Category Archives: Irish Posts

Ireland, see also NI

Inexplicable Bikes-Not-On-Ferries Policy Highlighted

Elaine Baker from the Cycling Cloughjordan group in County Tipperary is taking a stand about the issue of Irish Ferries not allowing push bikes on the Pembroke to Rosslare ferry, despite allowing motorbikes and motorized vehicles on board. Cycling Cloughjordan is part of the Irish Cycling Campaign organisation. 

In her series of video blog posts, filmed on Sat 17 to Sun 18 February 2024, she tracks her experience of trying to bring her folding bicycle on board the service from Fishguard having been visiting friends in South Wales, with a view to sailing into Rosslare and then travelling on back home to County Tipperary. 

In this first video, filmed en route by bus to Fishguard, she explains her rationale for wanting to take the direct ferry to Rosslare – and thus avoiding the much more carbon intensive mode of flying. 

In the next video, she reports on the refusal of the company to let her on board with her bicycle – despite there being no good reason for the rule itself.

In the third third video here, filmed at 2.30am on a wet morning, she elaborates on the absence of any logic in allowing motorbikes on board the ferry but not allowing bikes without motors on board. Despite spending several hours at the ferry port talking to many different staff members, she was offered no sensible reason for why push bikes were not allowed on the ferry. 

And in this forth video, filmed with the early morning birds audible in the background and after she was asked by staff to leave the dark and fairly desolate area, she observes the ferry she was supposed to be on leaving the ferry port with motorbikes on board. 

At the time of posting this article here, Elaine was en route to Holyhead in North Wales – which is quite a circuitous route by train from Pembroke. 

Two updates further on Elaine’s journey – video #5 here and video #6 here, both from Holyhead port at around 5.30pm and 6pm respectively. In these videos (screen shot below), Elaine highlights that one of the two sailings from Holyhead around 8pm / 8.30pm would be taking foot passengers and cyclists, whereas the other one wouldn’t be.

At the time of updating this article (8.30pm on Sunday night), Elaine should have left Holyhead and be en route to Dublin Port…… after a very long and circuitous journey. 

Elaine  and Irish Cycling Campaign would like to make it a condition of the licences issued to ferry companies that any ferry which carries passengers who travel with a car or motorcycle should also be mandated to carry people on bikes and foot passengers. They can put limits on the total number of passengers of course and the total weight / size of vehicles, but they should not be allowed to carry larger vehicles but not the smaller ones.

Irish Cycling Campaign is fully behind Elaine’s activism on this issue. If we want to encourage less carbon intensive travel and therefore less flying, it should be safe, easy and permissible to take bikes on ferries and to continue journeys by bike and rail, or bike and bus.

We will add further updates to this story in due course. 

More at:

https://www.facebook.com/cyclingcloughjordan/

Call for Members to Stand for Election to the Board

Call for members to stand for election to the Board of Directors / Trustees of the Irish Cycling Campaign

What is the Board?
The Irish Cycling Campaign is both a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity.  The Board of Directors/Trustees is the grouping of people who are responsible for governing the organisation. The Board does not play an active role in campaigning and other day-to-day issues, but retains oversight and deals with matters relating to legal and regulatory compliance, risk management, financial control, internal policy development, staffing, and so on.  After years of dedicated service, some of our Board members have decided to step down, and we are now looking to fill up to 6 vacancies.

What is expected of Board members?

  • Strongly supporting our vision, mission and strategic aims
  • Always acting appropriately and in the best interests of our organisation
  • Preparing for, attending and participating fully in meetings of the Board, which are generally held online during the evening at least every 2 months
  • Actively contributing to the work of the Board and following through on actions agreed to
  • Time commitment: a couple of hours a week over a 3-year term (ideally)

What kind of people are you looking for?

  • Adults of any age and from any background
  • Based anywhere in Ireland, with a particular desire currently for people outside of Dublin
  • Having a commitment to good governance
  • Holding a variety of skill-sets that might include: charity governance, HR, law, finance, fundraising, organisational development, etc
  • We are definitely on the look-out for a new Treasurer
  • You preferably cycle but do you NOT need to have been involved in cycle campaigning previously

What would I get out of it?

  • Doing something practical to combat the climate, health, congestion, road safety and associated crises
  • Gaining satisfaction from being involved in an organisation that is a leader in cycling development and is at an exciting juncture
  • Being part of a friendly, hardworking team of other volunteers
  • A chance to share your skills and learn some new ones along the way

I might potentially be interested; what do I do?
If you want to find out more, you can contact our Chair Mairead Forsythe for an informal chat.  If you are ready to throw your hat in the ring, please complete this nomination form by 15 February 2024.  We are very much looking forward to hearing from you!

Irish Cycling Campaign CLG AGM 2024

Thursday, 29th February 2024 – 8pm online

The Irish Cycling Campaign CLG Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 29th February 2024 at 8pm. 

The AGM is open to fully paid-up individual members of the Irish Cycling Campaign (Dublin Cycling Campaign members included). 

You can register for the event here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwucu2hqDwqG9IizDJAdVQzi4yRTkw505n8

We are also looking for new members to join the Board and Executive Committee this year. To nominate yourself please complete this form: 
Board and EC nominations form

Call for members to join Board – see:
https://cyclist.ie/2024/02/call-for-members-to-stand-for-election-to-the-board/

Call for members to join the Executive Committee – see:
https://cyclist.ie/2024/02/call-for-members-to-join-the-executive-committee/

Agenda:

  • Approval of Minutes of AGM 2022 (held on 07.12.2022)
  • Approval of Minutes of Jan 2024 EGM (held on 04.01.2024)
  • Update on the previous year from Board
  • Update on the previous year from Executive Committee of Irish Cycling Campaign (formerly Cyclist.ie)
  • Financial update to include previous year’s audited accounts and current year to date
    • Acceptance of financial statements
    • Re-appointment of current auditor or appointment of new auditor
  • Elections to the Board – replacement of four positions
  • Elections to the Executive Committee
  • Motions
  • Final Announcements (Upcoming events etc.)

Key dates:

  • Send nominations to the board by 6pm on Thursday, 15th February 2024
  • Send nominations to the Executive Committee by 6pm on Thursday, 15th February 2024
  • Send member motions to [email protected] by 6pm on Thursday, 15th February 2024
  • Final agenda with supporting information will be sent Thursday, 22nd February 2024
  • Final date of registration – 6pm on Tuesday, 27th February 2024. Only fully paid-up members of Irish Cycling Campaign (including Dublin Cycling Campaign) as of 6pm on Thursday, 15th February 2024 can attend and vote at the AGM
  • Annual General Meeting – Thursday, 29th February 2024 at 8pm – Online

How to Report Illegal Parking in Bike Lanes

Earlier in January, one of our members emailed the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau seeking clarity on how one should report illegal parking in bike lanes.

The questions posed are immediately below and the responses are beneath those. 

1) Can it only be done at a Garda station? If there are other ways, please list all ways
2) Must photos be provided? If so, how? And is there anything else regarding photos that is required?
3) Must a statement be given in order for a penalty to be issued?
4) Are there restrictions as to when the report can be made? Eg. Next day?
5) Are there any other requirements when reporting illegal parking?

Response

Thank you for contacting this office.

With reference to your email hereunder, this office is to advise as follows in relation to your query.

With regards to the reporting of illegal parking of vehicles in cycle lanes, this office is to advise that reports can be made as follows;

  • Reports can be made at your local Garda Station.
  • Reports can be made using the Traffic Watch lo-cal number – 0818 205 805
  • Reports can be to the relevant local authority.

It is advised that documentary evidence of an offence is recorded by reporting persons, such as photograph/video.

In submitting documentary evidence of a road traffic offence, the provision of a statement to a member of An Garda Síochána may be necessitated.

It is advised that reports to An Garda Síochána are made at the earliest convenience, to ensure an appropriate and timely response.

In the event that a prosecution is instigated against a vehicle user/owner by a member of An Garda Síochána following such report, the reporting party may be required to attend any prosecution before the District Court in a witness capacity.

Please find information on Traffic Watch from the attached hyperlink, which may be assistance to you:
https://www.garda.ie/en/roads-policing/road-safety/traffic-watch.html 

Note:
The photo above was kindly provided by Noel Hogan in the Drogheda Cycling Group – https://www.droghedacycling.ie/. The image above shows illegal car parking on footpaths, not bike lanes in this case.

Irish Cycling Campaign now part of the Environmental Pillar

Irish Cycling Campaign is delighted to announce that we are now part of the Environmental Pillar. This news comes shortly after our admittance into the Irish Environmental Network, as we reported on before Christmas here.

Established in 2009 by a government decision, the Environmental Pillar (EP) comprises 32 national independent environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and it works to represent the views of the Irish environmental sector. 

The work of the Environmental Pillar’s members covers a broad range of areas including habitat conservation, wildlife protection, environmental education, sustainability, waste and energy issues, as well as environmental campaigning and lobbying. The Pillar envisions a world where people and the planet thrive alongside each other, and work in a number of areas to bring it about.

Mairéad Forsythe, Chair of the Board of Irish Cycling Campaign, on hearing of the confirmation of our membership of the EP said:

“We are very happy to be part of the Environmental Pillar and we look forward to contributing our expertise on transport matters to the network, particularly in regard to walking and cycling policy and the decarbonisation of transport. It will be exciting to work more closely with well-informed organisations such as An Taisce, Feasta, Friends of the Earth and Cultivate, so as to help shape policy and advance our aims around making transport more sustainable and safer.” 

The full list of members of the Environmental Pillar can be read here: https://environmentalpillar.ie/our_members/

Irish Cycling Campaign Submission on Rosses Point Public Realm Project

Our newly inaugurated Irish Cycling Campaign (formerly Cyclist.ie) has made its first formal planning related submission to Sligo County Council, together with our member group Sligo Cycling Campaign.  And what better place to start than the lovely seaside town of Rosses Point west of Sligo Town. Note that the image above shows a present view of the Rosses Point coastal road.

The Rosses Point Public Realm Enhancement project is a scheme aimed at providing improved walking and cycling facilities along the main coastal road in Rosses Point.  Interestingly, this project is funded from the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF) and not through available Active Travel funding.  Last year’s active travel funding allocated a separate €70,000 for footpaths in the village itself.  This was out of a total active travel allocation of €3 million for the county of Sligo for 2023.

Both Sligo Cycling Campaign and the Irish Cycling Campaign were supportive of the project, which Sligo Cycling Campaign views as the beginning/end of a Sligo Coastal Mobility Route from Rosses Point to Strandhill.  We both made a number of suggestions for proposed improvements.  Our submissions can be read HERE (for the ICC one) and HERE (for the Sligo CC one).  Our main points related to:

  • Compliance with the Cycling Design Manual
  • Speed limit reduction to 30kph
  • Consistent narrowing of the main carriageway to help reduce speeds
  • Controlled pedestrian and bike crossings
  • Consistent bike track width
  • Junction design improvement
  • Bus Stop shelter provision
  • More inclusive bike parking

Sligo Cycling Campaign members try out a potential Coastal Mobility Route to Rosses Point

We would be hopeful that Sligo County Council will take our considered points on board, and we look forward to the building of the proposed scheme sometime soon.

These two submissions are the first of many that will be submitted in the coming year by the Irish Cycling Campaign and its members across the country.  We will continue to make these submissions to Local Authorities and national bodies, to ensure that proposed active travel schemes are planned and built to a high standard.  Last year alone in 2023, as Cyclist.ie, we made over 50 submissions on Active Travel projects nationwide!

If you would like to support us in this valuable work in making Ireland better and safer for cycling and walking why not join Irish Cycling Campaign, or consider making a donation – or even better, get involved in our work through our many local groups?

You too can be the agent of change!

Irish Cycling Campaign – Media Appearances List 2024

On this page we list Irish Cycling Campaign’s main media appearances / contributions in 2024, while noting that it is by no means exhaustive.  The most recent contributions are shown at the top.

If you are a Campaign member who has done a media interview or made a contribution on behalf of your group at local or national level and would like it to be included on this page, just drop us a line. Thank you. 

NCN Launch in Sallins – Irish Cycling Campaign Report

The Irish Cycling Campaign, formerly known as Cyclist.ie, was delighted to attend yesterday’s launch of the National Cycle Network Plan in Sallins, County Kildare. Our National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, and Conor Winchcombe from local group Naas Cycling Campaign were present for the event, along with national level and local level politicians and officials, local school children and other locals out walking their dogs to try out the new facilities. 

The publication of the NCN Plan was timed to coincide with the formal opening of the section of the Grand Canal Greenway from Sallins to Aylmer Bridge, and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Grand Canal, a short distance away from the existing road bridge over the canal on the main Sallins to Naas (R407) road. The new canal bridge provides a motor traffic free link that will be enormously helpful for local school children, for those walking and cycling to the nearby Sallins train station, and for the increasing number of recreational cyclists and visitors to the area. Visitor numbers are also sure to increase when the Grand Canal greenway link from Adamstown to Hazel Hatch is completed in the near future.

At the launch, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan (pictured below) stressed the multiple functions of high quality motor traffic free and greenway infrastructure – it’s about catering for local school and intermodal commuter trips as well cycle tourism. 

The Irish Cycling Campaign is very happy to see the NCN Plan published. The publication of the final plan comes approximately 18 months after the circulation of the draft NCN plan, and after Irish Cycling Campaign (then called Cyclist.ie) made a detailed submission on the draft plan (see here) as did many Cyclist.ie local member groups. 

The planned NCN (shown below) will link cities and towns of over 5,000 people with a safe, connected and inviting cycle network. The proposed cycle network of approximately 3,500km will connect more than 200 settlements and 2.8m people. It will link to destinations such as transport hubs, centres of education, centres of employment, leisure, and tourist destinations with the intention of facilitating greater cycling and walking amongst students, leisure users, tourists, and commuters alike.

In a separate article, we will comment further on elements of the plan and details of route choices.

Notes:

The featured image at the top was kindly provided by Félim Kelly from Aecom. In that photograph are (going from left to right): Damien (Irish Cycling Campaign), Felim (Aecom), Richard (Transport Infrastructure Ireland), Michael (TII), Úna (TII) and Elizabeth (Department of Transport).

The National Cycle Network Plan can be read here: 

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/34846-national-cycle-network/

See also the coverage provided here:

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/ryan-unveils-national-cycle-network-plan-to-create-3500km-of-linked-cycleways-between-towns-and-cities-by-2040/a795118251.html (in which Irish Cycling Campaign is quoted)

https://www.irishtimes.com/transport/2024/01/10/new-cycle-routes-to-cover-3500km-across-state-by-2040-at-a-cost-of-14bn/

https://irishcycle.com/2024/01/10/larger-active-travel-budget-will-be-needed-says-minister-ryan-as-he-launches-e1-4-e1-9-billion-plan-for-national-cycle-network/ 

Irish Cycling Campaign Welcomes Launch of New National Cycle Network Plan

The Irish Cycling Campaign (formerly known as Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network) welcomes the publication of Ireland’s first National Cycle Network (NCN) plan.

The launch takes place in Sallins, Co. Kildare on Wednesday 10th January 2024. The NCN identifies a network of 85 cycling corridors around the country linking cities and towns of over 5,000 people.

Overall, we strongly support the development of a NCN, the aim of which is “to link towns, cities and destinations across Ireland with a safe, connected and inviting cycle network; encouraging more people away from their cars and onto their cycles.” 

In response to the public consultation on the draft version of the plan back in June 2022, we made a detailed submission which is available here. Then as now, we make the point that: 

We need to replace the lion’s share of our shorter car journeys (under 5km/10km) with active travel trips, and our longer car trips with either public transport on its own, or active travel plus public transport for those living further away from public transport services. This is where the real carbon savings – and improvements to public health – can take place. We welcome the aim (as shown in the image below from the NCN website) that the NCN will link with public transport services, and also with other key destinations and cycle networks.

National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, added that:

A core objective of the NCN needs to be to connect the towns and villages with safe/attractive cycle-friendly routes to their own rural hinterlands in all directions to a radius of 5-8km. This will allow for the most important local trips (to schools and shops for example) to be made safe for active travel – and hence for the greatest possible impact to be made on increasing the modal shares for cycling.

We look forward to the opening of a section of the Grand Canal Greenway between Sallins and Aylmer Bridge, at which the launch of the plan will take place.

The Irish Cycling Campaign will post its reflections on the launched plan after the event. 

Note – image above taken from this page https://ncn.consultation.ai/