launch of the vision for cycling in rural ireland

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: 

  1. Create an environment in our towns, villages, and rural roads where cyclists are expected and respected.
  2. Create and map useful, connected cycle routes throughout Local Authority areas.
  3. Implement best practice design so that routes are safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities.
  4. Prioritise safe cycle routes to schools and car-free zones at school gates.
  5. Lower Speed Limits to make our roads and streets safer and more accessible for everyone, and to reduce casualties.
  6. Ensure clear and timely access to funding by improving capacity at all levels of local and national government.
  7. Collaborate with all stakeholders – including cycling and community groups – at all stages of planning and design.
  8. 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/

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS & LINKS TO HIGH-RES PHOTOS

AIMS

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.

MORE INFO

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:
https://cyclist.ie/ruralvision/

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!

SPOKESPERSONS

Joan Swift, Sligo Cycling Campaign, a member group of Cyclist.ie
Phone: 087-9622234
Email: [email protected]

Anluan Dunne, Kerry Cycling Campaign, a member group of Cyclist.ie
Phone: 085-703-6888
Email:  [email protected]

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, National Cycling Coordinator, Cyclist.ie and An Taisce
Phone: 087-2840799
Email: [email protected] 

PHOTOS

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.

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