Campaigners call for Cycling Projects to Shift up a Gear

Thu 24 April 2014 Dublin, Ireland – Seminar for Local Authorities about Cycling Promotion at Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices, Dublin 8 at 13:30 h.

As part of hosting the European Cyclists’ Federation annual delegate conference, the largest gathering of cycling experts and advocates from around Europe in 2014, the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport and, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, are hosting a seminar on the theme of ‘Funding and Justifying Cycling Projects’, at Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices in Dublin

The presence of an experienced group of 70 European cycling experts and advocates in Dublin for their conference gives an added boost to the ongoing work on cycling development in Ireland by the National Roads Authority, National Transport Authority and Local Authorities, in that it is a tacit recognition of the efforts being made to grow cycling so as to try to meet the government’s National Cycling Policy Framework (NCPF, 2009) target of 10% of daily trips to be made by bike by 2020. Their experience and knowledge is invaluable.

The seminar is aimed at those involved in sustainable transport promotion in local authorities, and gives participants a comprehensive overview of potential EU and national sources for funding sustainable transport projects. Ireland must reduce its transport greenhouse gas emissions according to the advice to government from the EPA.

“Ireland must take in the lessons from Europe in relation to growing cycling and getting a balanced transport system. Ahead of the European and local elections, we call on politicians to take note: now is the time for cycling projects to shift up a gear,” said Dr. Mike McKillen, Chairperson,

“It’s time for a wake-up call for policy makers in Ireland to promote cycling much more seriously. Mere painting of lines at the side of the road won’t do it. We have got to get children back to cycling to school and for this to happen we need a paradigm-shift in how we manage traffic in urban and rural areas. The implementation of 30 km/h speed limit zones in urban areas, and particularly around schools needs to happen urgently”, said McKillen. He also said “school boards of management need to be charged by the Department of Education and Skills with mobility planning so as to discourage use of the car for the school run”.
“Ireland has a commitment to reduce its transport carbon emissions. Cycling is part of the solution to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from transport. This is urgent and needs to be tackled immediately”, he added. There is no other form of infrastructure project that delivers the same economic and social return as cycling. A great example of this is the success of the Mayo Greenway. More people cycling, means more people active and healthy, which in turn means less health expenditure. Studies in Holland have shown that cycling an average 30 minutes each day can add ten years to your life expectancy.