New cycle path will utilise heat from local paper factory and help connect cities of Wageningen and Arnhem
The Dutch cities of Wageningen and Arnhem are set to be partially connected by the longest heated cycle path in Western Europe, keeping cycling accessible for 12 months of the year.
The 1.7km path will stretch between the two cities and be kept free of snow and ice all year round thanks to heat directed from the local industrial plant that produces paper.
The Parenco paper mill is one of the biggest employers in the Arnhem area and sits across the Nederrijn river.
Reported by The Guardian, the new cycle lane will remain clear all year and cut travel time between the two destinations while also taking riders through the scenic Jufferswaard nature reserve in the east of the Netherlands.
Local grievances have been raised concerning the heated path affecting wildlife, particularly frogs. Concerns are that the frogs will seek out the warm tarmac putting them in the path of the passing bikes.
The local council has promised that it will closely monitor local wildlife and whether it is impacted by this new path, persevering with these plans which are set to be completed by the Winter of 2019.
Heated cycle paths are becoming widely used in the Netherlands, a country in which commuting by bike is almost the standard method.
The city of Wageningen already has a heated cycle path that keeps 50 metres of tarmac snow and ice free for the entire year.