Category Archives: Irish Posts

Ireland, see also NI

Bike Week 2021 – Cyclist.ie Member Group Events

Bike Week first took place in Ireland in June 2009 following the publication earlier that year of the National Cycle Policy Framework. The NCPF included a specific objective (#10.2, page 33) that an annual National Bike Week would be organised so as to improve the image of cycling and promote cycling using “soft interventions”.

Twelve years on and as we edge out of a difficult last 18 months, Bike Week 2021 is ready to go. It is being launched this Sunday 12th of September, and Cyclist.ie’s groups are at the heart of organising the best events happening countrywide. A credit to all of our member groups and active volunteers!

You can check out all of the events happening on a county-by-county basis on the official Bike Week website here (see the bottom of that page), but in this article here we highlight a selection of some really fabulous events being organised by our own member groups of Cyclist.ie. 

Navan

Navan Bike Fest is a week-long series of events planned for National Bike Week, kicking off with a half-day event on Sunday 12 September. This family-friendly event will be held at Coláiste na Mí and is a celebration of all things cycling, with a variety of cycling fun and games, stands and stalls, as well as the return of our ever-popular Family Cycle. Lots more at http://navancycling.ie/navan-bike-fest-2021/

Leitrim

Leitrim Cycling Festival is taking place in the beautiful little village of Kiltyclogher for a weekend of music, dancing, art, history, mud painting, good food and cycling to celebrate the wonder of bikes, communities and this stunning county. It runs from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th of September, and has a wonderfully action-packed programme of events. Details at https://leitrimcyclingfestival.com/leitrim-cycling-festival-programme-2021-2/

Dublin 

Dublin Cycling Campaign is running and supporting several terrific events during Bike Week. Campaign members will be taking part in the ‘Pedalpalooza’ family friendly festival in Fairview Park from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday 12th Sept, and the Campaign is teaming up with with wonderful crew from Bloomin’ Crumlin to cycle over to the events in Fairview (poster below). 

Then on Monday, 13 Sept at 8pm, Dublin Cycling Campaign is hosting a special meeting over Zoom at which there will be a range of people presenting who get around Dublin by bike or trike. Speakers will have three minutes each to share their cycling stories, so it promises to be a lively and interesting evening. The meeting will be chaired by meteorologist Joanna Donnelly and is organised by Siobhán McNamara. Details at https://www.dublincycling.com/cycling/virtual-public-meeting-why-we-cycle-dublin-stories 

Galway

The Galway Urban Greenway Alliance, which is campaigning for segregated walking and cycling routes from the city out to Barna and Moycullen, is running what sounds like a lovely Community Cycle event on Sunday 12th September at 11am. Details available at https://www.facebook.com/galwayurbangreenway/ and in the poster here. 

Gort 

On Saturday 18th of September, Gort Cycle Trails are organising a cycle from the Gort Railway Station to Coole Park via Glenbrack – AKA as the Gort Mini-Greenway. This sounds like a lovely event – not least because, once participants arrive at Coole Park, they will be treated to a coffee/Tea/Hot chocolate of choice and a yummie cake by Gort Tea Rooms in the Walled Garden. Details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cycle-gorts-mini-greenway-with-gort-cycle-trails-tickets-169783169029 and in the poster below. 

Kilkenny

There are wonderful events happening in Kilkenny such as free week-long trials of cargo bikes and some bike maintenance workshops in Stoneyford and Kilmacow. Details on the Kilkenny Cycling & Walking Campaign Facebook page here and in the poster below.   

Kerry

The information below was received by Anluan Dunne from Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership. As of 9th Sept, these were not published.

The events we have planned for Bike Week 2021 are: 

Guided Group Cycles for Women (x2)
– Sunday 12th of September (Killorglin and Tralee)
– Led by local Cycling Ireland Women in Sport ambassadors Fiola Foley (Killorglin) and Clare Neenan (Tralee).

Over 55’s Small Group Cycles (x4)
– Wednesday 15th of September (Listowel).

Bike Clinic Workshops (x5)
– Cahersiveen: Eamonn Casey, Ring Hotel Cahersiveen, Monday  Sept – 7pm to 8.30pm
– Listowel: Kieran Corcoran, Listowel Arms Hotel, Tuesday 14th Sept- 7pm to 8.30pm
– Tralee: Anthony O’Halloran, Meadowlands Hotel Tralee, Wednesday 15th- 7pm to 8.30pm
– Killorglin: Kieran Corcoran, Venue CYMS Community Centre , Thursday 16th –7pm to 8.30 pm
– Killarney : Matt from O’Sullivan Cycles, Venue and date to be confirmed

Bike Week Photo Competition
‘Where in Kerry will your Bike Take You?’
– 12th to 18th of September

Tandem Bike Rides for people who are blind or visually impaired (TBC)
**Very low participation numbers and availability of experienced/suitable tandem pilots may impact on this going ahead during Bike Weel. 

Cycle on Wednesdays (COW) – Active Travel Dept  (TBC)
To collaborate with colleagues from An Taisce/Green Schools to encourage and support the school community to cycle to school, as part of the Green Schools/Safe Routes to School programme.

We have also earmarked some of this funding for the purchase of some safe cycling equipment which will be used in future cycling programmes and initiatives 

Skibbereen

Cycle Sense are kicking off Bike Week with a Mystery Cycle Buffet and ending with a Family Bike Day including Art and Bike Repairs plus various cycling taster sessions in between. 

Check out the programme here https://www.cyclesense.ie/blog/bike-week-2021 – and join them in what sounds like some really lovely events. 

Clonakilty

The Clonakilty Bike Festival and Bike Circus crew have an action packed week of events taking place during Bike Week – all info available at http://clonakiltybicyclefestival.org/bike-week-2021/ – and below. 

Monday 13th – 11am-noonCome down to the Bike Circus or visit us via Facebook Live to learn about all things derailleurs.
Tues 14th – 11:30amTouring and E-Bikes webinar – tune in on Facebook Live or pop down to the Bike Circus
Tues 14th – 3pmWellbeing Cycle – a leisurely 10-15km cycle, all welcome meet at the Bike Circus
Thurs 16th – 11amAccessibility Cycling workshop and webinar with Jack. See some great cycling options for people with mobility issues, via Facebook or pop down to the yard
Fri 17th – 3pmFamily Day – Come down to Croppy park with your small ones and have some fun.
Fri 17th – 5pmA Circus at the Bike Circus!  Come down to our local community bike workshop yard for a one off performance of juggling, tricks and the circus craic! (Culture Night Event)
Sat 18th – 3pm‘Kidical Mass’ Cycle – a celebratory lap of the town, all welcome – especially kids! Meet at the Bike Circus
Sat 18th – 3:30-5pmIn Appreciation of our Apprentices – Pop down to the Bike Circus to learn about our free apprenticeship program and meet and mingle with some graduates as well as reconnect with other Bike Circus Members. Drinks & nibbles provided. We will also be launching our new community notice board, for carpooling, bike swapping and gear sharing!


Sligo

Sligo Cycling Campaign have planned their Community Cycle to coincide with Culture Night, taking place on Friday 17th September. The cycle will include a stop-off at Cranmore Community Garden and conclude with refreshments and sea-shanties at the Riverside Hotel.

Kinsale


As above, you can check out all of the events happening on a county-by-county basis on the official Bike Week website here.

Mums and grannies launch 2021 get to school on your own fuel campaign

National Cycle  to School practice runs 21st August to 4th September 2021

The “Get to School on Your Own Fuel” is a women-led initiative from members of Cyclist.ie – Irish Cycling Advocacy Network who today issued a call to parents/guardians, and school communities to support their promotion which aims to help families familiarise themselves with their school routes.  This year the promotion will run from Saturday 21st August to Saturday 4th September. 

Campaign groups will be running a range of local events to help get children ready to cycle to school and can supply guidelines for anyone interested in organising their own event. Pupils and students of all ages are welcome to participate and ideally they will link with other families, teachers, parent associations, and local organisations to plan and test the safest cycling routes from home to school.

Everyone who participates in the #GetToSchoolOnYourOwnFuel initiative is encouraged to register for a chance to win a hamper of cycle-goodies (register at www.cyclist.ie/school). Practice runs can be held on any dates between 21st August and 4th September.

 Allison Roberts, spokesperson for the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival, said

2021 is a great year to start cycling to school! The new school year will see the beginning of the Government’s Safe Routes to School programme.  170 schools supported by Green Schools Ireland, the NTA and their Local Authority will receive funding to support walking and cycling infrastructure.  Following on from the government’s lead, we as local residents can help accelerate the introduction of new measures to make cycling to school  as easy and as safe as possible.  Even if our children cycle once or twice a week it will make a  difference on our roads, in our local communities and to the perception of local authorities. Safety in numbers really does apply here, if we can get small groups together cycling to school it will be easier, safer and more enjoyable for all. 

The list of 170 schools which will receive funding this year can be found here.

Speaking on behalf of Cyclist.ie, Vice-Chair, Neasa Bheilbigh said

Many parents and principals would happily bid farewell to the daily chaotic parking  scenes at the school gate but are unsure of what the alternatives are.  Key to getting more children  to school ‘on their own fuel’ is the familiarisation of routes from home to school. Cycle Buses have been offering a supported means of getting children to school safely. Other parents may welcome support to travel with their own children or to link in with a neighbour. Cyclist.ie is urging all school communities and not just those chosen for the initial Safe Routes to School funding to investigate if cycling is an option for them.  



National Cycling Coordinator with Cyclist.ie, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama expressed the hope that following two years of pandemic disruption, the 2021/2022 School Year would be a  smooth running and happy experience for all.

We in Cyclist.ie also hope that the new school year will see an explosion of interest in getting to school on your own fuel. We are only too happy to support families to do this in any way we can. We urge everyone to register for the Get to School on your Own Fuel promotion and to contact their local advocacy group – see our map of groups here.

The network of campaign groups is calling on schools to apply for funding for secure bicycle parking. They are calling on all local authorities and the National Transport Authority to support and fund cycle parking for all schools. As set out in our Vision for Cycling in Ireland, cycling groups want to see all agencies and organisations support the installation of safer, segregated cycle routes, remove barriers to cycling and walking through parks and housing estates, and develop direct routes away from motorised traffic. The groups are also calling on all local authorities to implement as a matter of urgency 30 km/h speed limits in all urban areas, especially around schools.

For further information, visit https://cyclist.ie/school/.

PRE-BUDGET 2022 SUBMISSION FROM CYCLIST.IE

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

Cork Cycling Overview

In May 2020, the Cork Cycling Campaign, along with the HSE Cork Healthy Cities Team, Pedestrian Cork, and over twenty other organisations, signed a letter drafted by the Transport and Mobility Forum which called on Cork City and County Councils to deliver safe streets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As other cities adapted to the challenges that the pandemic posed for urban transport, mobility, and physical activity, planners and engineers in Cork City Council were busy drafting plans.

By July, a programme of works was unveiled. The ‘Re-imagined Cork’ project promised:

  • 1.3km of new pedestrianised streets
  • Over 4km of new cycle lanes
  • The resurfacing of 6km of cycle lanes and bus corridors
  • Upgrading 4km of cycle lanes with the installation of light segregation
  • 43 new bike parking bays to cater for 500 bikes.

Cork took a unique approach in Ireland by putting the new cycle lanes out to public consultation but the feedback was clear. For the South Mall Cycle Lane, over 90% of respondents supported the plans.

As Autumn settled into Cork, flexi-bollards were installed along sections of cycle lanes that had become notorious for illegal parking. Old and cracked resin on cycle lanes was chipped off and often replaced with a new surfaces. The first of the cycle lanes, along Centre Park Rd, was started. There was much anticipation in the air for paths and lanes that would make it safer to cycle in the city.

The January lockdown put a hold on construction work but by the summer, Cork had much to be proud about. A new cycle route from the South Mall stretches the whole way to the Marina and onto Blackrock village. Arguably one of the longest continuous cycle routes in an Irish city now.

New bike parking bays have been installed all over the city and are helping to regularise bike parking. Bollards and wands are keeping busy cycle routes, like the one along Washington Street, clear of parked vehicles.

The pace of change over the past 12 months in Cork has been impressive. The changes have both helped keep people already cycling safe and also attract new people to cycling. This is good news for Cork, every person who chooses to move in the city by bike is one less car on the road and one less space needed in the city centre for parking.

While much has been done in recent months, Cork faces challenges to become a true bike friendly city. Additional routes will be needed to ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, has access to a safe cycle lane. Lower vehicular speed limits will ensure that injury risks are lowered in case of collisions. New cycle infra needs to be built to high standards and avoid sharing space with pedestrians as much as possible.

The last 12 months have shown us that a lot can be done when we need to move quickly as a city. The pandemic is a major societal issue at the moment but climate action, economic competiveness, and a liveable city are all issues we face also. The Cork Cycling Campaign are keen to play our role to ensure that cycle solutions to these issues can be realised. 

As a resident of the city, and one who uses a bike from time to time, I’d like to thank the NTA and Cork City Council for making cycling easier in our city and look forward to future plans.

Conn Donovan

Chair, Cork Cycling Campaign

Cyclist.ie Demands an Immediate Response to Deaths and Serious Injuries on Rural Roads

The provisional figures published on the 26th of July 2021 by The Road Safety Authority (RSA) identify several worrying trends on the country’s roads. The review shows that from 1 January to 15 July, 2021, 65 people died on Irish roads in 60 collisions with a further 406 people were seriously injured. [1]

Speaking on behalf of Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, Colm Ryder, Chairperson said:

We welcome the publication of this report but are extremely concerned that safety on our rural roads is in severe decline. The RSA statistics identify a 13 percentage point increase in the proportion of the fatalities occurring in rural areas, as against urban areas. In 2020, 69% of fatalities (corresponding to 51 deaths) occurred in rural areas, while in 2021, 82% of fatalities (corresponding to 53 deaths). It’s an unacceptable trend for rural Ireland and one which demands a strong response from government bodies and local authorities responsible for roads, transport and mobility.”

Of particular concern is that school finishing time has been highlighted as being the most dangerous time of the day on the nation’s roads. The time between 12pm to 4pm was the period within which accounted for 31% of fatalities to date this year. Ireland’s statistics documenting the number of children cycling to school continues to show a worrying downward trend. Since 1986, the number of girls cycling to school in Ireland has fallen from 19,000. At present, only one in 250 girls cycle to school in Ireland each day. Just 694 secondary school girls in Ireland cycled to school as per the most recent census data. [2] 

The Department of Transport has announced funding to implement its Safe Routes to School Programme. The aim of the pilot programme is to assess routes to schools, selected by An Taisce Green Schools, and implement changes which would enable safe cycling and walking [3]. Speaking on behalf of the  Cyclist.ie Rural Cycling Collective, Anluan Dunne said: 

The pilot scheme to create safe routes to school shouldn’t be needed. Like the amazing cycle buses, such programmes are only needed because we have a legacy of poor design and even poorer priorities. I believe there is a growing acceptance that we have collectively made the wrong choices and now we need a concerted effort to rectify this. Specifically, we need less cars on our roads, increased enforcement of traffic law and severe penalties for people who endanger vulnerable road users such as children cycling to or from school.

Driver behaviour was highlighted by the RSA survey and by senior Gardaí as being the most impactful factor impacting the statistics. Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said:

Our own research is telling us that one factor behind this is a deterioration in road user behaviour. The Driver Attitudes & Behaviour Survey  which we conducted late last year revealed more drivers admitting to speeding in 50km and 100km speed zones. It also showed an increase in motorists texting while driving plus driving while fatigued and nodding off while behind the wheel.”[4]

Cyclist.ie are calling for a zero-tolerance approach to road safety and an increase in penalties for drivers. An Garda Síochána issued 181,263 Fixed Charge Notices to motorists for speeding with detections continuing to rise across 2021. Cyclist.ie has also called for new infrastructure, such as fixed speed cameras and an online traffic offence portal, to be employed to make enforcement more effective. 

Neasa Bheilbigh, Vice-Chairperson of Cyclist.ie stated: 

Clearly the current penalties and detection rates are insufficient. We need widespread deployment of fixed speed cameras, an online submission portal for traffic offences and new technology to detect motorists utilising mobile phones while driving. In addition, we need to see plans to reduce the number of car journeys taken in Ireland, particularly where viable alternatives exist. We want to see a robust response from the Gardaí and other state organisations.

For more information please contact:

Anluan Dunne
Member of the Cyclist.ie Executive Committee
Chairperson of Kerry Cycling Campaign, [email protected] 

References:

[1] Road Safety Authority Six Month Road Safety Review, Jan to July 15 of 2021, Presentation – Available here

[2] Get Ireland Cycling Strategy Framework (2018) – Available at this link. See Chapter 2 and Appendix II.   

[3] New Safe Routes to School Funding is Allocated

[4] Majority of road deaths occur on Rural Roads in 2021

Royal Canal Greenway – Clonsilla Stretch – Cyclist.ie Submission

Cyclist.ie made a submission to Fingal County Council this week (on 7th July 2021) on the non-statutory consultation on the Royal Canal Urban Greenway, 12th Lock to Kildare Border. For anyone less familiar with the stretch, it runs westwards from the 12th Lock, located quite near the junction of the M50 with the N3 (Navan Road).

The overarching point in our submission is that we are fully supportive of the emerging preferred route along the north bank of the Royal Canal, that connects directly with the already agreed section from the Kildare Border to Maynooth.

Cyclist.ie supports the proposed North Bank Route because:

1  It is simpler, easier, and more economical to construct 
2  It is less invasive of natural areas and protects the rich natural environment of the existing south bank
3  It provides greater access to more people than a potential south bank route, which is severed from housing by the main railway line
4 It permits any plans for the DART+ project to advance separately along the greater part of its length
5  It retains the characterful walking paths along the Deep Sinking section
6  It avoids the huge engineering works that would destroy the environment along the South bank.

You can read a copy of our full submission below.

You can see the documentation issued by FCC to which we responded at this link here: https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/royal-canal-urban-greenway

You can read Dublin Cycling Campaign’s web page on the topic here: https://www.dublincycling.com/cycling/royal-canal-greenway-needs-your-support 

Above: Artist’s impression Royal Canal Urban Greenway (from the FCC Consultation page website)

1.0     Introduction

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network (ICAN), is the federation of Cycling Advocacy Groups, Greenway Groups, and Bike Festivals on the island of Ireland. Cyclist.ie is the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation (https://ecf.com/). Our vision is that cycling will be a normal part of transport and everyday life in Ireland.

We commend Fingal CC for the advancement of this vital piece of commuter and leisure cycling/walking route, as part of the Dublin to Galway cross country greenway and the European EuroVelo Route 2 – https://en.eurovelo.com/ev2/ireland

We are fully supportive of the emerging preferred route along the north bank of the Royal Canal, that connects directly with the already agreed section from the Kildare Border to Maynooth.  This Greenway Route has the potential to provide a high-quality, safe, walking and cycling path for commuters, local residents, and visitors alike, and will ultimately link up with Greenway and commuter routes eastwards into Dublin City and westwards to the River Shannon. It is bound to encourage greater active commuter travel by bike, will undoubtedly attract more visitors to the area, and on its eastern end will serve as a commuter cycle route to and from a number of high employment locations in West Dublin and Dublin City.

We note that the present consultation phase is a non-statutory consultation, and we look forward to the final detailed development of the proposed route in due course? 

We also have a number of specific comments and issues, which we outline below in subsequent sections.

Above: Artist’s impression Royal Canal Urban Greenway (from the FCC Consultation page website)

2.0 General Comments

2.1 Choice of North Bank Route

Cyclist.ie fully endorses the choice of the route on the North Bank for the following reasons:
1  It is simpler, easier, and more economical to construct 

2  It is less invasive of natural areas and protects the rich natural environment of the existing south bank

3  It provides greater access to more people than a potential south bank route, which is severed from housing by the main railway line

4  It permits any plans for the DART+ project to advance separately along the greater part of its length.

5  It retains the characterful walking paths along the Deep Sinking section

6  it avoids the huge engineering works that would destroy the environment along the South bank

2.2 Surface Proposals

On a major potential commuter and leisure cycle route such as this Royal Canal section, the necessary surface should be a bituminous tarmacadam (asphaltic concrete) surface for its full length. Recent research suggests that a bituminous surface is also more environmentally friendly than a loose grit/dust surface.  Bituminous surfacing is the preferred type of surface by cyclists in general, but also for wheelchair and pram users.  It is also the preferred surface type recommended in the TII ‘Rural Cycleway Design – DN-GEO-03047’ document. This should be made clear in any future design statements.

2.3 Route Width

We are delighted to see the proposed width standard of at least 4 metres, and only be reduced to 3 metres in areas of constraint, and in the rural sections. It could be aiming for 5m wherever possible, especially closer to built up areas from Clonsilla onwards into the city centre. 

In the more high volume locations, such as between the 12th Lock and Diswellstown Road/Dr Troy Bridge, the design team might consider an alternate to the standard shared pathway. A segregated path design, with the cycle track at a lower level than the footpath would reduce conflicts in the more high volume usage area. Here below is an image of the Royal Canal within Dublin City Council’s area for a high-volume area.

2.4 Access and Road Crossing Design Details

On the basis of the drawings exhibited it appears that there will be no use of restrictive access gates along the length of the route, as there are no details supplied for access gates on to the route.  Cyclist.ie warmly welcomes this decision, which will encourage access by all ages, types and abilities of users.  We assume that any potential access gates will, at the very least, comply with the recommended design given in Rural Cycleway Design – DN-GEO-03047.  We favour clear unobstructed access.  Photo montages of any proposed access gates would be particularly useful at further detailed design stage, as connections and road crossings all along the route raise a number of fairly standard safety issues. 

2.5 Multi Access Proposals

Despite objections from a number of residents in the area of Brompton and Delwood estates in the Coolmine area, we are happy to see a number of potential access points highlighted from nearby roadways and housing estates where most of the proposed route is located.  In the future we feel that  these residents will recognise the real benefits of having these access points.  Fingal CC need to ensure that this proposed greenway is also accessible from densely populated areas to the south of the canal. This will necessarily involve re-evaluating all roadways and in particular safe cycle facilities in these areas, and general access to the Greenway.

2.6 Lighting and Security

It is critical, not only for local perception and peace of mind, but also for general safety and ability to use the proposed greenway at all times winter and summer, that appropriate lighting (bat friendly) be put in place, particularly in the areas of high residency.  This lighting should also be supplemented with appropriate and effective security monitoring in these areas.

2.7 Park & Ride Access

Consideration might be given to the provision of Park & Ride sites along the route, for multi modal commuters to be able to drive to locations beside the canal, park their car and continue their commute by bicycle, or by train, from that location to their destinations.

2.8 Specific Location Related Points
In our submission to the previous non-statutory consultation process in 2019 Cyclist.ie made a number of specific location related observations.  These were at the following locations:
–  Collins Bridge
–  Hansfield SDZ and potential new rail station
–  Pakenham Bridge
–  Callaghan Bridge
–  Kennan Bridge
–  Sheepmoor Lane

We assume that the issues raised in these areas will be addressed at the detailed design stage due at either Part 8 planning or ABP application stage.
Above: Artist’s impression Royal Canal Urban Greenway (from the FCC Consultation page website)


3.0 Summary

Cyclist.ie warmly welcomes this proposal to develop this section of Royal Canal Urban Greenway. We hope that our comments above will be helpful in examining the issues along the proposed route, and we look forward to the publication of the further detailed design at the final planning stage.  Once again we would be happy to meet with the Council and designers at any stage to develop any of the points raised above

Colm Ryder
Chairperson
Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network
http://cyclist.ie/ 
Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20102029
7th July 2021

Cork Cycling Campaign -Winners of the Active Community Group Award

Cork Cycling Campaign have won the inaugural Active Community Group Award from the Cork Sports Partnership!

There were four categories in the awards: group, campaign, inclusion and champion.

There were lots of entries and three finalists in each group. A short video was made of each group: 

Note that the Cork Cycling Campaign video starts at about 14 minutes.

Cork Cycling Campaign was nominated by the Chairperson, Conn Donovan. 

The Campaign gets a medal, a certificate, some goodies and a hamper! 

Congratulations to all the crew in CCC from Cyclist.ie!

New Safe Routes to School Funding is Allocated

Cyclist.ie broadly welcomes the announcement that 170 schools nationwide have been allocated funding in the first round of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programme. We are very pleased to see this programme progress and we look forward to more children cycling to school safely right across the country in the near future, as a result of improvements in active travel infrastructure.  The advancement of this program is a statement about the future health, wellbeing, and environment for the coming generations.

However, we are conscious that these 170 schools are merely the tip of the iceberg so to speak, just over 4% of the nearly 4,000 schools nationally.  Still a long way to go, especially in some counties, but with this announcement we can get some idea of the progress being made in all counties right around the country.  Three counties; Cavan, Longford and Tipperary, have only two schools earmarked under the program, the lowest of all counties nationwide.  And not surprisingly Dublin City, with the largest population, has the largest number of proposed safe routes.  Check out the full detailed list and press release HERE.  If your local school has not been included in this tranche of funding, why not get on to your local authority and ask why?

The SRTS programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA), supported by the Department of Education, and co-ordinated by An Taisce’s Green-Schools.  Full information about the programme can be found on the Green-Schools website here.

Zen and the art of Organisation Maintenance

“We have a strategy. We have a team. We’re missing just one thing – you.”

In 2020 the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network Cyclist.ie adopted a new strategy. This strategy sets out the vision, mission, values and strategic aims. It also makes clear who we are, and why we do what we do. Our strategy is a high-level framework that will guide our Council, Executive Committee (EC), volunteers, and the National Cycling Coordinator (NCC) in their work. Its main purpose is to help direct our limited time and energies on what we decide our key aims and objectives are. It is about providing guidance on where we should concentrate our efforts in terms of campaigning priorities and organisational development.

Following the adoption of the strategy, the next challenge was to organise ourselves in a way to enable us to take action and achieve the aims and objectives outlined in the strategy. We’ve now taken the first step by proposing a structure that allows us to handle the ongoing day-to-day operational tasks, whilst progressing our strategic aims. The concept is to create a number of “portfolio groups” that are each responsible for particular areas.

We’ve identified eight portfolio groups, each with the same structure:

  • A liaison from the Exec team, and also a non-exec liaison to promote wider involvement from the cycling community
  • A set of day-to-day or reactive tasks that this group is responsible for, handling all the many and varied activities that keep Cyclist.ie moving forward
  • A set of strategic or planned tasks aimed at delivering on our overall goals

So far, so good. So what parts of the strategy are each of the portfolio groups responsible for?

How we’ll achieve our strategic objectives

After a number of workshops we arrived at the result shown in the table below. Note that our six main strategic aims are shown on the left hand side (each of which has several objectives sitting within it), while our 8 portfolio groups are shown in blue on the top.:

The numbers indicate the number of strategic objectives in each portfolio – noting that the objectives vary widely in scope and scale.

We expect this structure to adapt and evolve over time as we put this into practice, and the first step is to invite you to get involved.

How to get involved

Each portfolio has a liaison from the exec team, and the first job of the liaison is to present their portfolio at the June Council meeting and invite you to get involved. Involvement can be as small or large as you have capacity for, so please get in touch! Shown below are the eight portfolio groups and the liaison person (or persons) associated with each

Drogheda Cycling – Welcome On board!

Cyclist.ie’s newest member group, Drogheda Cycling, has penned the following piece outlining why it came into being and what it is focusing on. Welcome on board!

Hello, Noel Hogan here. I’m the Chairperson of the newly formed Drogheda Cycling group. The group first came into existence as a twitter account (@droghedacycling) before being established as a proper organisation earlier this year. 

Growing up in the 1980s/90s in Ennis in County Clare, bicycles were our ticket to greater freedom. No longer did we need the mammy taxi to bring us to places far away. Looking at my own six year old, I realised that – if something wasn’t done – his childhood would be robbed of this sense of freedom. This led me to reach out to others who wanted to create a safe environment for cyclists (and others) in Drogheda, and this group is the result. 

Our aims are to create a safe environment for cycling in and around Drogheda and to raise the awareness of cycling for all as a practical alternative to car use. Like many towns around Ireland, it would be fair to say Drogheda is not a cycling friendly town – busy roads, a lack of cycling friendly infrastructure – but much the same was said of many European cities until quite recently. I really think Drogheda is primed for a renaissance and our group is going to play a major part in making it a more pleasant, liveable town for everyone.

Our focus this year is to establish and grow our group – we have made submissions to Louth County Council regarding the planned active travel routes for the town and have recently held our first community cycle. We believe that we must be the change we seek – and having regular family friendly cycles is one way to demonstrate the benefits of cycling to all (and being part of Cyclist.ie is a great help in this regard). We hope to broaden our engagement with stakeholders and gain more community support as the year goes on. 

One of the great things about Cyclist.ie is that it allows you to engage with other like minded groups – here in Drogheda we have been happy to engage with the Navan Cycling Initiative and hope to further our engagement as time goes on. It really helps when you can learn how others have approached engaging with local authorities and other stakeholders. 

You can contact Drogheda Cycling via:

Email – [email protected]
Twitter – @droghedacycling
Facebook – /Drogheda-Cycling-102975298149028