BCyC Dutch Study Tour 2016 – 7-9th June

Study tour cancelled. Get in touch to be on the mailing list for future

Would you like to see what Space for Cycling looks like?

Since 2006, many hundreds of transport planners, campaigners, cycling co-ordinators, politicians and interested individuals have learnt about cycling and infrastructure for cycling in the Netherlands on cycling Study Tours organised by David Hembrow.

BCyC organised our first tour in 2014, and now we’re going back. This is for anyone interested in learning what works from those who’ve already made most of the mistakes! It is particularly recommended for those wanting to refresh their energy and interest in how a focus on cycling as a mass transit system delivers benefits for everyone.

What do you get from it?

The tour is based in Assen with some of the best cycling provision in the Netherlands.  The final day is a visit to see how Groningen, a city very alike to Bristol, went from car choked in the 1970s to the cycling capital of the world.

In the late 1970s Groningen was much like Bristol is now, with cars ruling the road and cyclists condemned to the gutter.

Experience the bad as well as the good infrastructure, including ‘the most dangerous junction in the Netherlands for all users’. The Netherlands isn’t perfect, so learn from their mistakes — Bristol continues to repeat them!

Who is it for?

The short answer is, anyone with an interest in how Bristol could become more people friendly. It’s not just about cycling, nor is it just for those with a technical or professional interest. On our last tour there were a couple of cycle campaigners, a council cycling officer, someone with a particular interest in travel to school – and someone who just came along for the ride and didn’t expect to be quite as interested as they were!  We can promise you that everyone will get something, and most will get a lot!

The tour

David Hembrow says “Our tour really is a tour. A short presentation explains some aspects of what we look at and offers a chance to present questions in a more formal setting. However, because

presentations, videos, photographs and looking at Google Streetview can only only give a vague and sometimes misleading impression, most of our time is spent on bicycles. This “hands on” approach means that you get to experience for yourself what it is that makes the Netherlands a far more attractive place to cycle than other countries.”

The location

Assen is the capital of the “Cycling Province” of the Netherlands, Drenthe. Though this city does not have a university to boost cycling numbers, more journeys are made by bicycle here than by any other single mode of transport: 41% of the total. A few kilometres further North in Groningen it is claimed that nearly 60% of all journeys are made by bicycle in the centre of the city.

We spend time in both Assen and Groningen and demonstrate many different aspects of good cycling infrastructure as well as showing what does not work and why.


We will leave Bristol on Monday 6 June 2016, returning Friday 10 June.


The cost is £400 per person, with a special rate of £350 for BCyC members of one year’s standing or more. To secure your place just send a £50 deposit, with the balance to reach us by 31st May. As well as the tour the price includes accommodation for 4 nights (Mon-Thu), breakfasts, and bicycle hire. Travel costs to the Netherlands (see below), lunches and dinners are not included in the price.


  • Bank transfer is preferred. Send an email to [email protected] to confirm.
  • Account name: Bristol Cycling Campaign. Sort Code 08-92-99. Account No: 65690866
  • Reference “DST” plus your surname
  • Cheques to Bristol Cycling Campaign can be sent to Roll for the Soul, Quay St, Bristol BS1 2JL.


  • Train all the way: From £118 return London to Assen Link.  Travel via London St Pancras, Brussels, Amsterdam
  • Rail & Sail: From £158 return London to Assen Link
    Travel via London Liverpool Street, Harwich, Hook of Holland

  • Flying:  From £90 + £40 (train) return Bristol to Amsterdam incl 1 bag Link
    Travel via Schiphol then train to Assen Link

Background Info & Links

The five Dutch towns up for ‘Cycle City 2016’ showing differences in approach: Link

How the Dutch got their cycle paths: Link

A 5 minute summary of a 3 day tour: Link

All the information is in the attached briefing sheet