Britain once had a strong cycling culture. It faded. People voted with their wallets and their feet and swapped two wheels for four. The Netherlands, famously, was able to reduce the monochrome encroachment of car culture by also building for people on bicycles. It helped that the Netherlands was already the top cycling nation in the world by 1911 – the Dutch simply never lost their love for the bicycle.
The installation of the exemplary infrastructure from the mid-1970s onwards was enabled thanks to this national identification with a form of transportation that, for the Dutch, has always been egalitarian and normal but became maligned – and ignored – in much of the rest of the world.
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