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Get to work on a bike - European governments work to put in place wider and more cycle paths

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Virus Outbreak France
Virus Outbreak France   -   Copyright  Christophe Ena/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Some people will be going back to work in France on Monday, and, as the lockdown restrictions start to ease, getting around could be healthier to travel on a bicycle, and a way of avoiding overcrowded public transport as well as catching and spreading coronavirus.

Paris

In Paris, people queued outside a secondhand bike shop in the 19th arrondissement for a new mode of transport. Prices ranged from 70 to 250 euros.

Sylvie Leger, a customer, said, "I had given up cycling a little bit, and I am anxious about (going on) public transport, and being on the metro, so yes I think I will get back on a bike."

It is being encouraged, as dozens of miles of new and temporary lanes will open in the capital city.

The French government asked cycling activist Pierre Serne to draw up a plan and based on his recommendations temporary lanes will open through the whole city from May 11.

Cars will be banned from the famous Rue de Rivoli, a long shopping street that stretches alongside the Louvre museum, and the Tuileries gardens and given way for cyclists instead.

It is hoped to keep the pollution and noise levels low too.

Italy

Before the lockdown in Rome, there were very few bike lanes but now there are 150 kilometres of them for commuters to use.

They will also remain after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A very small percentage of those who regularly travel to work in the Italian city, go on a bike, according to the Italian statistics institute, ISTAT, fewer than other European cities.

"Unfortunately Rome is a very ancient city and therefore it is impossible to have fully protected bike lanes,” said Alessandro Marchini, Rome resident and cyclist, “But this way, just with paint is already very important."

Barcelona

One of the many European cities to already have a good bike system is Barcelona.

Old lanes are being widened so that cyclists can keep their distance from others, and new ones are being created.