Russ reports from Hanover

Hanover : cycle and walking spaces

This story is part of our youReport series.

With Germany 5th in the ECF’s Bike Barometer, Hanover (German: Hannover) ranks in 6th place of the German cities of a population > 200,000 – according to ADFC (German CTC) Fahrradklimatest. They seem to be doing well.

Russ starts by putting things into some context: Hanover is the capital of Lower Saxony – roughly 1/2 a million live, work and play there. We got off at Central Station onto an huge open space where people on foot, people on bikes and trams mingle quite successfully and without stress and hassle. These Europeans, eh? You enter into the shopping zone and turning right onto Georgstraße where there is a loosely defined cycle space. Pedestrianisation is extensive by UK standards. The space works quite well.

Hanover (Hannover)
Photo 1 – Georgstraße cycle space in shopping area designated with light surface markings

Hanover (Hannover)
Photo 2 – Georgstraße cycle space in shopping area – shown here winding around a statue of someone (the poet type, Schiller possibly)

Hanover (Hannover)
Photo 3 – Georgstraße reaching a ramp up to a signalled crossing

The route continues along a bicycle street (Fahrradstraße) where bicycles have priority (not cars). Again, surprising concept – but it works well. It’s cut off for cars as a through route which might help in that respect. Here is a photo from the far end.

Hanover (Hannover)
Photo 4 – Bicycle street – Lange Laube

The journey then pleasantly continues across the road (signalised again).

Hanover (Hannover)
Photo 5 – Walking and cycling space next to each other – but clearly designated.

Altogether I’d conclude this: Hanover is a rather fine city for cycling. Main streets / roads have bicycle specific space and at crossings bike folks are catered for with traffic lights and clearly marked routes. Drivers stop and check when turning off main roads (onto side streets) which is something to get used to at first.

Fiendishly clever these Germans, you can even get innertubes out of vending machines …

Inner tube vending machine