The Municipality of Groningen has banned mopeds from bike paths, especially in city parks, nature reserves and recreational areas. The ban extends to all low-speed bikes that are propelled by gasoline-powered engines. Such vehicles reportedly emit more carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter than passenger cars and buses, and thus present a hazard to regular bikers and the environment.
Since 1974, the light moped – or snorfiets, as the Dutch call them – was legalized in the Netherlands and allowed to share cycling lanes with bicycles. These vehicles are mechanically controlled to not exceed 25km/h and required to display a blue license plate. However, the onslaught of motor-assisted cyclists generated a surge of traffic not only on the streets, but also on park trails where, often, motorized vehicles have been considered off-limits. With both cycling and moped use on the rise, safety concerns were raised and cyclists began protesting against snorfiets use of bike lanes.
The new ordinance bans gasoline-powered bikes from over a hundred city cycling lanes and various recreational zones. It does not affect electric mopeds. Those found in violation of the regulation could face a fine of up to €100. A cycle-only lane is marked by the blue rectangular sign ‘Fietspad’.
The new order came into effect on November 1, 2022. See this map for details on the changes and closure locations.