Cyprus has one of the highest uses of private vehicles in the world and ranks the lowest in the use of public transport, bicycles and walking in the European Union. Subsequently, transport is responsible for 50% of energy consumption on the island.
Although much progress has been marked in public transport services over the last five years in Nicosia, only 2% of the city’s population uses buses for its transportation needs.
Some municipalities have constructed bicycle paths, but the lack of a common bicycle network to connect all the municipalities has worked against promoting the use of bicycles among the population.
Although the Comprehensive Nicosia Mobility Plan was developed in 2010, the division of the island’s capital in 1974 has made the creation of a common strategic public transport plan to join the northern and southern parts of the city impossible.
In December 2016, a workshop organised by the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Cyprus, a partnership between the Cyprus University of Technology, the Cyprus Energy Agency and Chrysalis LEAP sought to find ways of introducing a sustainable transport and mobility system in the wider region of a unified Nicosia by 2030.
With representatives from ministries, universities, NGOs, businesses, local councils and members of the public, the workshop submitted 10 proposals in order for the 2030 target to be met:
- The development of the common aim and strategy for sustainable transport amongst all the interested stakeholders in both communities.
- Develop an information and awareness campaign amongst the population, schools, and businesses with regards to sustainable and smart transport solutions.
- The development of a strategic plan for smart mobility for the centre of the city
- The development and implementation of multimodal transit areas
- The development of a plan to anticipate public movement in order to create the necessary roads, public amenities, parks and bus stops
- Encourage the research into innovative and alternate vehicle usage
- Redrawing the road network, widening pavements and the creation of public transport infrastructure
- Encourage local councils to implement action plans in the fields of viable energy and climate
- Adopting a policy to assimilate renewable energy sources into the transport system
- Availability of funding for supporting and attracting investment into viable transportation