All posts by John

Bike Week

PLANNING AN EVENT ON BIKE TO WORK DAY

Bikeweek 2018 runs from 9th to 17th June with Wednesday 13th June nominated as BIKE TO WORK day.

Is your employer / company participating in BIKE TO WORK DAY. If not, print out our flyer (hyperlink) and bring it to your HR/Personnel Department. What do other companies do? Well, all sorts of things like

  • Free breakfasts for cyclists
  • Lottery for staff who cycle
  • Gift voucher for local bike shops
  • Gift voucher for restaurants
  • Cycling clothes

Why should businesses participate? Well if they are interested in congestion, staff productivity, climate change, sustainability and community health, they should – increased cycling has a positive effect on all of the above.

See also Poster

Motorists Urged to Give Cyclists the Space to Ride Safe

  • Minister, RSA and Gardaí seriously concerned about increase in cyclist fatalities as popularity of cycling increases dramatically in recent years
  • 6 cyclists have died in 2018 compared to 4 cyclists up to the same period last year
  • 2017 saw 50% increase in cyclist fatalities
  • Cyclists also advised to take steps to ensure their safety on the roads
  • 15 road deaths over May Bank Holiday crashes in past five years

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána today called on drivers to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on both urban and rural roads. This call comes following serious concerns over the number of cyclists killed on Irish roads this year.

To date in 2018, a total of 6 cyclists have died compared to 4 cyclist deaths up to the same period last year. This follows a 50% increase in cyclist fatalities in 2017. In response the RSA launched an awareness campaign in early March to educate drivers of the need to leave a safe distance when overtaking cyclists. The RSA recommends that drivers allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50km/hour and at least 1.5 metres when passing at speeds above 50km/hour.

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “As Minister for Transport, I am committed to introducing regulations to mandate safe overtaking distances when passing cyclists in order to reduce the number of cycling deaths on our roads. Whether cycling for leisure or to commute, cycling has many health and environmental benefits and we need to actively support people who choose to travel that way. But every year there are several cycling fatalities on Irish roads and almost a thousand cyclists injured. One fatal road tragedy is one too many.  In 2017, there were 15 cyclists killed on our roads; a 50% increase on 2016. This is unacceptable and I hope that the introduction of the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) will contribute positively to the safety of cyclists on our roads.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “We are using the opportunity of the May Bank Holiday weekend to remind drivers to always allow safe passing distances for cyclists. We are very concerned about the increase in cycling fatalities and serious injuries across both 2017 and 2018 to date. As the weather improves and cycling continues to grow in popularity we will see more cyclists on our roads and the risks will increase. To protect cyclists we have launched a major road safety awareness campaign this year, asking motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance and we are also investing in safe cycling training to teach both children and adults proper cycling skills. Last year the RSA invested €353,885 in cyclist safety awareness campaigns and cycling training nationwide.”

Assistant Commissioner, David Sheahan, Garda National Roads Policing Unit, said: “We are calling on drivers to heed their speed, slow down and keep their eyes on the road. It is important to be conscious of cyclists at junctions, particularly when turning left, to check the various driver blind spots and allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist. Our message for cyclists is to realise that the rules of the road apply to them also. This means not cycling on footpaths, not weaving in and out of traffic, stopping at traffic lights and signalling your intent when turning left or right.”

Mr Phil Skelton of the ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’ campaign said, “I am delighted to see the RSA safe passing ad so prominently displayed on our national media. Anecdotally, we are hearing of safer interactions between bicycle riders and motorists as a result. We look forward to this message becoming prominent in the next edition of the Rules of the Road, due out shortly, where it can become part of driver training.”

“Unfortunately 2018 has seen 6 bicycle riders die on our roads and this is the unacceptable face of road safety.  May of last year was the most lethal for bicycle riders with 4 fatalities in that month alone. I would appeal to other road users to be extra vigilant of our vulnerable road users.”

A total of 55 people have died on the roads to date in 2018. This represents an increase of one death compared to last year.

The Irish Times view on cycling infrastructure: time to get moving

There is a moral onus on the Government to invest in protecting cyclists

The statistics are stark. So far this year, six cyclists have been killed on Irish roads and many more injured, some very seriously. Last year, 15 died as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, more often than not on high-speed open roads, and hundreds more were injured. “One fatal road tragedy is one too many,” Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said. However, apart from introducing legislation to provide for minimum passing distances to protect vulnerable cyclists from reckless motorists, Ross cannot claim to be a champion of two-wheelers when his own department’s allocation for cycling infrastructure fell from €19 million in 2015 to €10.5 million in 2016 and just €7.5 million last year. These figures, which amount to less than 2 per cent of its capital budget, are so pathetically inadequate that they put Ireland close to the bottom among EU countries in this area.

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Why I refuse to follow the law while cycling

For cyclists, ignoring the rules of the road can be a matter of survival

When the sun finally began to shine in the UK this month, I could not wait to drag out my bike to cycle to work.

As soon as I got on the road though, I was struck by a familiar thought: London cyclists are abominable. They sneak through red lights. They scoot along the pavement. They go up one-way streets the wrong way and zip over pedestrian crossings before pedestrians have had time to cross.

I say this with confidence, because I am one of them. I have done most of these things myself and a couple of others as well, as you would know if you had been at Smithfield meat market the other morning. [By Pilita Clark]

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Council plan to connect Offaly to the West with canal Greenways

Offaly County Council has unveiled a new stretch of Greenway on the Grand Canal and revealed further plans to connect the county all the way to the West with similar projects.

A 4km stretch at Srah, Tullamore, was officially opened yesterday by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, councillors and staff from Offaly County Council and Waterways Ireland.

This latest 4km section was constructed in partnership with Waterways Ireland at a cost of €170k, funded from Offaly County Council’ and an allocation from the Tullamore MD General Municipal Allocation.

The plans for the Grand Canal in Offaly don’t stop there as planning permission is already in place for a new 23km of
Greenway, connecting Tullamore with Lough Boora Discovery Park. This will serve to connect two of Ireland’s Ancient East sites, namely Tullamore DEW and Lough Boora Discovery Park. Construction is ongoing on this section of the Greenway.

Full report

How the State Can Make Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change

Introduction: This document is written as a high level background brief to inform discussions of the Citizen’s Assembly. The paper draws on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – especially the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which represents the latest consensus view of the scientific community. These reports are compiled by hundreds of scientists from across the world, who summarise developments and insights from the scientific literature published in peer reviewed journals. The report is signed off by all countries. The IPCC thus provide an authoritative assessment of our state of knowledge on all aspects of climate change. The subsequent sections of this brief are organised around the key questions that I was requested to cover.

Full report

Citizens’ Assembly report a mandate for revolutionising Ireland’s climate policy

The Citizens’ Assembly has published its report on climate change (Assembly press release here). The report includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. These were agreed by the Assembly after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation which received close to 2000 submissions.

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition* is calling on the Government to respect the mandate of the Assembly by immediately establishing a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the report’s recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eight amendment to the Constitution.

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Cyclists support the Patrick Street car ban (Cork)

Cork Cycling Campaign declared their support for the new traffic restrictions on St Patrick’s St and the broader strategy of improving movement through the city centre. However, the group also sympathised with the concerns of traders and car drivers about disruptions caused by the ban.

The partial car ban prioritises high density, highly efficient public transport over the inefficient use of public space by private vehicles. It increases the speed and reliability of bus travel, making Cork’s bus service more attractive.

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Waterford Greenway can transform tourism in county, says top official

The Waterford Greenway has proven a tremendous success but the challenge now for local tourism interests is to encourage visitors to stay longer in the area, according to Waterford City and County chief executive Michael Walsh.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the opening of the 46km walking and cycling route from Waterford city to Dungarvan, Mr Walsh said that the Waterford Greenway had the potential to transform tourism in the region.

“The Waterford Greenway has had an incredible economic, social and cultural impact on all the communities which straddle the 46km-long route. It has captured the local and national imagination and has been a huge magnet for visitors to this region.

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