Behavioural change campaign encouraging the use of the cycle highway


Nijmegen (Netherlands)

Challenge area:

Mobility Infrastructure

Implementation period:


The Challenge

After 80 years, the Waal bridge near Nijmegen was in need of major maintenance. A lot of traffic disruption was expected during the works which would take 1.5 years to complete. Therefore, the SLIMspitsen scheme was started to maintain accessibility and mitigate the impact of the works whilst also seizing an opportunity to encourage behavioural change in peoples travel to work.

The idea was to incentivise people to:

  • Choose an alternative mode to the car (e.g. public transport, (electric) bicycle);
  • Work from home;
  • Travel outside rush hour; or
  • Take a different route.

In addition the aim was to achieve a structural / long-term change in behaviour among participants. The campaign targeted the following:

  • Motorists using the Waal crossings;
  • Motorists on the other main routes which would become more congested at the time of the work; and,
  • Citizens via broad communication.

Nijmegen aims to be a social, accessible, economically viable and sustainable city and this scheme helped support that vision.

The Solution

The following solutions were implemented:

  • achieving 600 rush hour avoidances per working day by rewarding desired mobility behaviour;
  • encouraging bicycle use using the RingRing app, with which one could earn credits per kilometre cycled;
  • encouraging the use of ebikes for commuting for longer distances;
  • encouraging working from home; and,
  • marketing & communication promotion.

Part of the initiative was to encourage use of the Cycle Superhighway, known as ‘RijnWaalpad’ in Dutch, which opened in 2015 and links Arnhem and Nijmegen via an uninterrupted 17km cycle route. This is a good way to commute as it improves health and well-being and reduces the use of the private car during rush hour.

Travelers were supported by a reward in the form of credits. This approach is more concerned with changing travel and driving behaviour through communication, marketing and information (soft measures) and by offering and encouraging the choice for other forms of mobility (hard measures). Giving (monetary) rewards is less prominent and the approach is aimed as much as possible at stimulating mobility alternatives such as cycling and public transport, working from home, traveling at a different time and via a different route.

The payment to service providers was made on the basis of results: a graduated scale linked to the percentage achieved of the result target. In addition, the service providers received a fixed amount per month for project management. For participants a maximum amount of 270