Active Travel Stimulus Funding – Does it Deliver?

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, broadly welcomes the funding provided for Active Travel projects through the Government’s recent Stimulus Plans, but with some reservations

It is exciting to see funding being provided for such an array of projects, some of which have the potential to significantly improve the safe movement of pedestrians and people on bicycles.  Projects which seek to provide segregated cycling infrastructure, bicycle parking and cycling priority at junctions clearly demonstrate that coupling vision and leadership means that significant active travel measures can, and now will, be delivered in these locations.

Speaking on behalf of Cyclist,ie, Colm Ryder, Chairperson, said: “we are delighted to see new footpaths, cycleways and bicycle parking being funded through the Stimulus Plans. We are hopeful that these projects will be designed and constructed to the highest standard.”

In contrast to the above positives, we are concerned to see reference to non-standard active travel measures such as “Greyways”.  Greyway is not a recognised term within the cycling design infrastructure, and it apparently refers to proposals to reconstitute road hard shoulders as cycle routes which are clearly unsafe and unattractive. To achieve real and substantive shift to active modes, it is essential that measures taken are designed to established standards. 

Anluan Dunne of Kerry Cycling Campaign continued: “it is worrying that some of the funding is being provided for infrastructure which has no established national standard – such as greyways. For decades we have campaigned for high quality, well designed infrastructure and it would be negligent to waste this opportunity, and these funds, on low quality projects. We call on the local authorities who have applied for funds to construct greyways, to reconsider, and re-allocate the monies to projects which adhere to published design standards and principles”

As a representative group, we are highly supportive of all measures to enhance and establish active travel measures. We now need to see Minister Eamon Ryan initiate an urgent review of design guidance contained in the National Cycling Manual, the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS), and Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s (TII) guidance on ‘Rural Cycleways’, and ‘Cross sections & Headroom’ documents . This is needed to maximise return on investment for the limited funding available.

Colm Ryder concluded: “it is imperative that the Minister and the Department of Transport ensure that funding provided for projects is targeted at attractive, efficient and safe measures. A cycle network plan should be developed in all local authority areas and municipal districts to inform and guide future project proposals”.

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network:  Our vision is that cycling is recognised as an everyday transport mode, which can be safely used by people of all ages and abilities.

[2] We can provide high quality photos to go with any articles being produced if/as required. 

SPOKESPERSONS / FURTHER INFORMATION

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

Anluan Dunne, Kerry Cycling Campaign, [email protected], Mob: 085-7036888. 

Colm Ryder, Chairperson Cyclist.ie, [email protected]  Mob 087-2376130Neasa Bheilbigh, Galway Cycling Campaign,

[email protected], Mob: 087-9930374. Cuirtear fáilte roimh agallamh trí Ghaeilge.

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