National Cycling Plan (NCP) 3.0

© Fraunhofer ISI

In its National Cycling Plan (NCP) 3.0, the German government sets the strategy of the federal, state and local governments for promoting cycling in the period 2021 to 2030 and defines concrete goals that should be reached by then. The NCP 3.0 was officially presented at the National Cycling Congress 2021 in Hamburg by the Federal Minister of Transport, Dr. Andreas Scheuer, on April 24, 2021.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), and coordinated by ifok GmbH, Fraunhofer ISI and the PTV Group provided specialist and scientific support for the work on the NCP 3.0. In a dialogue forum, approaches were developed for the future promotion of cycling in Germany, which were integrated into the National Cycling Plan and are intended to turn Germany into a cycling nation by 2030.


The scientific support for the National Cycling Plan 2030 has three main objectives:

  • Compile inputs, prepare and process the meetings of the dialogue forum for the NCP 3.0
  • Define measurable objective and subjective goals for a successful cycling policy up to 2030
  • Collect and evaluate the varied impacts of cycling on people, cities, businesses, the national economy, and the environment.

These objectives of the scientific accompanying research result in the National Cycling Plan of the BMVI on the one hand, and in an accompanying impact study on the other.


To determine the measurable goals of the NCP 3.0, Fraunhofer ISI first carried out an online survey among the members of the dialogue forum. This led to overarching goals across all the topics as well as specific goals for the plan's individual pillars. These were specified and supplemented during the course of the dialogue forum using evaluations of existing strategies and the scientific literature.

Preparing and following up the nine meetings of the dialogue forum followed the guiding objectives of the NCP 3.0 identified in the introductory stakeholder participation. Based on literature reviews, input papers were produced for discussion in the dialogue meetings. The results of the discussions and suggestions of the dialogue forum members led to coordinated papers, which were published on the Zukunft Radverkehr platform (future of cycling, only available in German). Fraunhofer ISI was responsible for three of the eight topics:

The impacts of cycling were assessed based on five addressees and 22 theses. The addressees describe those who stand to benefit from the positive impacts of more cycling: People, businesses, cities, the environment, and the national economy. In addition, the possible effects of policy on more cycling were highlighted. The impact study of the NCP 3.0 takes a neutral view of the effects of cycling by reviewing positive as well as possible negative impacts and the prevailing data.

More, better and safer cycling are the key objectives of the NCP 3.0. In concrete terms, this means doubling the number of kilometers traveled by bike in 2030 compared to 2017 through more frequent and longer distance trips made by bike, a positive attitude of the majority of people towards cycling, and 40 percent fewer deaths and serious injuries to cyclists. In addition, the NCP 3.0 contains concrete funding targets of 30 euros per person and year, quality standards for cycling networks and their integration into the environmental alliance, and making it easier for towns and cities to test and implement cycling measures.

This broad-based and open dialogue process, the formulation of concrete and measurable goals and the clear designation of tasks and responsibilities to achieve them distinguish the NCP 3.0 from its predecessors. We already have a very good idea about the concepts and measures needed for good cycling, the NCP 3.0 now has the task to implement them quickly on a wide scale.   

The dialogue forum for the NCP 3.0 identified the following principles for actively promoting cycling: First, a political and societal paradigm shift is needed if the kilometers traveled by bike in Germany are to more than double by 2030 compared to 2017. This includes rethinking transport policy and planning in a novel and integrated way across individual disciplines in order to cement the sustainable mobility trend triggered by the corona pandemic. Seamless and safe cycling through optimized cycling infrastructure plays a major role in this regard, for instance, through more fast cycle links and safe transport hubs as well as easily accessible and high quality facilities for parking bikes at central locations.

The main impacts of cycling are shown in better health due to increased physical activity and the effects this has on cyclists, employers and the healthcare system, in the efficiency of land use for roads, in retail as well as tourism and the local job market, especially in structurally weaker regions. Other impacts concern the personal costs and time benefits of mobility, municipal finances, property values, climate and environmental protection and the contribution the bike industry makes to economic growth and jobs in Germany.

The National Cycling Plan 3.0 is funded as part of the German government's Mobility and Fuels Strategy (MFS II). The accompanying scientific and organizational support is coordinated by ifok GmbH (Berlin) with specialist support provided by Fraunhofer ISI and the PTV Group.


01.08.2019 - 31.05.2021


  • German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)

Project coordinator

  • ifok GmbH


  • Fraunhofer ISI
  • PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG