Tag Archives: GeneralNews

General news about cycling

New Trishaws, Awards, New Brochure – We’re Cycling!

Latest update newsletter from Cycling without Age (CWA – group member of Cyclist.ie)

Trishaws:   In addition to a trishaw now in St Luke’s, in Mahon in Cork, and one in Clonakilty, we now have three in Dublin: one in Sybil Hill Nursing Home in Raheny, sponsored by Canada Life Re-Insurance, one in TLC Care Centre in Santry (who have three care homes), sponsored by Hidden Hearing, one in Mount Carmel HSE Community Hospital, sponsored by Zendesk.com, and at least two more on order.

Awards: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy 2017 awarded us €1500 which we have put towards promotional expenses, and KBC Bank Bright Ideas awarded Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership CWA) €1750. This confirms that CWA is being recognised as a valuable social enterprise.

New Brochure: With the award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we got a brochure designed and printed. If you would like to get copies printed, go ahead. Or you can make colour photocopies. I can also provide a .pdf version of the brochure marked up for printing.

Having the brochure was essential when we attended as guests of the Nursing Homes Ireland annual conference in Citywest on 16th November, with 300 delegates and many trade exhibitors. We greatly appreciate their invitation to showcase our demo trishaw ‘Daisy’, and talk with nursing home owners from all over Ireland. On his arrival, Health Minister Simon Harris sat into our ‘Daisy’ and the photo appeared in the next day’s Irish Independent, with a broadly smiling Minister! He has asked us to go in and talk to Healthy Ireland in his Department.  Our thanks also to Ashbury Nursing Home in Deansgrange for providing their jeep, trailer and driver to get us to Citywest and back on the day.

Public Liability Insurance:  We are delighted to announce that Insurance Brokers O’Driscoll O’Neil have located an insurance company willing to offer all Irish CWA trishaw owners Public Liability cover. For more details, please contact Declan Troy, Tel: 01- 639 5860.

Hi-Vis Vests:  Given that we need to educate other road users on the appearance of CWA trishaws on our roads, I recommend that owners ask all pilots to wear identifiable RED hi-vis vests with the words VOLUNTEER PILOT on the lower back panel. I can give you a link to a print company who has already supplied some. Identifying the pilots as volunteers has already had benefits in the form of free coffee to passengers and pilots in some coffee shops!

Networking countrywide:  Our database for communicating with you is sortable by location. In this way, when I get enquiries from one region, I can link you up with others in that region. This is important, as we are volunteers and CWA is very time-consuming! We have been invited to give talks in places as far apart as Waterford and Donegal. While this shows the super level of interest, we cannot easily get to all these places, though we do try to cover local (to Dublin area) requests. Going forward, I would like other CWA affiliates to get out there spreading the word! We can help with details and information if requested. I can also supply you with graphics for a pull-up banner for using at events, talks and launches.

New Affiliates:  If you have signed up – or want to – as a CWA affiliate, do let me know.  I can then put you in touch with others including volunteer pilots in your area. Likewise, if you have recently received your CWA trishaw, do let me know, so we can promote you. We have held photo-calls for each of the Dublin launches, which generate good media and other responses, always building on the branding and profile of CWA.

Ordering your trishaw: All the specifications and details of the Trio Taxi Bike and the Christiania are on CWA; click on Order Bikes. Copenhagen Cycles can quote you up-to-date prices and delivery dates directly.

Pilot Training: I am currently offering pilot-training to those who have got trishaws in the greater Dublin area. An initial option is for me to train new pilots using our demo bike ‘Daisy’ in Blackrock, and then those pilots can train others when they get their own trishaws. We will need to train other pilot-trainers to cover the rest of Ireland. If you can help with this, please let me know.

 

Tralee to Fenit Cycleway/ Walkway

This event will take place exactly a year after the last public event, a year which has seen little progress on the project yet again !

It is also 6 years since the first public support walk in 2011, this time we are calling on people to get on their bikes to demand the development of important facility.

Meet at Saint Brendan’s church Rock Street for a 2.30 departure for cycling leisurely cycle to Mounthawlk and back.

This is a family friendly event for young and old and all abilities but if you don’t fancy cycling please come along and walk.

Spread the word and lets make the greenway happen, hopefully next year we can cycle to the beach.

More information

Great Southern Trail Christmas Walk & Railway Book

The  annual Christmas Walk along the Great Southern Trail Greenway will take place on Wednesday 27th December at 12.30p.m.. Assembly is at the newly opened Longcourt House Hotel (formerly the Courtenay Lodge), St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West. The hotel is on the N21 and the public bus services stop alongside it. Walkers will be transferred by courtesy coach to Barnagh from where they will walk the 6 miles[10km], all downhill and mostly along the old railway, back to the Longcourt House where they can enjoy seasonal mince pies, whipped cream and tea/coffee at their leisure. All walkers must wear visibility vests as the final section is through the streets of Newcastle West and involves crossing the busy N21 which must be crossed at the zebra crossing close to the hotel. Cyclists, with visibility gear, helmets and lights, are also welcome and we suggest that they also meet at the hotel at 12.30p.m. and cycle outwards along the Greenway for approximately one hour to Barnagh or beyond and then return in time to enjoy the refreshments. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne ar an lá.

As Christmas is coming a nice gift to oneself or to family/friends would be the  Great Southern Trail Limited’s newly published “Limerick & Kerry Railway: Twilight Years” by Liam O’Mahony which is laden with information about the Greenway’s railway history. It is not alone a personal memoir by Liam of the 1950’s to 1980’s railway finale but also reproduces several historic documents. These include a list of the 300 or so shareholders (many of which names are still to be found locally) in the Rathkeale & Newcastle Junction Railway Company which built the line to those towns 150 years ago. Another historic gem which is included is a chapter from “Through the Green Isle”; a Victorian era travel guide which extolled  the historic attractions of Adare, Askeaton, Foynes, Ballybunion and Ardfert along with the then newly operational Lartigue railway in Listowel. Liam’s book is  very well illustrated with thirty of the photographs being in colour. Twenty full colour railway posters advertising  excursion trains to Dublin, Thurles, Cork, Killarney, Knock Shrine and Listowel Races during the 1950’s to the 1970’s will bring back memories to many.

Copies of the book will be delivered throughout all of Ireland for €15 (inc.postage). Orders from all of Britain will be £17stg  and  from all other countries €20 due to overseas postal rates. The book has 187 pages including a 32 page colour section. It is 170mm x 240mm format, soft cover. Enquiries to Liam O’Mahony, 9, Bishop St., Newcastle West, Co.Limerick V42HT66, Ireland to whom cheques should be made payable[or phone/text 00353876471956]. If payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is preferred please email your name and address to [email protected] and you will be provided with the bank BIC and IBAN. Please remind the bank to include your name on the EFT.

NTA Makes Dog’s Dinner of Cycle Quality

The NTA have made a dog’s dinner of cycle facility quality. Yes they are concerned about quality and yes they refer to it in the National Cycle Manual but does anyone outside the NTA really understand it?

When people are booking a hotel or apartment, they have an understanding of the ‘Star’ system of ranking. They may not understand the difference between a 2 star and 3 star hotel but they understand that a 3 star hotel is more luxurious or offers better facilities than a 2 star one and they would expect to pay more for it (all other things being equal).

So what is the story with the quality of cycle facilities? There are five levels of service – A+, A, B, C and D. Any cycle facility which does not fall into the first four is category D. Width is one of five determinants of quality the other being number of conflicts, percentage of HGVs on the route, pavement condition and journey time delay. (There has been some modification to pavement condition as a result of the development of the Greater Dublin Cycle Network but the amendments have not been incorporated into the written or digital version of the Manual.) Width is by far the most important determinant so what does the Manual say about width and level of service? The Manual assesses width in terms of the number of adjacent cyclists as shown below.

 

Quality of Service

No of Adjacent Cyclists

A+

2+1

A

1+1

B

1+1

C

1+0

D

1+0

 

So is the width of Level C the same as Level D? And is the width of Level A the same as Level B? What width is necessary to achieve category A? In Section 1.5.2 of the Manual, there are references to widths of five cycling regimes but the Manual does not state if the cycling regimes corresponds to the Level of Service, and furthermore the exact meaning of different regimes is unclear and open to interpretation. For example what does basic two way mean? It can mean whatever you want.

Section 1.5.1 of the Manual Determining Width includes the following The designed width of a cycle facility is comprised of the effective width, i.e. the space that is “usable” by cyclists, as well as the clearances that will be required in different circumstances.

Effective width as opposed to designed or constructed width is a very important concept as it takes edge conditions into account. This is important as local authorities often provide a 2m wide cycle track which with a kerb adjacent to the footpath on one side and another kerb adjacent to a traffic lane on the other, only has an effective width of 1m.

To make matters worse, the minimum standard is defined as 3m, but whether this is effective width or designed/constructed width is not clarified and it does not define whether this is one way cycling shared with two way pedestrians or two way cycling shared with two way pedestrians. As 3m is the minimum standard in accordance with the National Cycling Manual, it is assumed that the level of service for cycling is the fifth and lowest category ie D. Then, just when you think that the NTA couldn’t complicate things further, they succeed.

In 2015, they published a Permeability Best Practice Guide which also has five levels of service but in this case they are A,B,C, D and E.

Section 3 of the Guide defines widths for the different Quality of Service (see below) but doesn’t define whether these are effective or constructed widths.

 

Quality of service

Minimum Width (m)

A

4m+

B

3-4m

C

2-3m

D

1.5-2m

E

<1.5m

 

The Best Practice Guide states that local authorities in urban areas should aim to provide a Level A quality of service for any pedestrian or cycle links between residential areas and destinations such as schools and shops. Not unreasonably, the document goes on to point out that Level A will often be unachievable due to constraints but at least sets out a high target.

So where does that leave the common situation that arises where one section of a route has segregated cycle facilities and the next section has a 3m wide shared footway? Using the permeability criteria, the shared section is ranked category B and C (second and third) but using the National Cycle Manual criteria, it is D (fifth). What would you think of an organisation which ranks a hotel as one star, three star and four star at the same time? The idea of a star ranking is good. It gives politicians and the general public a crude but widely understood assessment of quality. However, the time to properly define its use is long overdue.

This article originally appeared on the website of Maynooth Cycling Campaign.

Ironic that the NTA HQ features a vehicle parked outside on the pavement

Cycling Needs €145 Million Per Annum – Not Hype & Spin

Since Census 2016 published the report on commuting in June, there has been much hype and spin in the media about increases in cycling. However, the emphasis on a much lauded increase of 42% in cycling to work puts a false gloss on the results. Percentage changes are meaningless unless related to a time span and a starting point so the Department of Transport’s spin doctor should stop combining multi year results and instead report the results in terms of annual increases. In this case the time span is five years from the previous census and the 2016 level of cycling nationally is an overall low of 2.68%. As this was approximately the level of cycling in the year 2000, cycling nationally has essentially flat-lined since then.

Year

1986

1991

1996

2002

2006

2011

2016

On foot

505,530

454,126

436,941

423,483

433,110

414,938

426,221

Bicycle

146,962

130,194

99,008

57,842

53,960

61,177

82,123

Bus, minibus or coach

323,914

337,788

369,586

341,299

326,949

288,562

313,097

Train, DART or LUAS

22,690

30,214

34,101

45,976

71,658

70,976

82,627

Motor cycle or scooter

16,680

13,756

13,164

20,250

14,338

9,312

8,565

Motor car: Driver

405,180

446,228

606,417

909,822

1,118,312

1,127,396

1,202,441

Motor car: Passenger

264,125

292,503

360,953

427,962

459,497

508,338

570,254

Other means (incl. Lorry or van)

36,239

50,188

59,291

118,800

149,928

134,115

140,227

Work mainly at or from home

196,982

234,101

172,893

110,821

119,918

89,729

96,057

Not stated

108,579

94,287

83,981

45,380

46,555

89,590

136,995

Total Students/Workers

(Rows 1-10)*

2,026,881

2,083,385

2,236,335

2,501,635

2,794,225

2,794,133

3,058,607

Total Commuters (Rows 1-8)

1,721,320

1,754,997

1,979,461

2,345,434

2,627,752

2,614,814

2,825,555

%Commuting by Car (Rows 6-8)

40.99%

44.95%

51.87%

62.10%

65.75%

67.69%

67.70%

%Cyclists wrt Total Commuters

7.25%

6.25%

4.43%

2.31%

1.93%

2.19%

2.68%

Source: Census 2016

Table 1: Means of Travel to Work, School and College (Nationally) 1986-2016

The increase in cycling from 2.19% in 2011 to 2.68% in 2016 is an increase of 22.6% for all people working and in education rather than the headline figure of 42% which only refers to people working. This increase equates to a more modest increase of 4.15% per annum. This would be good for a country with a high level of cycling but bad for a country like Ireland which is starting from a very low base. The increase in cycling by working people offsets a more modest increase in cycling by students to secondary school who are arguably a more important sector of the population as they are an indicator of future levels of cycling rather than ‘middle aged’ men in lycra who rediscover cycling. In this context, the greater number of female students driving to secondary school rather than cycling is a continuing cause of concern. By way of contrast, Vancouver reports annual increases of more than 30% per annum and Transport for London (TFL) report that bicycle use increased by 70% in six months on part of the high quality London Superhighways.

While the level of cycling in Dublin and other Irish cities is higher than the national level of 2.68%, Vancouver achieved 10% cycling to work from a low base in 1997 and Seville has increased its modal share for cycling from less than 0.5% in 2006 to around 7%. The National Cycling Policy Framework includes a target of 10% commuting by bike by 2020. At the rate of progress of the last five years in Ireland, the 2020 target will not be achieved nationally until 2047. This is the key statistic which comes out of the Census results and with the hype and spin stripped away, the lack of commitment and lack of progress is obvious. The implications for urban areas – more congestion, more air and noise pollution, decreased levels of activity by the general population and increased demands on the health services – are all too obvious. The failure to meet European targets on climate change will almost certainly result in a greater financial burden on the country.

Irish politicians have been “supporting” pro-bicycle policies for some twenty years but their continuing ineffectiveness is clear. When politicians in the Netherlands decided to design for bicycles rather than cars in the 1970s, the change was apparent within a year with the BBC sending a camera team overseas to record the radical developments. For similar change to happen in this country, the government must

  1. Significantly increase funding for cycling from its current levels of €12 Million per annum to €145 Million per annum, and
  2. Appoint a National Cycling Co-coordinator to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in accordance with the 2009 National Cycling Policy Framework.

A budget of €145 Million for cycling would amount to 10% of the 2017 transport budget and would be in line with WHO recommendations. This funding is already available under the normal budgetary process and is entirely separate from the Mid-Term Review of the Capital Budget but to date there has been no commitment at a political level to prioritise the funding of walking and cycling. The emphasis on rural greenways may seem attractive to politicians but unless hard political decisions are taken to curb private cars and to prioritise cycling in urban areas, mass cycling will remain like the draining of the Shannon – a political aspiration. In the short term, the lack of political reaction to increasing cyclist fatalities and the postponement of decisions on safe cycling infrastructure in Dublin City do not augur well.

Great Dublin Bike Ride


It was terrific to see so many out on the Great Dublin Bike Ride last weekend organised by Cycling Ireland. We hope that the increased numbers taking part in Sportifs is translating – and continues to translate – into more and more people seeing cycling as the best way to commute in towns and cities. But not just commuting of course – we maintain there is HUGE potential for far more trips to the shops, GAA / soccer / rugby matches and training sessions, and night-time cultural events (for example) to take place on the bike! We are only just beginning to crank up our campaigning.

See also DCC Facebook & lots of pictures here

Pre-Budget 2018 submission from Cyclist.ie

Cyclist.ie (www.cyclist.ie), the network of cycling advocacy groups, greenway development groups, and bicycle festivals on this Island, makes this Pre-Budget Submission 2018 in the interests of the Budget supporting and encouraging more active travel on a daily basis by Irish citizens, in line with the aims of the government’s ‘National Cycle Policy Framework’ (2009), ‘Smarter Travel’ (2009) and in the process improving general population health via
the ‘Healthy Ireland’ strategy (2016). Read full submission

Cycling without Age

‘Cycling Without Age’ is a member group of Cyclist.ie. We received this update from Clara Clarke.

We thought you might like a brief update on our progress since we had the national launch on 13 June in Dun Laoghaire.  Our sincere thanks to CWA founder Ole Kassow who came from Copenhagen, and to the DLR Cathaoirleach Cormac Devlin for ‘launching’ us. Thanks also to the Irish Ambassador to Denmark, Cliona Manahan, and to the Cultural Officer of the Danish Embassy in Dublin, Eva Rauser. Our passengers on the day were Ernie and Phyllis from Ashbury Nursing Home, Deansgrange, who quickly became celebrities!

People travelled from all over Ireland to see the bike and be part of this amazing new initiative. We have had massive media publicity both on the day and since, with radio interviews continuing. We now have three confirmed companies willing to sponsor bikes and donate them to nursing homes of their choice, with several other companies talking to us. The first sponsored bike arrived in Dublin last week. Companies will send their staff to be pilots as part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) programmes. And what a fun way to be doing your CSR! Taking residents out for spins, chatting and sharing stories and all feeling the wind in their hair! And, if you think that cycling might be too much for older people, take a look at the ‘Convoy’ photo attached. On our trip to Denmark last week to visit Cycling Without Age there, we took a convoy of 15 rickshaw bikes with quite frail nursing home residents out for an all-day 40 km cycle – and they loved it! So, age is no limit and we just want to give as many people as possible the fun and freedom experience of Cycling Without Age.