Category Archives: Irish Posts

Ireland, see also NI

Minister Noonan to launch rural Vision for Cycling

MEDIA RELEASE – Embargoed until 7am Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Junior Minister Malcolm Noonan joins Cyclist.ie to launch the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland 

Rural communities should be cycle-friendly for all ages and abilities, say Rural Cycling Collective

Today sees the formal launch of the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland by Cyclist.ie’s Rural Cycling Collective, an array of groups and individuals under the umbrella of the wider national Cyclist.ie advocacy network. The Collective seeks to make rural communities (towns, villages, and rural roads) cycle-friendly for all ages and abilities. It aims to re-balance the debate on active travel so that everyday journeys by bike across rural Ireland are enabled and supported. 

The launch will take place over Zoom, and includes an array of speakers as follows:

– Junior Minister Malcolm Noonan TD to launch
– Jo Sachs-Eldridge (Transport Planner/Leitrim Cycling Festival) to give 5 min presentation on the document 
– Anluan Dunne (Kerry Cycling Campaign) to speak on recent Government Active Travel Stimulus Package – see Cyclist.ie article here 
– Caitríona Corr (Kilkenny Active Travel)

Launching the vision document, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama for Cyclist.ie said

“Today, we launch our vision document which aims to promote and celebrate everyday cycling in towns, villages and their surrounding areas. Cycling is not just for Dublin and other cities. Our vision highlights the needs of areas outside of the major cities and the opportunity now presents itself to transform peoples’ experience of active travel. 

Allison Roberts from the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival, a member group of Cyclist.ie, stressed that “we want a fair distribution of transport funding to regional parts of the country to make cycling for all ages and abilities a reality”. But to ensure the funding is spent in the right way on the right kind of infrastructure, Cyclist.ie needs to be viewed as a core stakeholder and actively encouraged to participate more fully in local authority infrastructure and design planning.”

As Jo Sachs-Eldridge of Leitrim Cycling Festival, who led the creation of the vision, explains

“What we want is to see changes in the way things are being done in our local authorities, we need to move from a reactive, ad hoc approach to one that is much more strategic and proactive. And we need to change the environment on our roads – both the physical and the social environment – so that they are safer for everyone.

“The 8 key recommendations in the vision document (see page 6 of the document here  – and listed below) could transform the countryside into places where cyclists are “expected and respected”, by designing useful, connected cycle routes throughout Local Authority areas”, Sachs-Eldridge continued. As a priority, safe cycle routes to schools and car-free zones should be introduced at school gates in all towns and villages, along with lower speed limits to make our roads and streets safer and more accessible for everyone, and to reduce casualties. 

Sachs-Eldridge added that “we are delighted to finally see a funding commitment for cycling in the Programme for Government. But it must be accompanied by an improvement in design standards, and improved project management capacity at all levels of local and national government.”

Allison Roberts of the Clonakilty Bike Fest also stressed the importance of community and stakeholder engagement:

“Local authorities should see us as partners and allies as they start to draw up plans for cycle routes. Our expertise and hands-on experience of cycling in rural communities could be invaluable in designing safe routes for cyclists of all ages and abilities. We want to see the best use made of this funding opportunity. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Webinar details:

5pm – 6pm Wednesday 23rd September (online webinar – register to attend here )

The event will begin with a short video presentation and will end with a Q&A session.

Further information: 

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama,
National Cycling Coordinator, Cyclist.ie and An Taisce
Phone: 087-2840799
Email: [email protected] 

NOTES FOR EDITORS 

AIMS

The Rural Cycling Collective plans to foster collaboration amongst cycling groups across Ireland and to jointly lobby local authorities and public representatives for the changes which will entice more people to choose the bicycle for everyday activities. It will also work towards a cycle-friendly Ireland by collaborating with all stakeholders, organising regular events, fun-cycles and campaign actions.

MORE INFO

Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network is the umbrella body of cycle campaigning and advocacy groups in Ireland – https://cyclist.ie/. It is the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation – https://ecf.com/

Further information on Cyclist.ie’s Rural Cycling Collective is available here: https://cyclist.ie/ruralvision/ 

Summary of 8 major points in the Vision – Cyclist.ie calls our local and national government to:

1. Create an environment in our cities, towns, villages and rural roads where CYCLISTS ARE EXPECTED AND RESPECTED

3. Implement BEST PRACTICE DESIGN to ensure routes are safe and comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities 

4. Prioritise SAFE CYCLE ROUTES TO SCHOOLS and car free zones at school gates

5. LOWER SPEED LIMITS to make our roads and streets safer and more accessible for everyone, and to reduce casualties

6. Ensure clear and timely ACCESS TO FUNDING, by improving capacity at all levels of local and national government

7. COLLABORATE WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS – including cycling and community groups – at all stages of planning and design

8. Provide CYCLE TRAINING for all ages, especially children

SPOKESPERSONS

Anluan Dunne, Kerry Cycling Campaign, a member group of Cyclist.ie
Phone: 085-703-6888
Email:  [email protected]

Joan Swift, Sligo Cycling Campaign, a member of Cyclist.ie
Phone: 087-9622234
Email: [email protected]  

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, National Cycling Coordinator, Cyclist.ie and An Taisce
Phone: 087-2840799
Email: [email protected] 

€88M Stimulus Funding for Active Travel – Is it all good news?

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have recently announced separate major Stimulus Funding packages for Active Travel projects in the major cities and other counties around the country. Both of these funding packages, which are broadly welcomed, are due to be spent by the end of this calendar year – which is highly ambitious. Therefore cycling advocates around the country need to try to ensure that the monies are spent – and spent wisely – by the Local Councils, as there is a number of listed projects that are of dubious benefit to cyclists and pedestrians. We urge you to check out the level of ambition of your own Local Council, by accessing the links below in this article. 

The NTA announced a €55 million package for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and the other four main cities. Dublin City Council, not surprisingly, has received the largest share of this funding at just over €12million, with Kildare County Council in the GDA receiving the lowest figure of only €1.8million, possibly a reflection of its level of ambition in relation to active travel? The four Dublin local authorities account for approximately 50% of the available package. Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Councils are by far and away the most ambitious. Within the GDA, South Dublin, Kildare, Meath & Wicklow have minimal allocations for cycling, with most funds being spent on pedestrian improvements such as footpaths and crossings. 

Outside Dublin, Limerick City and County Council’s allocation of nearly €9million includes a number of general road resurfacing projects, which will of course also benefit cyclists and bus passengers. But will it encourage greater levels of cycling? Cork City in its €4million allocation concentrates on the public realm, with some ‘footpaths or cycling’ measures included. It is unclear as to what is actually intended. Galway City proposes to ‘resurface roundabouts… to improve safety for cyclists’. We wonder what this actually means as many of Galway’s roundabouts are ‘no-go’ areas for people on bikes! Galway City also proposes to ‘convert a hard shoulder to a cycleway’ on Bóthar na dTreabh, which is a fast multi-lane roadway. We are dubious of what exactly is proposed in this area, which is not a major cycle route. Meanwhile Waterford City and County Council has a number of general resurfacing jobs and mainly footpaths and crossings.

The Stimulus allocations from DTTAS amount to a €33 million package for Active Travel across 22 County Councils, outside the ambit of the NTA. Cork County Council is the largest recipient of funding, accounting to over €5 million of the total. Carlow County Council at €528,000 is the recipient of the smallest amount. A major worry for cycling advocates are proposals for building ‘greyways’. These appear to be expenditure of scarce funds by designating hard shoulders on roadways as cycle lanes. In 2012-13 after a number of similar schemes, DTTAS stopped the conversion of hard shoulders for cycling use. The term ‘greyways’ does not exist in the cycling infrastructure lexicon, and Cyclist.ie questions its use without clear design criteria and proper safety considerations. These greyways are proposed in a total of seven counties: Galway, Louth, Longford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford, and Roscommon. We seek full reconsideration of these greyway proposals unless clear design guidelines and guaranteed safety for cyclists are provided.

In conclusion, Cyclist.ie welcomes this double injection of funding for Active Travel around the country, but urges caution in relation to some of the projects which are clearly of dubious benefit to pedestrians and people on bikes. In particular we would like to see the proposed ‘greyway’ funding re-allocated to other active travel projects with a clearer benefit for cyclists and pedestrians.

Photo above: From Donna Cooney and the Green Lanes National School Cycle Bus

CYCLIST.IE GET TO SCHOOL ON YOUR OWN FUEL IN THE MEDIA

We know the simple idea of kids cycling shouldn’t be news, but it is news.
We need to keep it in news until it becomes so normal that it is no longer news.

(Limerick Cycling – Twitter 2nd September 2020).

Videos of enthusiastic children and parents cycling to school are a rare sight on RTE Six One TV News. However, on Tuesday evening September 1st, Aoife and Bobby along with their classmates from Limerick Cycle Bus; together with Saoirse, and Dad, Oisín, (spokesperson for the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown group of Dublin Cycling Campaign); Iseult, and Dad, Anluan, (spokesperson for Kerry Cycling Campaign) and Theo, Phoebe and Oscar representing the nascent Strandhill Cycle Bus all made the cut – see RTÉ News on Twitter

Cyclist.ie’s Back to School on your Own Fuel featured on RTE’s Six One News on 1st Sept 2020

Cathy Halloran, RTE’s Mid-west correspondent, also interviewed Conor Buckley and Anne Cronin, Chair and Vice-Chair of Limerick Cycling Campaign respectively, about the School Cycle Bus Limerick.  

A few days earlier, on Sunday, August 30th, The Irish Times published an online article by reporter Sylvia Thompson headlined Communities working against the odds to get children cycling to school.   

Photo by Anna Groniecka (in Clonakility) and reproduced in the Irish Times

Thompson interviewed Allison Roberts from Clonakilty Bicycle Festival and Catríona Corr, Kilkenny Walking and Cycling Campaign Kilkenny Cycling & Walking Campaign about the Cyclist.ie initiative Get to School on Your Own Fuel and Alan Curran from the pioneering Galway School Cycle Bus who have been doing just that for some time. The emphasis was on the excitement of cycling, the support that freeing up space outside the school gate can offer and the hope that cycle buses are merely a temporary fix until our cycling infrastructure is of a standard to permit independent cycling by school children.

On August 27th Martina Callanan from Galway Cycling Campaign spoke to Shane Coleman on Newstalk Breakfast about the opportunity for secondary school students and in particular teenage girls to cycle to school and about how #MoreSpace and #LessSpeed are needed for this to become a reality – check out With Schools Back Open Is Now The Time For Students To Get Back In The Saddle?  

This national coverage of children cycling to school certainly makes a change from the usual hardy annual tales about the shortage of school places, the cost of uniforms, the weight of schoolbooks and congestion at the school gates.

The opportunity to change the narrative regarding school gate congestion is one positive outcome from the Covid-19 pandemic. Widespread anxiety about the return to the classroom was heightened by government advice to avoid both public transport and car-sharing and to maintain social distancing at the school gate. Cyclist.ie, Green Schools Ireland, existing Cycle Buses and a few forward-thinking councils and councillors all availed of the opportunity to offer support for alternatives to the school run by car. In Dublin, the Irish Times covered the trial runs of the cycle bus to Greenlanes School Clontarf – Parents encouraged to ditch the car for ‘cycle bus. 

Donna Cooney with the new Cycle Bus to Greenlanes School in Clontarf in Dublin.

Cyclist.ie’s initiative, titled, Get to school on your own fuel followed fast on the heels of the Launch of the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland . Priority number four of the vision is“Prioritise safe routes to schools and car-free zones at school gates.”  Campaign groups offered support for practice cycle runs, route-planning and bike checks and picnics and an online scavenger hunt added a fun element to the proceedings. You can check the winners of our hunt here

Regional and Local Press
Both the launch of the Rural Cycling Collective’s Vision for Cycling and the various Get to School on your Own Fuel initiatives also received welcome and extensive coverage from the regional press. The Leitrim Observer spoke to Jo Sachs Eldridge of Leitrim Cycling Festival regarding the planned new Friday cycle bus to Cootehall – as below. 

The Southern Star’s article entitled Local group campaigns to make rural areas more cycle-friendly featured Allison Roberts from Clonakilty Bicycle Festival, Katie Mann from Cycle Sense in Skibereen, and Lucia Finnegan of  the Bandon Bike Friendly Group about their fun cycles, bike-doctor sessions and practice cycles to school.  

Photo: Martin Walsh – as appeared in the Southern Star

The West Cork People also covered these stories – see National rural cycling vision launched by west cork groups – while across the boarder in the Kingdom, Kerry’s Eye talked to Anluan Dunne, spokesperson for Kerry Cycle campaign about the rural vision for an article headlined “Cyclists offer vision for future”.   

Two editions of Kilkenny People had amazing coverage and photos of Kilkenny’s Walking and Cycling Campaign’s bike workshop on The Parade and of the arrival of Cartoon Saloon’s Dorg Van Dongo to launch Kilkenny’s Safe School Zone – see Dorg Van Dango launches Kilkenny’s Safe School Zone campaign

Sligo Weekender carried a press release from Sligo Cycling Campaign which they titled “Go to school on your own steam” and photos of the family fun cycle titled “Cyclists head to County Hall in campaign for more facilities”.  All of this coverage gave campaigners an opportunity to engage with their communities about the enjoyable and transformative possibilities of cycling to school.

The Get to School initiative came about as a result of collaboration between several local Cyclist.ie campaigns. The Cyclist.ie family is appreciative of the work of Clara, Oisín, Allison, Jo, Caitríona, Sadhbh, Anluan, Joan, Colm, Gerry and Damien in coming up with the idea and driving it forward – and to the Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny and photographer Anna Gronieka in Clonakilty for their support with graphics and photography. We’re also grateful to the reporters, photographers and editors from national and local media who enabled us to publicise #GetToSchool. Kudos also to the Cycling Buses who paved the way!

In recent days social media has come alive with photos of children cycling to school either with their families or on cycle buses. Some have even been happily pedalling through the puddles! We are happy to have played a part in this revolution along with Green Schools Ireland, parents, schools, and some far-seeing councillors and local authorities.

If you would like to see cycling to school become a normal part of everyday life in Ireland, please contact us in Cyclist.ie – or you might also like to check out the work of An Taisce’s Green Schools who are working in this space through their Travel themed work.  

cyclist.ie’s scavenger hunt winners

Cyclist.ie’s Back to School on your own Fuel campaign team is delighted to announce that the winners of our 2020 National Scavenger Hunt are……. drum-roll…….. the amazing Naas Bikepacking Team!

The competition was stiff so we send our sincere congratulations to Brandon and Mark who attend St. Corban’s Boys’ Primary School in Naas, County Kildare!

We love the name and the photo sent to us during the campaign.

Take a bow Naas Bikepacking Team! A credit to the town of Naas.

Brandon and Mark, fully kitted out and ready for action and adventures – the winners of the 2020 Get to School on your own Fuel Scavenger Hunt.

Post-script….

Below is a photo of Brandon and Mark opening their winners’ presents sent by Cyclist.ie. Great happy faces on them!

And another one below – well done lads!

kerry COMMUNITY needS your help!

Kerry County Council wants to amend a publicly owned greenway route and the local community are looking for support.

Local community campaigners in Kerry have alerted us to the proposal by Kerry County Council to divert an agreed greenway route (Tralee to Fenit) around a private property, despite the actual agreed route – the former railway line – being in public ownership.

They are asking you to submit your objection to Kerry County Council – [email protected] – by latest this Friday, 4th September.  You can check out the details in Cyclist.ie’s draft submission below, and feel free to copy any or all of the points in our submission into your own (and amend as you see fit). Do please let us us know at [email protected] if you made a submission.

For all the documents regarding the scheme itself, go to: https://www.kerrycoco.ie/part8-greenway-bawnboy/.

4th September 2020

Part 8 – Tralee-Fenit Greenway (Bawnboy) Submission [draft]

Cyclist.ie is Ireland’s national cycling advocacy network, and the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation. Our vision is that everyday cycling becomes a normal recognised transport mode here in Ireland.  

We are extremely disappointed to have to make this submission to Kerry County Council in relation to the proposed Bawnboy diversion of the greenway from Tralee to Fenit.  We write this on behalf of the thousands of cyclists throughout the country.  In July 2018 we made a considered submission in good faith to Kerry County Council . Overall Cyclist.ie were supportive of the proposals outlined, with a number of caveats, which we described in the submission.  

To now discover that Kerry County Council propose to introduce a major diversion to the originally agreed route, subsequently ratified via the original Part 8 process, is more than disappointing.  It would appear not to be in the best public interest for the following reasons:

  • It flies in the face of the decision made by Kerry County Council to approve the original Part 8 proposal, as stated in both the EIA and AA statements and described as – ‘the previously approved and assessed Tralee to Fenit greenway’
  • It diverts unacceptably from the original railway line path, which is in public ownership
  • It adds an extra 700metres to the length of the greenway with no obvious public benefit, or practical reason.
  • It rewards the illegal use of public land by an unauthorised business.
  • It delays the construction, and adds to the cost, of the original agreed greenway route.

Cyclist.ie, on behalf of cyclists nationwide objects in the strongest possible terms to this Bawnboy amended greenway route and the capitulation by Kerry County Council to a private individual, which goes against the general public benefit and sets an unfortunate precedent.

We urge Kerry County Council to revert to its original decision to use the original alignment of the Tralee to Fenit railway line.

Yours

____________

Colm Ryder
Chairperson
Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network
℅ Tailor’s Hall
Back Lane
Dublin 8
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 087-2376130
www.cyclist.ie 

CYCLIST.IE SUBMISSION – Greenway from Omeath Pier to National Border

Earlier today Cyclist.ie made a submission to Louth County Council in regard to their ‘Part 8’ planning application for the Greenway from Omeath Pier to National Border. See below.

The location of the greenway can be seen in this map taken from the Route Corridor Assessment report. The full documentation on the Council website can be found here: Part 8 – Omeath Pier to National Border.

Louth County Council,
Town Hall,
Crowe Street,
Dundalk,
Co Louth,
A91 W20C

1.0 Introduction

Cyclist.ie is Ireland’s national cycling advocacy network, and the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation.  We are delighted to make this submission to Louth County Council in relation to the proposed greenway from Omeath to the Northern Ireland border, on behalf of the many thousands of everyday cyclists throughout the country.  Cyclist.ie’s vision is that everyday cycling is the norm in Ireland

This proposed scheme has the potential to increase active tourism levels even further in the area, to encourage greater levels of walking and cycling locally in the immediate vicinity, and in particular to revitalise the village of Omeath as a desired destination, in particular when the full stretch of greenway between Carlingford and Newry is completed.  It should also help to increase the daily use of bicycles for a variety of uses.  

We commend the Objectives for this project as outlined in  the ‘Project Brief’ below 

• inspire active travel; 

• meet local and regional strategies in terms of tourism and healthy and active living; 

• enable more sustainable forms of mobility on a cross-border basis;
• increase cross-border commuting by cycling or walking from 2.7% to 10%; 

• improve cross-border social cohesion; 

• improve cyclist safety through the construction of a predominantly ‘off road’ shared cycle/pedestrian network; and 

• reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions

If these objectives are adhered to, and the results measured following the building of the project, it can help to build information and research and feed into future planning of routes such as this. It will also encourage a wide range of different users of all ages and abilities.

It is also worth noting in the recently published National Greenway Strategy that situations such as this are specifically referred to in the section on ‘Focus of the Strategy’ where it states

‘the development of ‘Greenways’ relates to the development of Greenways of scale i.e. for new developments or extensions of existing Greenways that are more than 20k or shorter distances where it is proposed to join a number of existing Greenways to form a longer, more strategic route.’

This additional section of the Carlingford Greenway supported by EU Interreg funds, can eventually link a longer strategic cross border network of safe segregated cycle routes for all users.  

Overall we are supportive of this scheme, although we await some final design details, as these are not absolutely displayed on the available documentation . We commend Louth CC for advancing this proposal, but have a number of suggestions and comments to make, and seek clarification in relation to some minor posted documentation.

2.0 Particular Points

Greenway Width
We note the proposal, to provide a 2 – 3m wide greenway along this corridor.  Cyclist.ie suggests that while 3 metres is ‘minimum’ standard width for a low volume route as defined in Table 4.1 of TII’s ‘Rural Cycleway Design’ guidelines, 2 metres is not acceptable for a national cross border route as proposed.  Unfortunately no cross section details are supplied in the online documentation in regard to particular locations on the greenway route itself so the level of variation in width is difficult to determine.  And, this route if promoted well, would be expected to have a High Volume of users, and thus the width should be increased where possible and especially closer to amenities and destinations.  It is disappointing that a more ambitious general width target has not been chosen.

Surface Type
We, on behalf of cyclists, would prefer to see a bituminous tarmacadam surface for the greenway surface.  This type of surface is the preferred surface for cyclists in general, but also for wheelchair, pram, scooter, and other users – in other words for people of all ages and abilities.  There is a mistaken belief that a ‘dust’ surface is more natural, but it also makes the use of the route more difficult for users with disabilities on wheeled vehicles.  A bituminous finished surface as outlined in Section 8.4 of the TII Rural Cycleway Design (DN-GEO-03047 ) document is the preferred surface finish and will support the inclusion objectives of this project more directly.

Fencing
We note the proposal to fence along both sides of the proposed route.  We regard this as unnecessary and restrictive, and it also reduces the quality of the visitor experience.  We recommend a review of necessary fencing, and particularly recommend the removal of fencing on the seaward side of the route, to enhance the visitor experience, and reduce that ‘hemmed in’ feeling.  Along this route the views across the waterway are hugely attractive and fencing will detract from this.

Circuitous Route Section
We note that the section of the route from approximately Chainage 1740 to 2820, a distance of more than 1km, is circuitous and winding with a number of sharp turns.  While appreciating that this ‘diversion’ is required to circumvent private housing, every effort should be made to improve the alignment and reduce sharp turns, as they are potential collision locations.

Bike Parking
We note the outline of proposed individual design of Sheffield style bike parking racks on the Construction Details Drawing.  While we are happy with the basic proposed designs, it is critical that the spacing of the individual racks is kept wide enough apart to accommodate different bicycle types comfortably.  In particul;ar along this scenic greenway tourist stretch, many bike users will be carrying pannier bags and equipment and need more space.  Also bikes with trailers, and the occasional cargo bike will appear.  This needs to be considered when installing parking. You might like to check out Dublin Cycling Campaign’s Bike Parking Guide for more information on this. 

Flood Protection
We note the specific attention rightly paid in the design to potential future rising sea levels, and the effect this might have on the greenway at particular times, despite the lack of detailed local information.  The actual proposed methodology for warning users of flooding issues should be more clearly outlined.  We are also unclear from the online documentation, why specific construction elements are not proposed in the areas where this possible flooding is envisaged?

Chainage 3470
In the General Arrangement Plan at Chainage 3470 there is a reference that states ‘Greenway passes under L7002’.  This reference does not appear to make any sense in the context of the location and drawing.  Please clarify.

Public Art
Very long stretches of greenway through some (unchanging) surroundings can create a less than ideally stimulating environment. Canal-side and railway line cycle and walking routes can suffer particularly from this weakness. It is for this reason that public art is an essential element of the UK National Cycle Network. It is strongly recommended that the Council and the design consultants reflect on the great potential for enhancing the visual interest and place-making dimensions of the route by incorporating quality public art and other design features into the scheme. See Artworks and art trails on the National Cycle Network.  

3.0 Summary/Conclusion

Cyclist.ie overall is happy that this proposed project is progressing.  It will undoubtedly encourage greater levels of cycling and walking in the area if properly promoted, and should help to boost the development of facilities alongside the route.  However as mentioned above we request Louth County Council to:

  • Increase the greenway width (unless there is a very good reason not to at a particular location)
  • Install a bituminous surface along the full length of the route
  • Remove fencing on the seaward side of the route where possible
  • Use public art to further enhance the facility

We further look forward to the proposed development of the greenway linkage across the Northern Ireland boundary, which will create a link to a network of safe cycle routes north and south.

Supplementary Note
It was disappointing that Louth CC did not include either a survey link for observers to complete, or a basic email submission detail in the material posted online. In these times that omission is regrettable, and hopefully will not be a feature of any ongoing public consultations. 

Yours

​___________________

Colm Ryder
Chairperson, Cyclist.ie
Tel  00353-87-2376130
Email  [email protected]
www.cyclist.ie  
19th August 2020

Get to school on your own fuel

This August 15th – 29th 2020 – Practice Walking, Cycling, Scooting or Kite-Surfing to your school – with events happening around the country and a nationwide ‘scavenger hunt’ style competition there is plenty of opportunity to show that kids like you want to be able to get there safely and on their own steam! Find out about events near you by getting in touch with your local cycle advocacy group, find them on our interactive map here.

The Nationwide ‘Get to School on your own Fuel’ Competition

As long as it’s human powered you can play the game!

How to play : Start by registering your team of 1-8 participants (primary or secondary level students), once registered you will be redirected to a print-friendly Competition Scorecard. Each item on the score card has a point value, the more points you score, the more likely you are to win our hamper of bike-y goodies!  

Register your team here

What’s involved: Some items on the list require you to post photos to our facebook, like a photo ‘along your route’ or ‘with your group in front of your school’. Others are tasks like ‘create a route map’ or ‘count the bike parking at your school’! Full details are on the print-friendly score card. (If you are under 13 you will need adult supervision on all your cycles, and use of a parent/guardian’s facebook account.)

Preview the scorecard here

When you are done : Post your final score on our Facebook (tagging #gettoschool @cyclistie) total by Friday 28th August at 12pm – the top 3 teams will invited to submit a photo of their completed scorecards and some evidence of items completed – a winner will be declared Saturday 28th of August by 5pm and we will post out your big hamper of bike-y goodies! 

We are looking forward to seeing your photos!

Photo Credit Anna Groneicka

cyclist.ie submission on remote working

In response to the public consultation run by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to inform the delivery of guidance on remote working for both employers and employees, Cyclist.ie sent in the following short submission.

Dear Sir / Madam, 

I wish to make this short submission in regard to your consultation on Guidance for Remote Working, as per 
https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Consultations/Public-Consultation-on-Guidance-for-Remote-Working.html.

Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network is the umbrella body of cycle campaigning and advocacy groups in Ireland – http://cyclist.ie/. Our vision is that cycling becomes a normal part of everyday life for all ages and abilities in Ireland. We take a particular interest in the commute to work – especially (i) the quality of conditions along the route for those wishing to cycle and (ii) the facilities at the workplace to make life easier for those using ‘active travel’ modes to get to work. 

Focusing only on the nature of ‘hubs’, we wish to stress in this submission the importance of hubs having:

  1. plentiful, conveniently located, high quality, secure cycle parking facilities, both for employees and visitors – see here for guidance on cycle parking:  https://www.dublincycling.com/cycling/dublin-city-bike-parking-guidance  .
  2. adequate showers, drying rooms and lockers for those using active travel to get to the hub. 

These points are aligned with existing national government policy – for example:

They are also aligned with broader HSE and Transport for Ireland COVID-19 guidance for commuters to maintain physical distancing while getting to and from work – https://www.transportforireland.ie/news/covid-19-information/

In short, at this especially sensitive time for all of us, we would like to the stress the importance of creating the conditions to make it as easy and as safe as possible for workers to choose the healthier option and cycle to / from work (where distances per permit). 

I would be very grateful if you can incorporate these points into any updated guidance produced. 

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama
National Cycling Coordinator 
Cyclist.ie http://cyclist.ie/ and An Taisce https://www.antaisce.org/
The Tailors’ Hall
Back Lane
Dublin D08 X2A3
Ireland
E:  [email protected]

Sligo Cycling Campaign Family Cycle marking the launch of the Rural Cycling Collective

“A VISION FOR CYCLING IS A VISION FOR THE FUTURE”

During the lockdown period of restricted movement, it was exciting so see so many families out walking and cycling on strangely quiet roads. Bikes sold like hot-cakes and shops ran out of supplies. Now people of all ages are keen to hold on to their newly experienced sense of autonomy and freedom.

To tie in with the nationwide Launch of Cyclist.ie’s Rural Cycling Collective Vision Statement, Sligo Cycling Campaign held a family fun cycling event recently in Cleveragh and Doorly Parks. The event was supported by Councillor Donal Gilroy (FF), Chair of the Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee, and by Councillor Marie Casserly (Independent), long-time supporter of cycling and of Sligo Cycling Campaign. Before the cycle began, Sligo Cycling Campaign’s Secretary and PRO, Gemma Woods (a qualified Cycle Right training instructor) did a short training and bike-check session with the young cyclists.

Afterwards, the peloton set off through the park and along Doorly Park to finish on the grounds of County Hall, Riverside. Mayor of Sligo Municipal District, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady was there to welcome the party. The children displayed the posters and letters they had done showing why they loved cycling and how they would like to be able to cycle more places more often.

Chairperson of Sligo Cycling Campaign, Joan Swift, thanked the Mayor, Councillors and especially the participants. “It’s wonderful to have safe amenities such as Cleveragh Park and Doorly Park for cycling, but these children want to be able to cycle to school, to the library to their Granny’s “said Swift. “We are campaigning for a fair distribution of transport funding to regional parts of the country to make cycling for all ages and abilities a reality”.

According to the rural cycle collective the co-benefits of more people cycling more often include improvements to health, safety, congestion, air-quality, noise levels, and the public realm.  More cycling will also help us to meet our climate change obligations.

Photo above kindly provided by Edel Moran.

For more information on Sligo Cycling Campaign, visit their Facebook page

Greenways Coming to a Location Near You!

Minister Announces Start-Up Grants for Greenways Nationwide

Minister Eamon Ryan, our new Minister for Transport and Climate Action, recently announced a total of 26 grants of varying sizes, totalling €4.5mill for proposed greenway projects right around the country. A total of 20 County Councils, along with Waterways Ireland, have received funding varying from initial seed funding to explore a greenway idea, to funding to enable final design and consultations to take place. It is a welcome initiative that has made use of available funds from the Carbon Tax Fund. 

We understand that there were over 40 applications for this round of funding, and the wide geographical spread of the successful applicants bodes well for the range of potential future projects, if they are fully followed through. We are pleased that a number of the proposals in different counties appear to link up with other initiatives in adjoining counties, holding out hope for linked cycle and walking routes and networks in a number of regions. Additionally, a number of counties have been successful with multiple applications. The range of grants runs from a low of €45,000 to Donegal for a short 8km project from Muff to Quigley’s Point, to a high of €750,000 to Meath County Council for the proposed greenway from Drogheda to Navan.

L to R: Damien Ó Tuama, Mairéad Forsythe and Claudine Chen (from Cyclist.ie , Love 30 and Dublin Cycling Campaign respectively) on the Waterford Greenway.

For all local authorities involved we in Cyclist.ie will be closely monitoring the spending of these grants, hopefully within an agreed timescale, which at this point in time is unclear.  We do not wish to see a return to the false promises made in the past when various proposed schemes were unable to be advanced, despite commitments from the various local authorities concerned.

Overall this is a good news story for cycling development and recreational / tourism cycling in particular. It is now up to the local Councils to ensure these monies are well spent, and to see the projects advance. Cyclist.ie local groups will be keeping a close watch on the different projects, and we hope to keep our members and the general public up to date with what happens on the different schemes.

If you are particularly interested in the development of greenways in Ireland, and want to support Cyclist.ie’s work in this space, then Join Cyclist.ie or Contact us if you have any queries.