MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday 30 July 2020
A Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland
Launched by Cyclist.ie’s Rural Cycling Collective
During the lock-down period of restricted travel, one widely remarked phenomenon was the large increase countrywide in the numbers of people of all ages out walking and cycling.
A desire to retain that peace and freedom, together with the promise by the new coalition government of an annual €360 million spend on walking and cycling infrastructure has led to the formation of a new Rural Cycling Collective. Comprising an array of groups and individuals under the umbrella of the wider national Cyclist.ie advocacy network, the group is focused on making rural communities (towns, villages, and rural roads) cycle-friendly for all ages and abilities. It aims to re-balance the debate on active travel so that everyday journeys by bike across rural Ireland are enabled and supported.
“A VISION FOR CYCLING IS A VISION FOR THE FUTURE”
Launching the manifesto, Joan Swift, speaking on behalf of Sligo Cycling Campaign – a member group of Cyclist.ie – said
Today, we launch our vision document which aims to promote and celebrate everyday cycling in towns, villages and their surrounding areas. We are launching the Rural Cycling Collective to highlight the needs of areas outside of the major cities. We are campaigning for a fair distribution of transport funding to regional parts of the country to make cycling for all ages and abilities a reality. Our 8 identified priorities have the potential to completely transform our communities.
“RURAL COLLECTIVE HAS 8 PRIORITIES”
The collective is calling on Local and National Government to:
- Create an environment in our towns, villages, and rural roads where cyclists are expected and respected.
- Create and map useful, connected cycle routes throughout Local Authority areas.
- Implement best practice design so that routes are safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities.
- Prioritise safe cycle routes to schools and car-free zones at school gates.
- Lower Speed Limits to make our roads and streets safer and more accessible for everyone, and to reduce casualties.
- Ensure clear and timely access to funding by improving capacity at all levels of local and national government.
- Collaborate with all stakeholders – including cycling and community groups – at all stages of planning and design.
- Provide cycle training for all ages especially children
Taken together, these measures would transform active travel throughout Ireland. The co-benefits would include improvements to health, safety, congestion, air-quality, noise levels, and the public realm. More cycling will also help us to meet our climate change obligations. Speaking ahead of the launch, Anluan Dunne from Kerry Cycling Campaign said:
We can be a voice for areas of Ireland that have not yet realised the potential of cycling for everyday activities – cycling to school for children, to work, to the post office for your pension, to shops to buy a litre of milk – or to cycle around to your neighbours for a catch-up. We need to change how we develop our towns, villages and rural roads and we need our collective voice to be heard
At a recent family fun cycle in Clonakilty as part of the multi-location launch of the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland, there was an overwhelming feeling that both children and adults love exploring their local neighbourhoods and areas on their bicycles, and that cycling needs to become an everyday part of life in Ireland again.
Jo Sachs-Eldridge, from Leitrim Cycling Festival, who led the creation of the vision, invites everyone – people who cycle, people who don’t cycle, want-to-be cyclists, mums, dads, planners, councillors, Ministers and An Taoiseach – to get involved in shaping this vision and helping to make it a reality.
To find out more, add your support, share your feedback go to https://cyclist.ie/ruralvision/
NOTES FOR EDITORS & LINKS TO HIGH-RES PHOTOS
The Rural Cycling Collective plans to foster collaboration amongst cycling groups across Ireland and to jointly lobby local authorities and public representatives for the changes which will entice more people to choose the bicycle for everyday activities. It will also work towards a cycle-friendly Ireland by collaborating with all stakeholders, organising regular events, fun-cycles and campaign actions.
Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network is the umbrella body of cycle campaigning and advocacy groups in Ireland – https://cyclist.ie/. It is the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation – https://ecf.com/.
Further information on Cyclist.ie’s Rural Cycling Collective is available here: https://cyclist.ie/2020/07/cyclist-ies-rural-collective/
Our vision can be found here:
You might also like to check out the blog of the Leitrim Cycling Festival and their article on The Rural Cycling Collective and why its worth shouting about it!
Joan Swift, Sligo Cycling Campaign, a member group of Cyclist.ie
Email: [email protected]
Anluan Dunne, Kerry Cycling Campaign, a member group of Cyclist.ie
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, National Cycling Coordinator, Cyclist.ie and An Taisce
Email: [email protected]
High-Resolution photos to use in Media from one of the launch event held in Clonakilty, Co Cork (event hosted by the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival)
1 – Mum & Daughter ‘ A vision for cycling is a vision for the future’ credit Anna Groniecka https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yeyjkV_YBBa42x_uhZgjLdkGlTqoWXN5/view?usp=sharing
2- Father & Son – safe routes to school – credit – Anna Groniecka https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Aj6kp8Do6x-pXU-HRyTI9NizS7m-uSfx/view?usp=sharing
3 – Ari Grounds – I want to cycle more – credit Anna Groniecka https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HpJXbFA_qDHl6XEr3Jx1iZ_Ox9r4_2XF/view?usp=sharing
4- Young girl – lower speeds credit Anna Groniecka https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BOB2md5o6OMVIPSO4q__MgxxPQ3vMkEr/view?usp=sharing
5 – Street scene in Clonakilty – no credit needed https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hkUqJzXd7VUgQeNc4uHx0ixCbMPlpmQw/view?usp=sharing
Please include credit where included in the .jpeg name.
In Kilkenny this week (end September 2020) we will see the completion of a superb straightening, widening and resurfacing of the road between Kilkenny and the town of Callan. Another opportunity to provide at least one cycle way to another town in rural Kilkenny lost. Can we please campaign to ensure that all future road enhancement s include at least one cycle lane.
On RURAL roads there should be ONLY ONE cycle lane with some separation from the main carriageway, not separate cycle lanes each side of the rural road, which are a complete waste of public funds. Examples of the latter are on Dingle peninsula where outside Camp and Anascaul separate cycle lanes each side of road are too narrow for 2 to cycle alongside. A single cycle lane of minimum 1.8m width is much better and cheaper. In rural Europe I have seen and used these single separated lanes. ONLY one cycle lane!