On the initiative of the regional authorities of Centre and Pays de la Loire and of partner local authorities, a route named “Loire à vélo” (the Loire by bike) will link the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of Burgundy. The Mission Val de Loire is supporting this project to develop the UNESCO listed Loire Valley world heritage site
The 500 mile cycle path, 350 miles of which is in the Centre region and 150 miles in the Pays de la Loire, is available, so that residents of the Loire region and tourists can explore the Loire Valley. The route will be made up of cycle tracks and roads that are relatively traffic free. Special signs will be set up to help users discover the heritage of the Loire area.
This project aims to improve cycling amenities in the area, by increasing the availability of bikes for hire, organising cycle transport and repair, strengthening partnerships within the tourist industry and promoting and improving advertising for the network of hirers. This initiative is built around measures to protect and develop the Loire Valley:
- Manage cycle routes in vulnerable areas of the heritage site.
- Define, equip and sign rest areas on the “La Loire à vélo” cycle route.
- Develop a structure for the amenity and train professionals in:
- Accommodation and catering
- User services: cycle hire, baggage transport, cycle repairs
- Leisure facilities: ticket distribution in tourist areas, events organisation
The “Loire à vélo” scheme is part of a large scale European cycle route project: EuroVéloRoute. The scheme will link France to routes that already exist in Germany, Austria and Hungary. In order to set up this large scale European project, the regions of Centre and Pays de la Loire are co-operating with the regions of Alsace, Burgundy and Franche-Comté, the councils of Haut-Rhin, Côte d’Or, Sâone-et-Loire, Territoire de Belfort, Jura and Doubs, two European partners (Badenwürttenberg region and the Swiss organisation, Véloland), the Etablissement public Loire (a public body which oversees management of the Loire and its tributaries) and the Mission Val de Loire.
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