiden and The Hague Mariahoeve can enjoy a 9.5 km stretch right through the beautiful Dutch countryside, full of water and meadows filled with grazing cows. The Velostrada runs parallel to the railway line, so in case of stormy weather you immediately have an alternative.

F35 cycle highway Hengelo – Enschede

The F35 is widely regarded as one of the best cycling highways in the Netherlands. It was specifically developed as an alternative to the A35 motorway and largely runs parallel to it. The stretch between Hengelo and Enschede is 7.1 km long and most used. However, this trajectory is only a part of the 62 km long bicycle connection between Nijverdal and the German border, which is still under development.

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