UK Cycling Delivery Plan
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport could usefully reflect on this report when undertaking its review of the NCPF under way at present; the following is taken directly from the document:
In forming a partnership with government, we would expect local authorities to:
- Set a clear and specific vision for their area which outlines how cycling and walking will be increased and supported in a defined area over a defined period;
- Develop a local walking and cycling delivery plan, supported by their own local partners such as voluntary sector organisations;
- Appoint an influential cycling and walking champion locally, be that an elected member, supported by senior officer or a key public figure;
- Demonstrate a commitment to door-to-door journeys, and to creating safe cycling and walking provision through cycle proofing and pedestrian proofing new transport infrastructure and, where relevant, a planned and funded cycling and walking investment programme;
- Demonstrate that their walking and cycling plans include steps to meet the needs of people from hard to reach groups – including disabled people, older people and others whose needs may differ.
Irish campaigners were well represented at the annual conference of Cyclenation UK and CTC held in London at the weekend. The event was hosted by London Cycling Campaign in Lambeth Town Hall. The Irish contingent was made up of Dr. Mike McKillen (Chair of Cyclist.ie), Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator, Cyclist.ie/An Taisce), Michael McKenna (Cyclist.ie & Skerries Cycling Initiative), Alita Rivera (Dublin Cycling Campaign) and David O’Brien.
There were over 100 delegates and over 10 speakers on the line-up which included the CEO’s of the three organising bodies as well as engineers, urban-designers, politicians and academics.
While the accents differed a little, the issues faced across the water are exactly the same: bicycle users still rank way down the priority list in England, Scotland and Wales. Many roads are dominated by heavy goods vehicles, buses and cars with cyclists given the bread-crumbs at the table. Far too many motorised vehicles are giving far too little space to cyclists. However, change does appear to be afoot, in London particularly, as the Mayor plans a new generation of cycle superhighways and many of the largest companies are London strongly supporting plans as Chris Keynon from Cycling Works explained. Meanwhile CycleNation UK has published Making Space for Cycling and this sets out to explain to local authorities what existing and future cyclists really need. Furthermore, and similarly to Ireland, we heard that new cycle design guidance has recently been published in Wales and the new London Cycle Design Standards are due out soon. This should mean that the standards for providing for cyclists will improve.
All in all, there are some positive signs that transport planning in the UK is changing so as to recognise the massive public health and economic benefits that accrue when cycling is taken seriously. Like Ireland though, it is still decades behind the more progressive Continental cities in terms of taming the car and making towns and cities liveable for all.
By travelling to these conferences, we forge stronger links with UK cycle campaigning organisations and bring home good ideas that can help us in our work of transforming Irish towns and cities to become really bicycle friendly. Keep in touch with us in Cyclist.ie as we look ahead to the Velo-city Cycling Planning Conference taking place in Nantes in June. We have already started discussions with our colleagues in CycleNation about cycling from Cherbourg to Nantes en masse! Watch this space.
Cyclist.ie review of the NI Draft Bicycle Strategy
The Bicycle Strategy will be followed up by “a Bicycle Strategy Delivery Plan” which will outline specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound objectives, policies and actions.” Overall the draft Strategy includes some valuable points but we stressed in our submission that it is essential that the final Plan will include funding commitments as well. Otherwise the strategy is meaningless.
Some other key points we made were as follows:
- The current spend on cycling in NI is very close to nothing. The public expenditure on NI roads for the year 2013-14 was £436M and less than 0.25% of this was spent on cycling infrastructure.
- The road network (barring motorways) is there for everyone to use and it needs to be tamed so as to be safe and attractive for bicycles. It is utterly iniquitous that the existing road network is perceived to be hostile for cycling for all but the most battle-hardened cyclists!
- It is crucial that driving training instructors and the PSNI fully understand the nature of cycling and correct road positioning, and can communicate that message to their trainees and officers, respectively. This is explained well in film by the Bicycle Association as reported on in the media just last week
- The draft strategy needs to be much more ambitious in regard to seeking to make all built up areas traffic calmed, and safe and attractive for bicycle users of all ages (i.e. 8 to 80) and abilities. Unless there is a serious shift in policy towards making places liveable and attractive and “inviting for all” by reducing speeds on a widespread basis, there will be no cyclists left on Northern Irish roads!
Millions of euro in funding is to be spent improving accessibility between Kent Station and the city centre; construction on the project commenced summer 2014. Iarnród Éireann had been seeking to enhance the existing facilities at the Cork train station, with plans to develop the North Docks with an entrance building accessed from Horgan’s Quay. Now €2.9m in funding, administered by the National Transport Authority, is to be spent on the new entrance and bus, cycle and access arrangements to improve connections to the city. Read article
Cork Cycling Campaign:
- Campaign on behalf of Cork Cyclists
- Sent in their own submission on the proposal for this project
- Meet first wednesday of every month at 7pm in the Bodega, Coalquay, Cork.
The Garda Inspectorate Report on Crime Investigation, 2014 gives credence to cyclists concerns about how road traffic collisions involving motorised vehicles impacting with cyclists are handled by An Garda.
The Bedford Report for the HSE in 2011 showed that only approximately 10% of serious injuries (with hospital admission to a bed) incurred by cyclists in road traffic collisions were recorded by Garda.
The GI Report doesn’t mince its words: “This inspection has identified several deficiencies in recording practices, supervision and governance over recorded crime and the level of recorded detections for those crimes. The veracity of crime recording in Ireland must be addressed immediately. It is for this reason that the Inspectorate is making substantial recommendations to get it right from the first contact with a victim reporting a crime and through every stage of the investigative process”.
If a cyclist is knocked off his/her bike from impact with a motorised vehicle that is a potential criminal offence if serious injury results. Cyclists expect all such RTCs to be properly and fully investigated and recorded with appropriate follow-up. That clearly is not happening at present. Acute hospitals need to document all admission cases arising from cyclist RTCs and inform the Gardai of them.
The Departments of Transport, Justice and Health and the Road Safety Authority need to ensure that this scandal ends. It is an action from the NCPF since 2009. No sign of urgency so far.
Analysis of accident data and safety issues (abstract only)
11th November 2014 – The National Transport Authority has today announced further details for the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes regional scheme which will go live over the coming weeks. Galway will launch on Monday 24th November, followed by Limerick on 8th December and Cork on 18th December.
The National Transport Authority is also calling on the people of Galway, Limerick and Cork to pre-register now on www.bikeshare.ie so that the bikes can be availed of as soon as they are live on the streets.
Customers who pre-register will also get a 50% discount, receiving a special offer of €5 for annual subscription. This special offer extends to the end of 2014. When a customer registers for an annual subscription, they will receive a Welcome Pack in the post containing details of the scheme and a subscription card.
Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “We’re delighted to announce that the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme will go live in Galway on November 24th. The bikes will be an exciting new addition to the cities of Limerick, Cork and Galway for business and recreational users alike. We urge anyone interested in using the bikes in any of the three cities to take advantage of the special 50% discount offer by registering now at www.bikeshare.ie.”
Why Olympic medallist Chris Boardman chooses not to wear a cycle helmet when he’s on the roads. Video clip here
See also Helmet Links 3B (left sidebar)
Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network is one of eight national organisations taking part in the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) Leadership Programme. This means that – along with the national organisations of Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece and Austria – Cyclist.ie is recognised as one of the most effective and rapidly-growing European advocacy organisations.
Last week, all eight groups took part in a training programme in Sofia, kindly hosted by the Bulgarian Cycling Association. Cyclist.ie was represented by National Cycling Coordinator, Damien Ó Tuama. This training aimed at helping us to plan ahead, improve our lobbying, organise more effective campaigns, increase members and fund-raise – all with the bigger aim of creating strong cycling cultures in our countries.
At the meetings, we came to realise that it is not just in Ireland that car-centric transport planning still dominates or that government departments do not yet fully see the potential that cycling offers to solve congestion, public health and other problems. Equally, national cycling organisations across Western, Central and Eastern Europe face very similar challenges in transitioning from operating just with volunteers to also having a paid professional dimension to campaigning. There is so much work we need to do, yet we are all over-stretched and need more funding and volunteering energy in order to thrive.
The meetings and training sessions in Sofia helped to build stronger alliances between all eight national organisations. They also mean that when we organise future Skype or phone calls amongst ourselves so as to collectively advance various issues, these conversations are more meaningful and productive when we have met each other in person and cycled the streets of Sofia en masse!
A big thanks to Kevin and Elina in ECF, and Evgeny and colleagues in the Bulgarian Cycling Association for a very successful meeting! Photo below taken by Andrzej Felczak from www.radlobby.at
For more on the Cyclist.ie participation in the ECF Leadership Programme, see ECF.
Contact the National Cycling Coordinator.
Bicycle theft in Ireland has doubled in Ireland since the introduction of the Bike to Work scheme in 2009. Almost 4,500 bicycle thefts were reported in Dublin in 2013, but the actual number of bike thefts is likely to be in the region of 20,000 in 2013 according to Irish household surveys and international experience[3,4]. The chances of a bike thief being caught is low, with a conviction rate of only 2% or reported thefts. Approximately 230,000 bicycles are imported into Ireland each year. “Bike theft is a low-risk, high-reward crime. If cars were being stolen at this rate there would be uproar.” Says Keith Byrne, Chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. Continue reading Call for co-ordinated plan to combat soaring bike theft