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Westminster council’s actions show it puts cars first, not people

Bad day for London’s cyclists …

A legal challenge by Westminster city council to block a major cycle route in London has succeeded on a procedural point, in a move that could send Transport for London back to the drawing board and set safety improvements to one of London’s most dangerous junctions back by months.

The council’s successful judicial review of Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11), which was due to run from Swiss Cottage to Portland Place, is the latest of its blocks to cycling, walking and road safety improvements. Following the scrapping of the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, the review has cemented Westminster’s reputation as the car-is-king borough of London. Read full article

 

Cyclist.ie Budget 2019 #Allocate4Cycling

Cyclist.ie wants the Government to tackle Climate Change, our Health Crisis, and get better value for taxpayers’ money, by prioritising investing in cycling. Below is a Summary of Cyclist.ie’s submission to Finance for Budgetary Consideration.

This is a summary; this is the Full Submission

We are calling for 10% of Ireland’s Land Transport Budget to be spent on Cycling

10 Reasons to Prioritise Investment in Cycling

  1. It provides excellent value for money and addresses numerous government policies
  2. Helps tackle congestion
  3. Helps people get the exercise they need, improves public health, and saves money for the Health Service
  4. Can improve psychological well-being
  5. Will improve safety for cyclists and for other vulnerable road users
  6. Can help us meet our Climate Change Obligations
  7. Doesn’t’ generate air or noise pollution
  8. Can create better public places
  9. Offers an affordable mobility option for all
  10. Can boost local economic activity

What is the current situation?

  1. Cycling gets about 2% of the land transport budget and this has fallen in recent years
  2. 15 cyclists were killed on Irish roads in 2017 as a result of a collision involving a motorist. That is, the highest number in a decade
  3. Transport accounts for 20% of Ireland’s overall emissions
  4. Car dependence imposes significant economic costs on Irish society. The cost of congestion in the Greater Dublin Area was €358m in 2012 and is continuing to rise. The cost of congestion for all of Ireland was roughly €1.8bn
  5. The average cost of running a family car for a year in Ireland is approx €10,700
  6. The Healthy Ireland Framework and the National Physical Activity Plan recognise the importance of active travel to improve the health and well-being of the population
  7. The DTTAS Strategic Investment Priorities for Land Investment Policy states we must tackle urban congestion through improving walking and cycling
  8. The UN Environment Programme calls for 20% of transport funding to be spent on walking and cycling

Cyclist.ie’s Budget Priority Recommendations

Prioritise Investment in High Quality Safe Cycling Infrastructure

  • 10% of the Land Transport Budget to be invested in high quality cycling infrastructure. Expedite the Development of strategic cycling infrastructure projects. All planned primary and secondary cycle routes in major towns and cities and all projects in the GDA Cycle Network Plan to be completed as soon as possible
  • Cycling to be integrated into the transport system for all major public transport projects
  • All planned transport infrastructure including new roads, road upgrades junction design to take account of cycling, and comply with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) and The National Cycling Manual
  • Increase projected funding for Rural Greenways, especially those close to settlements and gathering points

Set up a dedicated National Cycling Office

  • DTTAS to appoint a National Cycling Officer at senior level who will head a National Cycling Office to promote and coordinate cycling development across Government Departments and nationally
  • Dedicated cycling officers to be appointed in every local authority to promote and coordinate cycling development locally

Invest in Safety and Awareness

  • Cycle Training to be available in all primary and secondary schools free of charge, and expansion of Cycle Training to 3rd level students and all adults
  • Increase in monetary fines for motoring offences impacting on cyclists, currently €60 whereas €80 for other offences
  • Introduction of fresh cycle friendly legislative initiatives to promote growth of cycling, including Safe Passing Distance, Contraflow Cycling, Left turn at red lights, Joint use of pedestrian and zebra crossings, and Cycle Priority Streets
  • Resourcing and training of Garda in cycle related legislation, and ‘Bike Start’ training to be introduced into the Garda College. Resourcing of greater levels of Garda enforcement of bike related vehicle offences
  • Taxi drivers to undergo Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) standard certification to ensure their skills are brought up to PSO standard
  • Extension of the Bike to Work scheme

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, is the umbrella organisation for cycling advocacy groups in Ireland and is the Irish member of ECF, the European Cyclists’ Federation

Full submission

CONTACT: Colm Ryder, Chairperson – Tel 0872376130 – Email

European Cities Could Avoid up to 10,000 Premature Deaths by Expanding Cycling Networks

A study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found that expanding designated cycling networks in cities could provide considerable health and economic benefits, with a rate of return of up to 70 € for every euro invested.

The analysis – part of European Commission funded Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project – of data from 167 European cities suggests that the length of cycling infrastructures is associated with a cycling mode share of up to 24.7%, in which 1 in every 4 citizens would choose the bicycle for their daily commuting. The study, published in Preventive Medicine, estimates that if all the assessed cities achieved a 24.7% bicycle mode share, over 10,000 premature deaths could be avoided annually. Read article

Valuing Cycling in the European Parliament: How to address the €80 billion cost of physical inactivity?

The epidemic of physical inactivity was the main topic of discussion at the Sport intergroup conference in the European Parliament (EP) last week. Its €80 billion cost, first raised by Marisa Fernandez Esteban of the EU Sport Unit was repeated over and over. ECF’s response to this public health crisis is the EU Cycling Strategy, with its 2030 aims to increase cycling by 50%, reduce cycling fatalities by 50%, thereby adding 225,000 jobs and 250 billion euros to the cycling economy. “If every EU citizen did just 15 minutes more of cycling or walking each day, we’d save 100,000 lives from unnecessary early deaths each year,” said ECF health policy officer Dr. Randy Rzewnicki. “Walking and cycling is the best buy for EU cities and towns,” he said, “We’re working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to make that message clear in many ways: including free training in the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) and supporting the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA).” Read article

Leitrim Cycling Festival

Leitrim Cycling Festival will take place from the 22nd to the 24th of June in Manorhamilton and Dromahair. The aim of the festival is to celebrate the locality for its wonderful cycling routes, to bring people together to learn about the future of cycling in the area, to build a community that can be involved in developing the area and to have some fun.

Website and poster

Cycling Without Age’s First Birthday

When we launched Cycling Without Age on 13th June 2017 in the People’s Park Dun Laoghaire, I had a dream. It was that older and mobility-impaired people should have fun and the chance to get out and about, regardless of ability or age. No-one chooses to get old, disabled, mobility-impaired, or lose their independence. I could not have dreamt that one year on, there would be 13 trishaw bikes operating all over Ireland (with more on order), taking nursing and care home residents and people in the community out for free spins to ‘feel the wind in their hair’, piloted by volunteers. My dream has now become your dream too and I feel honoured and thank you for that.

Progress Report:

Ministerial Support: Transport Minister Shane Ross TD announced on RTE Radio’s Sean O’Rourke Show (31st May) in a discussion about rickshaws, that “It’s the commercial element we would ban. There is a group, Cycling Without Age, we wouldn’t want to ban them”.   Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD, came to meet me at an Elder Care show at the RDS (1st June) for an update on our progress. From Clonakilty, Co. Cork where one of the first trishaws operates, he was delighted to hear of our speedy growth.

Trishaw locations and funding: To date, there are three bikes in Co. Cork – two in Cork City and one in Clonakilty. Five in Dublin: in Clontarf, Raheny, Santry, South Circular Road and Shankill, Co. Dublin. One in Sligo, one in Waterford, one in Wexford and two in Leitrim. Of these, five have been sponsored by corporates, five with grant aid from Healthy Ireland, and the rest with a combination of fund-raising and matching sponsorship. So, we know that there are several ways for you to get a bike in your area!

Community Bikes: Not all bikes have gone to nursing/care homes. We have three bikes that are operating in the community, with a booking system for people to sign up, both as passengers and as pilots. I can give you more details on request.

Awards: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland gave us a cash award which helped us to get pull-up banners and brochures printed. We use these to promote the branding and get the message out. KBC Bright Ideas gave a cash grant to Kilkenny CWA who are fund-raising for their bike. The People Newspaper Group honoured me with a Volunteer of the Year Award certificate.

Schools Support: Transition Year (TY) students in two schools, St. Conleth’s in Dublin and Newtown School in Waterford are fund-raising to donate bikes to their chosen care homes. This is a great social enterprise model that other schools might like to copy.

Pilot-Training: I have now pilot-trained most of those who recently took charge of new trishaws, as well as interested volunteer pilots.  A document on Piloting Tips is available on request, as well as a short video. We are now beginning to standardise and formalise pilot training protocols.

New Bike Launches:  Seven of the new trishaws arrived in April. In the past few weeks three of these have held very successful launches, with more to follow. The launches are great opportunities to spread the word, invite the media, engage with the public and start the serious business of having fun!

Facebook Group:  Not everyone is on Facebook I know. But, for those who are, the easiest and quickest way of keeping you informed of our progress is via our open Facebook Group, Cycling Without Age – Ireland. Feel free to join up. We already have 127 members!

Cycle-Friendly routes:  Provision/access to off-road cycle-friendly routes is essential to making CWA journeys safe and enjoyable. Please lobby your local authorities and TDs to develop access to parks, greenways, blue-ways, the S2S (www.s2s.ie) around Dublin Bay and other off-road tracks to cater for CWA trishaws, which are 1.1m wide at the front.

Warming up for Bike Week!

Schools all over County Clare were preparing for National Cycle to School Day taking place on Wednesday 13th of June as part of Bike Week. They organised free bike maintenance and cycle training workshops with An Taisce’s Green-Schools Travel Education officer for Clare, Róisín Ní Gháirbhith.

Record numbers of children cycled to school in Clare that day. It is so obvious to me that children now love cycling just as much as we did 30 years ago. It is more important than ever that we create opportunities for children to cycle and look for more investment in infrastructure and speed reduction in order for them to be able to enjoy cycling as a normal way to get around.

“It’s the most bikes I’ve seen at the school in 30 years” said principal of Ennis National School. “Children were born to cycle and so few do so regularly now that when you create an opportunity for them to do so, they jump at the chance. They really love being shown how to care for their bikes as well and certainly seemed empowered by the ability to adjust their saddle height, fix a puncture etc.

It seems to me that most kids have a bike and pretty good ones at that, but yet they are not really connected to it. I get them to discover the useful information on the tyres, follow the cables to see where they go and what they do. I show them how to adjust their saddle height and the marks on minimum insertion for the seat post. They learn how to use allen keys and spanners and how gears work etc. They love it and it demystifies their bikes and connects them with their bikes. I always say if you take care of your bike, your bike will take care of you. Then I’d cover the essentials of: mounting the bike on the left hand side and why, primary and secondary road riding position, looking over the shoulder, hand signals and cyclists’ rights and responsibilities on the road.

For more information visit An Taisce Green Schools Travel Theme

Failure of Government Climate Change Policy

The EPA’s projections, published today (here), reveal the colossal scale of Ireland’s collective political failure to rein in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with our legally binding EU and global commitments.

It is quite staggering to consider that instead of achieving the modest initial target of reducing our national GHG emissions by 20% versus 2005 levels, the EPA today confirms that “at best”, we will have only managed a negligible 1% emissions cut by 2020.

In terms of our performance on tackling the dangerous and rapidly escalating threats posed by climate change, Ireland has moved from being an outlier to, essentially, a rogue state on the international stage.

Read report