Cyclist.ie delivered its Pre-Budget 2022 Submission to the Department of Finance earlier today (Wed 18th August 2021). You can read it in full as a PDF here. The introduction and summary of the submission can be read immediately below.
A big thanks to our hard-working Executive Committee and wider team for preparing the submission. This behind-the-scenes technical work is but a small part of our broader advocacy efforts to put cycling and walking to the fore in government policy, practice and investment decisions.
Continue the Programme for Government
Ensure 10% of Transport Capital Funding is Allocated to Creating High-quality Conditions for Cycling Countrywide
Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, is the umbrella body of cycling advocacy groups in Ireland (https://cyclist.ie/) and the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation (https://ecf.com/). Our vision is that cycling, as a mode of transport, becomes a normal part of everyday life for all ages and abilities in Ireland.
As recognised in the Programme for Government (PfG), cycling as a mode of transport offers numerous well documented broad benefits to society, including:
- high rates of economic return on investment
- improved public health
- reduced congestion
- reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- reduced air and noise pollution
- increased population mobility
- more liveable and sociable streets and communities
Cycling delivers multiple benefits to society, and it is essential that good habits are developed at the school-going age. Photo by Anna Groniecka at the ‘Back to School on Your Own Fuel’ campaign
Unlocking these benefits requires targeted and sustained investment, and international evidence demonstrates that investing in cycling provides excellent value for money. Despite some local objections and legal challenges, the Government and Local Authorities must continue to be steadfast in ensuring this value for money and wide social benefits are availed of.
Cyclist.ie needs to see the promises made in the Programme for Government (PfG) become embedded in all relevant national and local policy documents and programmes, with clear timelines set out for all elements.
We outline our budget / fiscal recommendations below (in our full submission) under the following two headings:
- Taxation and fiscal policy directions to create modal shift to active travel
- Legislative changes and the promotion of cycling
In summary we are seeking:
- Continuation of financial support for Active Travel of 20% of the Land Transport Capital Expenditure per annum
- Increased petrol and diesel prices / duty and VRT rates
- Greater subsidies and supports for E-bikes so as to encourage a greater take-up of cycling (for longer / hillier journeys and for wider age cohorts) and a switch from cars to bikes
- Improvement and complementing the Bike to Work scheme to include students, unemployed, and people with disabilities
- Resourcing and growth of bike engineering training
- Resourcing and agreed timelines for legislative changes to support the growth of cycling
Full submission available here.