Multi-actor governance focuses on participation and stakeholder management. Which actors, outside the government are consulted and involved at the different stages of the project. Three broad groups of stakeholders can be distinguished besides government agencies and the end users, depending on their interests and potential role in the project. These three groups are advocates, strategic partners and resource owners.
Advocates are actors that share similar ideas and beliefs. They can act as important advocates for cycling routes. The most prominent example of such actors in most of the regions are (local) representatives of cyclists’ unions. They often support the construction of cycle highways, although local members of these organizations might sometimes oppose them.
Strategic partners are actors who do not share the same ideas or beliefs, but nevertheless might have an interest in the construction of cycle highways. The question is how these actors might be convinced of the value and benefits that cycle highways might hold for them. In this respect, many regions try to involve major employers and education institutes, both during and after the construction of cycle highways.
Resource owners are actors with different values and interests but are important for the success of the project because they have control over important resources, such as financial resources, land ownership or legal resources. Cycle highways cannot always be planned along existing infrastructure, and this means that land needs to be acquired from private actors. In addition, because cycle highways are often planned next to important infrastructure networks (railway, canals, roads), one often needs cooperation from the managing agencies of these networks. Note that such stakeholders can also be a strategic partner. Advocate organisations frustrating the process through legal actions are resource owners. Finally, the same applies for people living in the neighbourhoods along the cycle highway because they can also delay the process by taking legal actions.