Erasmus+ trip to Poland – Seeking Irish Cycling Campaign Ambassadors

Irish Cycling Campaign is part of a truly inspiring European Commission funded Erasmus+ project with themes of cycling promotion, social inclusion, intergenerational relationships and climate action. We reported recently on the three fantastic Erasmus+ “Learning, Teaching and Training” (LTT) trips we took part in in 2023 – as per this article.

The next LTT will take place in Wodzislaw Slaski, a city in the south of Poland (pictured below), from Thursday 13 to Tuesday 18 June 2024 with a wonderfully diverse programme of activities planned by the local partner organisation, Zespół Szkół Ponadpodstawowych. Irish Cycling Campaign is now looking for ambassadors to represent us on the trip. Broadly, we are looking to form a small team (of around 4 or 5 persons) which will bring some new faces and some consistency to the project, and we invite active members of Irish Cycling Campaign to apply to attend. The full costs of travel, accommodation, meals and activities are covered under the project fund. 

We are asking you to send us a one page letter (say, 400 words max) explaining why you would like to apply to represent Irish Cycling Campaign at this international LTT. We particularly welcome applications from (i) members of Irish Cycling Campaign’s Local Groups that have not yet taken part in the LTTs to date, and (ii) those in the 18-30 cohort (since Erasmus+ projects have a particular focus on younger adults) – but, as you’ll read further below, we are also happy to receive applications from members of Local Groups that have already been involved and from members of all ages. 

Please send your letter to [email protected] by latest 31 March 2024 (11.59pm!). Applications will be assessed by a team comprising members of the Irish Cycling Campaign Executive Committee and other members of our team who have been involved in the project to date. The criteria for assessing applications are set out in Appendix I below, and please note that these should guide you as you prepare your letter of application. The plan is for applications to be assessed and for successful candidates to be contacted in early April with a view to booking travel arrangements at the soonest possible date thereafter so as to keep costs down.  Note that we will also be exploring rail and sail options, and encouraging overland travel for this trip, so as to minimise flying and carbon emissions.

If you have any questions on any of the above, please email [email protected] ASAP (and ideally by latest Fri 22 March) and we will respond to all queries as promptly as possible.   

Many thanks.
The Irish Cycling Campaign Executive Committee 


Appendix I – Criteria for Assessing Applications for Partaking in the “Learning, Teaching and Training” (LTT) trip to Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland as an Ambassador for Irish Cycling Campaign  

CriterionDetailsMarks
1Member of Irish Cycling CampaignPlease confirm that you are a member of Irish Cycling Campaign – you can join here if you are not already a member / if your membership has lapsed. 

And please include a copy of a short email from your Local Group Chairperson / Coordinator (or the Chair of the national Executive Committee) in which they confirm they support your application for being an ambassador for Irish Cycling Campaign on the LTT. 
Mandatory
2Active in your local groupPlease describe in your letter of application what you have been active in within your own cycle campaigning / advocacy Local 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 Irish Cycling Campaign.35
3Enthusiasm, experience working with younger groups and broader skills!The Erasmus+ trips are very much convivial gatherings of diverse people, brought together under common themes.

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 ‘people skills’ are valued a lot in this project where it’s all about nurturing exchange between diverse groups.
35
4Younger adults Erasmus+ focuses particularly on the youth and younger adults (see here), so we are especially keen that within the Irish Cycling Campaign 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) – while noting that people of all ages are very welcome to apply! We are aiming to have a mixture of ages representing us. 10
5Language 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
6Organised / Can help out with some basic adminBesides the trip itself, there is a certain amount of basic administrative work required to help to manage the project  – plus a need to post an informative web article on the trip afterwards (see the link provided in the very first paragraph above on this). Let us know in your letter of application if you are prepared to help out with this. 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 Irish Cycling Campaign 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! 

Engineers Ireland support the push for sustainable transport

There was a very heartening event last week.

Established professional body Engineers Ireland hosted a progressive, forward-looking conference aimed at informing their members – civil and structural engineers especially – about Ireland’s current surge towards more sustainable, healthy transport.

(Below) Can Ginty compares modal share over distance in Netherlands

While the provision of safe, segregated infrastructure is definitely an engineering problem, Ireland faces several other barriers in reducing car dependence and GHG emissions from transport. It was great to see presentations on policy, on transport funding, and on simply walking.

It was really inspiring and encouraging to see everyone from Finola O’Driscoll of the Department of Transport through experts Professor Brian Caulfield and Dr. Lorraine d’Arcy, and even Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, to outstanding cycling advocate Cian Ginty all agreeing on how we need to shift modes of transport to healthier, cleaner, cheaper forms.

Denise Keogan gave the Department of Transport’s overview – to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels) we’ll need to double active travel rates. Progress is good but, according to Prof. Caulfield of TCD, our focus on electric cars is misplaced and we need to ramp up efforts dramatically if we’re to get near our targets.

(Above) Denise Keogan outlines Government policies

A few of the highlights we took away were… 

• 50% GHG reduction by 2030 is a big … big ask. But we’re making real progress: Rural Link is only one of several strong initiatives

• Gender audits should be part of every plan and proposal

• Cycle parking in train stations is way cheaper than giving space for bikes on trains (lesson from the Netherlands)

• 35% of road GHG’s is from National roads

• Cycling will only do the ‘heavy lifting’ of modal shift in denser, urban areas

• Donald Shoup’s seminal resaerch on parking is worth a read.