Reflecting on’s Work in 2022 and Looking Ahead to 2023

As we launch ourselves into another year’s campaigning, we have taken some time to reflect on the breadth and depth of advocacy work that carried out last year.

In this article, we look back on 2022 through the frame of our 2021-26 Strategy (with our six strategic aims shown below) and consider how much progress we have made. In particular, we highlight where and its member groups are making a real impact on the mobility culture of Ireland. Note, however, that this article only scrapes the surface of all of the incredible work conducted by our network of volunteers for which we are very grateful.

We are happy to receive feedback on this article, either in the comments below or else by contacting our National Cycling Coordinator directly.  

Aim #1 – Developing a vibrant and resilient all-island cycling advocacy community (p6 here)
The nurturing of a vibrant campaigning community is a central aim for Without new members coming on board, feeling welcome, getting active and collaborating with others in an organized way, it is difficult for our advocacy work to make the impact we are seeking. Thankfully, has been led by a super committed Executive Committee of 12 persons (see here) over the last year. It met 11 times in 2022 (almost every month!) and organised two well attended online Council meetings for our group and individual members. While the online meetings worked very well, we are all looking forward to meeting up in person in 2023.   

In spite of the pandemic and the difficulty of meeting up in person,’s network of member groups grew to 35 groups as we reported at the end of 2022. That was three more than the previous year, and five times the size of our initial seven member network when was founded in 2008 (see here for the original detailed submission we made to the Department of Transport in Oct 2008). Our total number of paying members of the network remained at over 1000, with the bulk of these as individual members of Dublin Cycling Campaign. 

One of the big organisational developments made during the year was the bedding in of our nine Action Groups, formed to help advance particular strands of work in Our AGs, shown below, are each generally based around particular skill-sets (such as finance, IT, communications, people-skills around engaging with ‘the system’ of politicians or officials, engineering / planning, and research) plus advancing the rural cycling agenda (which itself involves a real mix of skills).’s Nine Action Groups

In terms of organisational development on the Communications front, was delighted to receive the professional input of the Marketing Agency We the People in drafting a brand new Communications Strategy for us. This arose as part of a successful funding application to Rethink Ireland (see below). This support sets us up well for 2023, when we are looking to adopt a fresh approach to getting our message out and engaging in public debates. In addition to this, we posted over 35 original articles to the website, issued 12 action packed newsletters to our 2000+ subscribers, and made many postings to our social media platforms on our core campaigning topics. We comment further on our broader impacts on the public under Aim #2 below.

A crucial part of the development of the organisation in 2022 was the work advanced by the board of / Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG around our governance structures and developing a completely new Constitution and Operations Manual. The board met 9 times in 2022, and we are now nearing the end of our journey to arrive at a more fit-for-purpose and modern governance configuration for the organisation. The finalisation of this work will have many positive knock-on effects including ending up with a stronger organisation which is more attractive for members, staff and funders. Additionally, the regulation of our activities will be streamlined and risks better managed. All in all, we will be able to make a bigger impact on public policy and practice with our new arrangements in place. 

Funding for and for the position of National Cycling Cycling Coordinator has remained a real challenge in 2022, as we set out in this article in November. The uncertainly over funding has been our Achilles’ heel as we seek to strengthen cycling advocacy and make a bigger impact. That said, we scored a great win in 2022 with a successful funding application to the European Commission as part of a consortium applying for Erasmus+ funding on a project entitled Generations Pedaling for Inclusion and Climate Action as set out in this article. Meanwhile our strategic partnership with An Taisce, initiated back in 2013, has continued successfully and it will shortly enter its 10th year. Additionally, we are very grateful to Cycling Ireland for their own support for the National Cycling Coordinator position, and we look forward to engaging with them regularly in 2023. We also acknowledge here the support of Lime in joining Dublin Cycling Campaign / as a Business Member – as per this article and the ongoing support of the Irish Heart Foundation.  

In 2022, we forged stronger connections with other organisations through formal and informal coalitions. We remain active members of The Wheel, of Stop Climate Chaos and of the European Cyclists’ Federation – and we were delighted to have three representatives (Mary Sinnott, Colm Ryder and Damien Ó Tuama) attending ECF’s in-person AGM in Berlin in May as reported on here.  

All in all, a lot of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work was advanced in 2022 to improve the organisational structure of, put it on a firmer footing and enable us to collectivise the massive energies and skills of our network so that we can make a significant impact on the transport culture. was well represented at the AGM of the ECF in Berlin in 2022 

Aim #2 – Influence the national conversation on mobility and quality of life (p7 here)
Our work to change the conversations and discourses around mobility and quality of life take place on a daily basis. 

This happens through our social media postings, newsletters and web articles, but crucially we articulate our low carbon vision of the future of mobility through regular contributions to TV and radio programmes and podcasts, and print and online media. Some of the major media appearances included: 

  • Galway School Cycle Bus on What planet are you on?
  • RTE’s Morning Ireland regarding the Athlone to Galway Greenway; 
  •’s contributions to the On the Road with Simon Delaney TV series
  • Eco-laoch on TG4; 
  • Eco-eye on RTE1 TV. 
  • Nationwide 

And already in 2023, Dublin Cycling Campaign has featured in several high profile TV and radio programmes – see here.  

In 2022 we also organised a successful Photo shoot and Press Release for the Hospitals Active Travel Award in September – an event also including the Sustainability Committee of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland and Irish Doctors for the Environment. As shown below. 

Public online meetings are another way in which we disseminate our messages, and / Dublin Cycling Campaign planned and ran many successful public meetings during 2022. Some of the more popular meetings with a national and international focus included:

  • Public Meeting on the Velo-city 2022 conference. See the recording here
  • Public meeting on EuroVelo Route #1 held on 15 Nov. See recording here.

Finally, over the last year, we have been creating new partnerships and aligning ourselves publicly with events, projects, groups and individuals with overlapping values and other overarching ‘liveable communities’ priorities – such as with the Hospital Active Travel Awards above. 

Aim #3 – Seek to ensure public policy embraces cycling (p8 here)
Amongst the most important policy documents shaping what actually happens during a term of government are the Programme for Government and the National Development Plan – and then the annual budgets. Both the PfG and the NDP already include significant commitments for investing in cycling, and the annual allocations for the NTA and TII (and hence to Local Authorities) for cycling are unprecedentedly high. From a policy perspective, cycling is in a far better place than it has been for, perhaps, any other period in the history of the state – and has played an important role in this positive change. However, one of the major difficulties we are experiencing in 2022 has been the under-spending of those government allocations by local authorities. We revisit this point under Aim #5 below. 

Cyclist was pleased to engage directly with Transport Infrastruture Ireland (TII) on the advancement of plans for the National Cycle Network, and the updating of the Rural Cycleway Guidance design document. We also welcomed the publication of the CycleConnects proposals by the National Transport Authority, and we made detailed submissions on both of these – on the NCN (in June) and on CycleConnects (in November). 

Overall, made close to 100 written submissions to Local and National Authorities in regard to transport strategies and schemes, with further submissions made by local campaign groups. Our Consultations Action Group is now developing a new more user friendly consultation tracking system. Some further examples of major submissions made include:

Finally, at the end of 2022, the government published its Climate Action Plan 2023 on which provided its initial assessment in this web article. It is worth noting that the transport section of CAP23 was influenced strongly by the publication of the OECD’s Redesigning Ireland’s Transport for Net Zero report, as commissioned by the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC). Back in April 2022, was invited by the CCAC to a two-day workshop which was held as part of the planning work underpinning the development of the report. Joan Swift (from Sligo Cycling Campaign) represented at it. Joan was subsequently invited onto the panel for the launch event of the OECD report. warmly welcomed the publication of this report as it argues strongly for transformative change in the mobilities space – not simply incremental changes or an excessive reliance on the electrification of the private motor vehicle fleet for the decarbonisation of the transport sector.  

The OECD report which has helped to shape CAP23

Note that in 2022, met the Department of Transport (twice) on a variety of policy and practical issues, the National Transport Authority (three times – mainly in regard to the National Cycle Manual) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (twice – in regard to the National Cycle Network and the new Rural Cycleway Design Guidance).

And in regard to engaging with politicians, some of our main activities in 2022 included:

  • Ongoing meetings with the Oireachtas All Party Cycling Group.
  • Parliamentary questions (PQs) submitted on several topics of concern to cycle campaigners.
  • Meetings with Labour, Sinn Féin and People Before Profit on the development of their new cycling / transport policies. 
  • Engagements with all parties on retaining / making the best use of the 20% of transport budget allocated to active modes in all party cycling policies.

Aim #4 – Advocate for more effective institutions and new legislation (p9 here)
Within this strategic aim, we have two related objectives:

  • 4.1 We will encourage and seek to ensure that key figures in transportation and related fields are inspired and motivated by experiencing cycle friendly cultures first hand.
  • 4.3 We will advocate for the key personnel in government departments and agencies to receive up-to-date training in cycling policy and provision.

We put a lot of work behind the scenes into disseminating widely information about the Velo-city conference, the largest cycling advocacy conference in the world, that took place in Ljubliana in Slovenia in 2022. We were delighted to see representation at VC by senior staff members of the Department of Transport, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and many of the Irish Local Authorities – as well as several members of our own groups. You can read detailed reports by our own team members here:

Part of the Irish delegation at Velo-city 2022

Another related strategic objective for us under this main aim is as follows:

  • 4.2 We will advocate for institutional reform so that active travel is given priority and so that there is good coordination (‘horizontally’ and ‘vertically’) between government departments, agencies and local authorities.

Our advocacy work on this objective continued throughout 2022 – mainly through our meetings with officials and politicians and, for example, through inviting staff from state agencies to participate in our public meetings. See for example our meeting on EuroVelo#1 in which Doug Corrie from Sport Ireland spoke, as well as Florence Lessard, a cycling tourist from Quebec in Canada. 

Finally, we pressed on in 2022 with work on following objective under this same aim:

  • 4.4 We will advocate for road traffic legislative changes to improve cycling. We will advocate for more effective enforcement of appropriate legal sanctions against drivers of motorised vehicles who endanger the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. We will not support cyclists engaging in dangerous, reckless and inconsiderate behaviour.

Some of the main activities related to this was the work around advocating for 30km/h to become the default speed limit in built-up urban areas – including members from our Love 30 group speaking at the Road Safety Authority annual research conference. See here (and the picture below). Additionally, has been in regular contact with the RSA with a view to convening a meeting in early 2023. We continue to liaise with the Road Safety section of the Department of Transport on the updating and improvement of legislation in favour of active travel.

Mairéad Forsythe and Justin Fleming from Love 30 / speaking at the RSA Conference

Aim #5 – Seek to ensure there is ample funding spent on cycling (p10 here)
As alluded to above, is very concerned about the under-spend of active travel allocations by local authorities. As reported in the Irish Times in August 2022, “more than half of the funding provided to rural local authorities last year [i.e. 2021] for active cycling and walking infrastructure was unspent”. Much of this underspend can be attributed to the lack of capacity at local authority level, while at the same time local authorities have been seeking to build up their staffing levels to meet the demands of funding allocations both in quantity and quality.  We in will continue to monitor spending levels, but are hopeful that local authorities will improve their performance in this critical area. Note that the NTA’s 2022 Active Travel Investment Grant Allocations can be read here.  

Participants at one of the Cargo Bike Championships held in the Phoenix Park (a few years ago)

In 2022, put a lot of effort into advancing the following objective in our strategy:

  • 5.3 We will advocate for further fiscal / taxation measures to be introduced to incentivise cycling (including the use of cargo bikes and e-bikes, and for cycle training instruction).

Following the delivery of our detailed Pre-Budget 2023 Submission plus further engagements with politicians and media oriented work, we were very pleased to see the Finance Bill containing provision to facilitate families looking for an alternative to a second car with the new €3,000 tax incentive for the purchase of cargo bikes (as reported in the Irish Times here). 

The mass adoption of the use of cargo bikes – as road conditions improve – will go a long way to help decongest our towns and cities, and to deepen the cycling culture countrywide. Note that we expect that many members will be plugging into the special event organised by the European Cyclists’ Federation on 28 Feb 2023 on Cargo bike friendly cities: Tracking cargo bike developments across Europe – details and registration link here.  

Aim #6 – Seek to secure high quality routes and infrastructure (p11-12 here)
This is, arguably,’s most important aim and the one we are putting significant resources into achieving. As noted above, we engaged with the planning process very closely in 2022 and delivered over 100 high quality submissions to Local Authorities and An Bord Pleanála on schemes. 

Additionally, we have continued to seek temporary quick-to-construct cycle facilities as an appropriate interim response to emergency situations, such as with the Covid-19 restrictions, with a view to having the facilities carefully assessed and then made permanent as improved designs. (see Objective 6.4 of our strategy). 

Some of this work (and plenty of additional advocacy work) takes place through our member groups’ being represented on some of the (Transport) Strategic Policy Committees of the 31 Local Authorities in the country. In a separate article, we will provide an update on’s participation in and contributions to the work of these Transport / Infrastructure SPCs and, where appropriate, their Walking and Cycling Sub-committees. 

Objective 6.7 of our strategy reads as follows:
“We will work to ensure that the main standards / guidelines documents (National Cycle Manual, Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, and the Rural Cycle Design Guidance) are fully updated and improved in line with international best practice.” 

Overall, we were pleased to see the publication of a revised version of TII’s Rural Cycleway Design Standards (Aug 2022), with specific changes made as a result of our meetings with TII, and of our detailed submission. 

We also spent much of 2022 prodding the National Transport Authority in regard to progressing the revision of the National Cycle Manual (current version available here). The document is over 18 months behind schedule but is due to be released very soon (as per our understanding at the end of January 2023). Overall, has been frustrated by the slow pace of the work on this document, which we maintain is a crucial part of the jigsaw for the development of high quality cycle networks. This domain will be a priority one for us in 2023.  

In regard to the rural environment and creating networks of cycle friendly rural roads, – through its Rural Collective – made seriously impressive leaps during 2022. Huge credit is due here to the very active Rural Collective team which was convened back in 2020. The Rural Collective’s main achievements in 2022 are listed here:  

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that’s Action Group on Research made great strides in 2022. Good research underpins all of our submissions and the development of our papers and positions on a wide range of sustainable transport and safety topics. This AG is now also beginning to reconfigure the “Resources” section of the website so as to make key documents more easily locatable – as shown below.  

Finally, at the end of 2022, several active members of submitted (successful!) abstracts for the “Socio-cycle” symposium taking place in University College Cork on 03-04 February 2023 – see here for conference and registration details. We look forward to catching up with our colleagues in Cork Cycling Campaign (who are co-organising this event) at this event!  

Organisationally, we have advanced on many fronts and are in a much stronger position than this time last year. However, core funding remains our main weaknesses, and we look forward to resolving this with the help of our own members and supporters in 2023. We highlight this point in this article when we point out that “ will mark its 15th birthday, Dublin Cycling Campaign its 30th birthday, while the European Cyclists’ Federation will have 40 candles on its campaigning cake” in 2023. 

As one can see from the summary above, 2022 was yet another incredibly busy year for and its (now) 35 member groups. Huge credit is due to our fabulous network of members and volunteers. 

That said, we continue to punch well above our weight in terms of our impact on mobility discourses, public policy, the development of new legislation, funding for cycling infrastructure and standards. 

We imagine a day, not far into the future, when we will have a core staff complement of, perhaps, half a dozen members, who themselves are supporting a far larger membership and mass of supporters. This will enable us to further shape policies and conditions on the ground so that active travel, and active travel combined with high quality public transport, becomes the normal way for many if not most people to get about on a daily basis. 

We look forward to your support in 2023 to make that happen. 

Bike It Like Brigid

Over the coming days we will celebrate our first Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day public holiday, the first Irish public holiday named after a woman, and a range of activities have been organised countrywide to acknowledge the critical role that women play and have played in Irish history, culture and society.

Neither the goddess Brigit nor St Brigid had a bicycle, of course, but we like to think that if either of them were around today they would make use of this ‘freedom machine‘ to help them get stuff done. 

So for this Imbolc/St Brigit’s Day, we are going to celebrate how 21st-century Irish women use bikes or trikes to help them live fulfilling lives. If you are a woman who cycles, we invite you to share a photo on social media with the hashtag #BikeItLikeBrigid celebrating how your bike or trike helps you get stuff done, whether it be commuting, volunteering, transporting children, grocery shopping, or meeting friends and family. 

2023 – Big Birthdays for Cycling Campaigns

2023 is a big year for cycling campaigning. will mark its 15th birthday, Dublin Cycling Campaign its 30th birthday, while the European Cyclists’ Federation will have 40 candles on its campaigning cake. 

It will be an especially significant year for DCC and as we completely rework our governance structures and become a much stronger campaigning force. 

Related to this is the development of a new and sustainable funding model for cycling advocacy. Our ambition is to move to having several staff members supporting many multiples of our supporters, members and active volunteers. We also aim to build much stronger partnerships with allied groups.

We have already succeeded in bringing several high profile companies on board to support us through our Business Membership Schemes (such as Dropbox and Lime), and have secured funding from bodies such as Rethink Ireland, the Irish Research Council and, most recently, the European Commission (see below for links). 

We are now asking you, our members and supporters, to take a simple action. 

If you are working for a company that might have a Corporate Social Responsibility scheme – i.e. a way in which a business integrates its social and environmental responsibilities into its operations – we would love to hear from you. 

Securing the support of companies for our cycling advocacy work will help to accelerate the transformation of our cities and towns and rural areas into bicycle friendly places for all. And better cycling provision means more employees cycling, and all the research shows that means healthier and more productive employees. 

Please contact our National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, if you can suggest names / departments within your company that we should contact. 

Many thanks.

From the Board, the Executive Committee of Dublin Cycling Campaign and the Executive Committee of 

Details of our Business Membership Schemes:

Examples of Current Supporters:

Examples of Recent Fundraising Successes and Partnerships:

European Cyclists’ Federation Founding Agreement from 1983 Taking Part in Erasmus+ Project – Volunteers Sought has been successful with an Erasmus+ funding application to the European Commission, where we are one of seven partners collaborating on a brand new and exciting three year project. The name of it is Generations Pedaling for Inclusion and Climate Action or, in its abbreviated form, GenCy4In&ClimA

For those less familiar with it, Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. We are delighted with this news as it will enable us to deepen our connections with organisations doing good cycling / environmental advocacy work in several European countries, and to help nurture a new generation of cycling campaigners in Ireland. 

This story on our website summarises what the project is about, while this presentation (prepared by the lead organisation) provides more information on the partners (from Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Poland) and on the exchange trips happening in 2023, 2024 and 2025. And you can check out the brand new project website here (still under construction). Note that the main project themes (and work packages) are centred around Social Inclusion, Climate Action, Intergenerational Relationships and Cycling Promotion – all core campaigning areas for   

Overall Project Coordinator: Toño Peña (in the whiteT-shirt) with his colleagues from the IES Alhama School

At this point, we want to find out if there are active members of our network who are interested in being part of the project. There will be a few different ways to get involved.

  • Firstly, we will need one or two people, in addition to Damien, to attend (at least some of) the online Project Team Meetings, where we all check in with each other (say, over 1 to 1.5 hours) and plan the next strands of the project. These meetings typically take place once every month or six weeks or so.

  • Secondly, we will be looking for participants to partake in, what are called, the LTTs (“Learning and Teaching Trips”) over the coming years. will be looking to send, maybe, 4/5/6 people on each trip (lasting 4 full days plus a day’s travel at either end – i.e. 6 days away in total per trip). The essence of these trips is doing multiple (mainly outdoor) learning activities with lots of people from different countries.

    The draft schedule of trips is as follows:
    Corella (in Navarre, in the north of Spain), late March 2023
    [Update note of 31.01.2023. Dates still to be confirmed. Also a possibility that this trip will take place around / during the week commencing Mon 24 April. Will be confirmed ASAP.]
    Waterford, last week in June 2023
    Azambuja (just north of Lisbon, Portugal), Oct 2023 (date TBC)
    Wodzislaw (in the south of Poland), Oct 2024 (date TBC)
    Estella (also in Navarre, near Pamplona in the North of Spain), June 2025 (date TBC).

  • Thirdly, when the crew come to Dublin (sometime in late 2024) for the LTT, we will need plenty of helping hands to formulate and run a diverse programme with a focus on cycling advocacy / events, especially targeted at a youth / younger adult audience. The programme can plug into some events that we might be running anyway – all to be figured out. A decision about the date of the Dublin LTT meeting in 2024 will probably need to be made by mid/late 2023.

  • Forth, there will be blogging work to do in between the LTTs. This will include penning stories for the project blog (reporting, for example, on what is happening in Ireland on various cycling advocacy fronts and linking to articles on and, proofing articles drafted by those without English as a first language, posting articles and social media pieces about the LTT trips to our own platforms, and other bits and pieces.

  • Finally, we will need a hand on the admin and project management side – mainly around making sure we get a good spread of our people attending the LTT trips, and keeping a careful track of expenses etc. This item links back to the first one above (on Project Team Meetings). 

We are assuming that we may have more people interested in taking part in each LTT than there will be spaces available, so the Executive Committee (EC) is developing a fair and simple system to figure out who goes on the trips (and acts as ambassadors for In Appendix I below, you can see the criteria we propose to use to assess applications (for the first trip anyway – we may tweak it subsequently). We also wish to flag it up here that we will require everyone going on trips away to be Garda Vetted in advance because five of the seven partner organisations are secondary schools. We will formalise the process around this soon, but in the meantime you might like to check out this ‘Garda Vetting’ web page.  

As above, the first LTT will take place in Corella in the North of Spain from Thu 23 to Tue 28 March inclusive. [Update note of 31.01.2023. Dates still to be confirmed. Also a possibility that this trip will take place around / during the week commencing Mon 24 April. Will be confirmed ASAP.]

The trip will comprise four full days of activities, plus a day for travel at either end) and we expect we will be sending, maybe, 4, 5 or 6 people from on the trip. The trips will be fully paid for – to include travel, accommodation, food and all of the various indoor and outdoor activities. Note that with the new ferry services from Ireland to the north of Spain, which now take foot passengers and cyclists, we may look into weighing up the pros and cons of traveling over land and sea, as against flying, from the perspective of low carbon travel (but we will also consider the travel time and costs involved for each option, and hence the numbers of delegates we can support).

Members of Biciclistas de Corella (local cycling campaigners) at an event in Corella Town Square

We are now seeking expressions of interest (EoI) from potential participants in attending this first LTT in Corella at the end of March, which promises to be an action-packed trip!

We ask that you submit a short letter of application (no more than two pages long) which explains why you would like to go on the trip and which responds to the criteria listed in Appendix I below. Please email [email protected] by latest Tuesday (night) 7th of Feb 2023 with your letter attached.

A sub-committee, comprising reps from the Executive Committee and from the board of DCC CLG /, will assess the applications, aiming to revert to (successful) applicants ASAP so that we can book our travel arrangements without delay.  

Please discuss this opportunity with colleagues in your local cycling advocacy group as soon as possible. If you have any questions on any of the above, please email Damien by 6pm on Wed 25 Jan. Note that if there is lots of interest in the project or questions on the above, we may organise a special Zoom meeting (most likely during the week commencing Mon 30 Jan). 

Many thanks. 


Dr. Damien Ó Tuama
National Cycling Coordinator, and An Taisce
The Tailors’ Hall
Back Lane
Dublin D08 X2A3
E:  [email protected] 

Appendix I – Criteria for Assessing Applications for Partaking in the first LTT trip to Corella in Spain 

CriterionFurther Details / Background / ExplanationMarks (out of 100)
1.Member of a Member GroupThe current list of groups is here. Please confirm that you are a member of your local cycling advocacy group – and include a copy of a short email from your group Chairperson or Coordinator confirming that (i) you are a member of that group and (ii) your Chair / Coordinator supports your application for being an ambassador for on the LTT.  Mandatory
2. Active in your local groupPlease describe in your letter of application what you have been active in within your own cycle campaigning / advocacy group, particularly over the last year. Extra marks for those who have been on the organising / Executive Committee of the local group and/or of   35
3.  Enthusiasm, experience working with younger groups and broader skills!  The Erasmus+ trips are very much convivial gatherings of diverse people, brought together under common themes – in this case social inclusion, climate action, intergenerational relationships and cycling promotion / advocacy. If you are especially sociable / easy to get along with, or perhaps you play an instrument or sing a song or do a dance, or have experience working with younger groups (maybe in outdoor settings), please let us know in your application! These ‘softer skills’ are valued a lot in this project where it’s all about nurturing exchange between diverse groups. 35
4. Younger adults Erasmus+ focuses particularly on the youth and younger adults (see here), so we are especially keen that within the delegation we have at least some members who are under 30 years of age. Let us know if you are under 30 (but also 18 years or over). 10
5. Language SkillsThere are partners on the project from Spain, Portugal and Poland so it would be advantageous if you have (even basic) conversational Spanish, Portuguese or Polish. Please let us know in your application. 10
6. Organised / Can help out with some basic adminBesides the trips themselves, there is an amount of admin support work to help to manage the project well – plus a need to post lively / informative web articles and blog posts. Let us know in your letter of application if you are prepared to help out with this and/or if you have experience writing articles of various types. You will receive guidance and training on this as needed / appropriate.10
Additional Criterion to be used in assessing all applications collectively, after the initial individual assessment has been completed
7DiversityFor this project, we are keen for the delegation to be diverse in every sense of the term. We are especially keen to have a good spread of active members of our network from all around the country, both urban and rural, with a good gender balance and mix of backgrounds. Do please tell us a bit about yourself in your application! To be considered before final team is chosen

Lough Derg Greenway – Options Selection – Submission made a submission today, Thu 12 Jan 2023, on the Options Selection Phase of the Development of the Lough Derg Greenway in County Tipperary. Information on the project can be read here You can read our submission below.

Note that the Options Selections Phase, in terms of its position in the sequencing of phases of the project, can be understood from the following graphic:

1 – Introduction, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network (ICAN), is the federation of cycling advocacy groups, greenway groups and bike festivals on the island of Ireland. We are the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation.  Our vision is for an Ireland with a cycle friendly culture, where everyone has a real choice to cycle and is encouraged to experience the joy, convenience, health, climate, and environmental benefits of cycling. An Taisce is the National Trust for Ireland – is and An Taisce are delighted to see the planning for this greenway / high quality cycling route on the eastern shores of Lough Derg progressing.  When constructed it will hopefully form part of a lacework of cycle and walking routes around the iconic Lough Derg, which will encourage local people to travel actively more frequently, and also entice visitors to the area to experience the many attractions and activities.

We have only some general comments at this early Route Options stage, in response to the non-statutory public consultation as set out on the webpage. We outline these below.

2 – General Comments
2.1 Population Access
It is critical that whatever route option is chosen that the route services the largest catchment population possible, so as to ensure that it is used all year round by the local population of close to 19,000, as well as by visitors to the area. We highlight, in particular, the need to link seamlessly to schools, sports grounds, shops and employment locations. We need to nurture a culture where it is safe and easy and enjoyable to cycle to school, sports training and other destinations where distances are amenable to this.  

2.2 Constraints
As outlined in particular in Section 6 of the Feasibility & Constraints Report , there are a variety of design difficulties to be overcome in choosing the best option for this proposed greenway. National greenway design standards will limit the choices for the different route options outlined, but it is obvious that a mix of sections along the various route options will likely be the final route choice. In other words, the chosen route will likely comprise a mixture of quiet back (L) roads (with reduced speed limits – see below), of providing segregated facilities alongside any short sections of R road that are to be followed, plus elements alongside field boundaries when done in an ecologically sensitive way.

2.3 Use of L Routes and the need for lower / safer speed limits.
It is unclear from the documentation supplied as to whether some of the L routes on the different route options are proposed to be used directly without widening – with improved surfacing – or with additional width provided. advocates for the development of L routes for cycling and walking, without major upgrades, but crucially with consideration of reduced speeds and some possible design interventions, as outlined in our Rothar Roads document. 

We would argue in particular that having 80km/h as the speed limit on these back roads (some of which have grass up the centre) is totally inappropriate (even if road side separate facilities are created). We highlight here the back road shown (below) as Figure 11 of the Feasibility and Constraints report (page 33) and where the text indicates that there is “little room for widening on one side… and significant earthworks would potentially be required to widen the road to accommodate the greenway”. wishes to challenge the idea that such attractive roads with grass running up the middle (which suggests low motor traffic volumes) need to be widened in order to make them cycling friendly. The crucial intervention here is to have lower, safer speeds on these roads and with driver behaviour improved so that cyclists are “expected and respected”. The use of some type of (lateral or vertical) physical interventions to reduce speeds on these roads would seem appropriate. 

TII, in the latest update of their Rural Cycleway Design standard, endorses much of this thinking, particularly in its section 3.4, which could be utilised in developing the alignment and design of this proposed greenway.   

Screen shot from page 33 of the Feasibility and Constraints report

2.4 Landscape- and ecology friendly route design wishes to stress the need for minimal ecological and habitat disturbance in the development of this route – and this point relates back to our previous point challenging the apparent approach of seeking to widen some extremely quiet back roads in the creation of the route. In essence, rather than seeking to create a continuous ‘greenway’ all the way around Lough Derg, it would seem more prudent to include some lengths of very quiet L-roads, where there are some motor vehicle movements (of a local access nature) but where these happen at lower / safer speeds.

2.5 Connecting to the National Cycle Network and CycleConnects routes
We are aware of the bigger picture here of the development of the NCN (by TII) and the CycleConnects Routes (by the NTA). We would urge the designers to liaise closely with both of the relevant teams here, so that the Lough Derg Greenway / Cycle Route connects seamlessly with those other national and county level cycle networks (which themselves will connect to the EuroVelo#1 and EuroVelo#2 cycle routes).

3 – Summary/Conclusion
In conclusion, and An Taisce strongly supports the creation of this greenway / cycle route, where it is done in an ecologically sensitive manner. We also endorse the use of quieter back roads – especially those with grass running up the middle – as part of the overall route, but where attention is paid to reducing the speed limits from the completely inappropriate 80km/hr existing limits. 

We would be more than happy to discuss our ideas further with the project team in due course. 

We would be grateful if you can acknowledge receipt of this submission. 

Thank you.

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama
National Cycling Coordinator, and An Taisce
Vice-President, European Cyclists’ Federation (2016 – 2021)
The Tailors’ Hall
Back Lane
Dublin D08 X2A3
IrelandE:  [email protected]