Category Archives: Irish Posts

Ireland, see also NI

Removing and Replacing 80km/h Signs on Certain Rural Roads

Like you, we have questioned the existence of 80km/h speed limit signs on many of our rural roads. And it turns out that guidance already exists to remove or replace many of them. 

We have put together a short document setting out what the guidance says, why we think this matters and what else we think should be done. 

We hope that this document might help in ensuring the guidance is followed across the country. 

Simply removing and replacing 80km/h signs is not the solution. We know that. 

But we also know that each of these small acts contributes to creating a safer and more attractive road environment for all. 

And that is, we believe, always worth doing. 

The document is available to read and download here.

And you can email Jo Sachs Eldridge on [email protected] if you want to help out on this topic or if you have any questions on it.  

Cyclist.ie Supports Stop Climate Chaos Event re COP 27 Climate Talks

Cyclist.ie and Dublin Cycling Campaign were more than happy to support Stop Climate Chaos’ photo call held at the Famine Memorial monument on Dublin’s river quays yesterday (Saturday 12 Nov 2022), with many of our members taking part. 

The event was organised by the Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) coalition, of which Cyclist.ie is a member, as a response to the An Taoiseach’s COP27 speech and as a call on the Government to up its game at the COP27 Climate Talks. 

The photo stunt comprised staff, volunteers and supporters of the environmental, overseas development and civil society organisations making up SCC – along with activists from additional grassroots climate action and migrant rights groups.

At the event, the activists stood shoulder to shoulder with each of the six Irish Famine Memorial statues, holding signs calling on the Irish Government to stand with five named countries that are suffering from climate change exacerbated hunger crises and other severe climate impacts. A variety of visual props were used to remember Ireland’s own history of famine, and to make a plea to the Irish Government to make amends for the harm that Ireland’s own climate emissions are causing to poor countries.

The issue of “Loss and Damage Finance” – namely finance to help countries deal with the most severe climate impacts  (e.g. the current climate change exacerbated drought in the Horn of Africa where someone is dying every 48 seconds from hunger) – has become one of the hottest issues at the COP27 UN Climate Talks and is getting increasing levels of media attention. Poor countries that are suffering most from climate losses and damages, despite having done least to cause them, are calling for the establishment of a special “Loss and Damage Finance Facility” at COP27 to help them deal with this devastation.

Cyclist.ie’s own vision of transport in Ireland is one in which everyday mobility is not dependent on continually pumping additional CO2 into the atmosphere and exacerbating the problems created from using fossil energy sources for so many other parts of our lives. For more on Cyclist.ie’s strategy, see here

Credit for the photo above to Stop Climate Chaos / Friends of the Earth.

Note that the Irish Times covered this event on Monday 14 Nov 2022 – see here.

Money, Money, Money – Funding A National Cycling Campaign

In this article, Cyclist.ie’s Finance Action Group sets out the current financial situation for the organisation in the context of recent rapid growth of Cyclist.ie.

This time last year, Cyclist.ie was faced with something of a crisis when one of its funders indicated they may not be able to continue with their funding support for our National Cycling Coordinator (NCC) post. 

On that occasion – and again earlier this year – Dublin Cycling Campaign responded with a very generous donation to support the post. Additionally, corporate funding was received from two tech companies, Dropbox and Red Hat. A further positive turning point came when Rethink Ireland awarded Cyclist.ie a major grant of €35,000 following our submission of a high quality funding application to them. All of this gave Cyclist.ie sufficient funding for 2022. But where does that leave us for 2023 and beyond?

A small group of volunteers, including the National Cycling Coordinator and members of our Board and Executive Committee, have now formed the backbone of a Finance Action Group and have begun to consider how to put Cyclist.ie on a sustainable financial footing.

A wide range of funding opportunity options are being considered – from seeking government funding to enlarging our private income from both individual and corporate members and from other donations. The short-term aim is to fund-raise to allow us to employ two full time members of staff – the National Cycling Coordinator and an assistant / administrator – at appropriate salaries, as well as to provide the office and meeting spaces we require. In essence, we aim to run the organisation in a much more professional way and be better able to harness the energies and skills of our growing network of volunteers. As of November 2022, Cyclist.ie has 34 member groups covering much of the island of Ireland, having grown from just seven member groups back in 2008. Between all of our groups, we have several hundred active volunteers who are engaging with pretty much every one of the 31 Local Authorities across the land – and making a real impact. You can see the spread of our member groups on this map

Finland has a similar population to Ireland. At a recent European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) webinar, we learned that the Finnish Cyclists’ Federation was formed in 2014 and, like Cyclist.ie, it received some support in the years 2014-2017 from the ECF’s “Leadership Programme” for growing national cycling advocacy organisations. Since then, they have expanded the organisation to over 3,000 members (compared to our approximate 1500 members), and they now have an annual turnover of approx €2 million which has enabled them to employ seven members of staff.

While Cyclist.ie has made many advances in recent years and has made a significant positive impact on government policy and practice on active travel, we still struggle to raise the funds to bring financial solidity to the organisation. This means that we are not fully leveraging the extensive volunteering energies in our organisation to best effect – and hence not stimulating the changes in society we are seeking as fast as they could happen. With our own new strategic plan in place, we are very much aware that with a growth in our complement of staff, we can make a far bigger impact on bringing about the safer road designs and cycle friendly environments we all know we should have. 

Over the coming months, our Finance Action Group will be focusing on securing sustainable funding for Cyclist.ie – and, most urgently, we need to bridge the gap between recurring income and current expenditure. If your company has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, Cyclist.ie would be very grateful if you can point your CSR Manager in the direction of our Business / Organisation Membership Scheme. Another option is for employees to donate to Cyclist.ie through “Benevity” – details here.

And if you have any other questions or suggestions on this topic, please get in touch with Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, the National Cycling Coordinator. Thank you.

COP27 – Cyclist.ie Supports Call for Prioritisation of Active Travel

The UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, kicked off yesterday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, launching two weeks of negotiations to deliver on the goals of the Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement. 

The European Cyclists’ Federation, of which Cyclist.ie is the member for Ireland, will be there representing the cycling movement, and joining a global coalition – the Partnership for Active Travel and Health (PATH), comprising leading organisations in the sustainable mobility community.  

The COP27 PATH letter is calling on governments and cities to commit to prioritising and investing more in walking and cycling through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and integrated strategies.

Cyclist.ie is very happy to have its name added to the letter which can be read below.

On the occasion of the COP27 climate conference, the Partnership for Active Travel and Health, alongside supporters of more walking and cycling, issue this letter to governments and cities:

We call on governments and cities to invest more in walking and cycling to achieve climate goals and improve people’s lives

Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is essential to achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, yet walking and cycling lack priority in the transport and mobility mix and the wider climate agenda.

A truly sustainable mobility paradigm must include a much larger share of investment in walking and cycling. Enabling a bigger share of urban trips to be walked and cycled is a quick, affordable and reliable way to significantly reduce transport emissions, traffic congestion and road casualties, and will also deliver improved public health, stronger economies and fairer societies.

Transport is responsible for 27% of global carbon emissions and is the sector with the strongest growth in emissions. Road vehicles account for nearly three quarters of transport CO2 emissions and these numbers are not decreasing. However, the potential for replacing motorised vehicle trips with walking and cycling is huge and within our grasp.

60% of urban trips across the globe are shorter than 5 kilometres, with more than half of them currently travelled by motorised vehicles. Walking and cycling could replace a significant proportion of these short trips. Electric bicycles expand this potential further still, and walking or cycling 30 minutes a day is enough to meet WHO minimum health requirements and reduce the risk of premature death by 20 to 30%.

With COP27 being hosted in Africa, it is worth noting that across the continent walking is already the primary mode of transport for the majority of people. Up to 78% walk every day – often because they have no other choice. And they put their lives at risk the moment they step out of their homes due to roads dominated by speeding cars, missing sidewalks, makeshift crossings and high-polluting vehicles. By 2050, low and middle income countries will own over two-thirds of the world’s cars. With that comes an increasing urgency for even greater investment in safe walking and cycling infrastructure.

For all of these reasons, the Partnership for Active Travel and Health, together with the undersigned organisations, strongly appeal to national and city governments to commit to prioritising and investing in walking and cycling, through Nationally Determined Contributions and integrated and coherent strategies, including plans, funding and concrete actions for:

Infrastructure – to make walking and cycling safe, accessible and easy to do.
Campaigns – to support a shift in people’s mobility habits.
– Land use planning – to ensure proximity and quality of access to everyday services on foot and by bike.
– Integration with public transport – to underpin sustainable mobility for longer trips.
– Capacity building – to enable the successful delivery of effective walking and cycling strategies that have measurable impact.

We are convinced that placing walking and cycling at the very heart of global, national and local strategies to address climate change will not only contribute to meeting urgent climate goals, but will also improve the lives of people all over the world.

For more information, facts and figures, read our report: Make way for walking and cycling

The full list of signatories to the letter can be found at https://pathforwalkingcycling.com/cop27/.  

Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG AGM 2022

Wednesday, 7th December 2022 – 8pm online

The Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7th December 2022 at 8 pm. The Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG is the legal entity under which Cyclist.ie and Dublin Cycling Campaign operate.

The AGM is open to fully paid-up individual members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and Cyclist.ie plus one voting representative from each paid-up local group. You can register for the event here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QHrtbRixTzCAcUjRXPGbhg

Agenda:

  • Approve Minutes of 2021 AGM
  • Review Financial Accounts
  • Provide an update on Governance Issues
  • Vote on any motions
  • Elections – there are no open positions on the board therefore there will be no elections

Member motions can be submitted by individual paid-up members and must be submitted to the Secretary ([email protected]) by Friday 2nd December 2022. Motions will be proposed and seconded by members. We will not accept any amendments to motions on the day, so please make sure they are written as clear, actionable items for the board.

Key dates:

  • Final date of registration – 6pm on Wed 7th December 2022 (updated deadline). Only fully paid-up members of Dublin Cycling Campaign and Cyclist.ie as at 5pm on 2nd December 2022 can attend and vote at the AGM.
  • Send member motions to [email protected] by 2nd December 2022
  • Final agenda including motions will be sent – 5th December 2022
  • Annual General Meeting – 7th December 2022 at 8pm – Online

Campaigners Address Road Safety Authority Conference

Cyclist.ie supported advocates from the Love 30 campaign who addressed Ireland’s Road Safety Authority annual conference last Wednesday.

Mairéad Forsythe and Justin Fleming shared the final speaking slot of the day-long conference. They jointly made the case for having 30 km/h as the default speed limit for all of our towns, villages and urban areas. The theme of the conference was ‘Tackling Speeding – Risk Factors and Interventions’.

Rod King MBE, who has been a great supporter of the Love 30 campaign over the years, also spoke. Rod has played an instrumental role in empowering local communities in the UK to implement 30km/h speed zones. The UK version of the campaign is ‘20’s Plenty for Us’.

On enforcement, Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton opened the conference with the announcement of a doubling, that very night, of fines for speeding and many other offences such as using a mobile phone while driving. Before this, speeding attracted a minimal €80 fine. No graduated increases apply for higher speeds.

Among the other speakers, Dr Judy Fleiter, Global Manager with the Global Road Safety Partnership, discussed the motivations for speed choices on the road. Guro Ranes, Director of Road Traffic Safety, Norwegian Public Roads Administration talked about Norway’s approach in tackling speeding with a particular focus on graduated speeding. Fines for dangerous speeding there are much more realistic, but don’t take Finland’s approach of being linked to the offender’s income level.

Senior Gardaí also addressed the conference, describing new technologies now available to the Roads Policing corps such as speed guns for patrol cars linked to automatic number-plate recognition. It’s to be hoped these technologies will be rolled out quickly and used widely so we can catch up with international best practice, but a timeline for this wasn’t clear. The appallingly widespread offences of driving and parking in bus lanes and cycle lanes were not addressed, and unfortunately question time didn’t allow for queries on this. It’s something the Campaign will work hard on in the coming year. Addressing car-dominated viewpoints that fail to prioritise the needs of vulnerable road users – never mind the environment – in official circles and culture is a high priority.

Closing the day, RSA Director Michael Rowland welcomed the Love 30 proposals and indicated that the Authority would support a national default 30 km/h limit. Needless to say we’ll be tracking whether RSA backs up these words with actions.

For more on campaigns for lower and safer speed limits in built-up areas, see:

https://www.love30.ie/
https://www.20splenty.org/

Cork Cycling Campaign Makes An Impact on the European Stage

Cork Cycling Campaign (CCC) has been in existence for over 20 years, and was one of the founding member groups of Cyclist.ie back in 2008. CCC has been incredibly busy and vibrant over the recent years. With so much happening on the cycling and active travel fronts, its membership and levels of volunteering activity have grown steadily in terms of running events, making submissions and advocating effectively in the Cork region.

The fantastic work of this Cyclist.ie member group has been recognised by the publication of this article on the European Cyclists’ Federation website. This can only help to further boost its membership and give recognition to the achievements of CCC. Check it out, and if you live in the Cork area why not contact CCC at [email protected]?  

CCC is one of the 34 member groups of Cyclist.ie lobbying for increased funding and projects at central government as well as county level, and working to improve conditions for active travel countrywide. Why not become a member and support the work Cyclist.ie does? Check out the Individual Membership of Cyclist.ie and/or become a member of your own local group.

For more on Cork Cycling Campaign, visit their website here

Naas to Kill Cycle Scheme – Cyclist.ie Submission

On 19 October 2022, Cyclist.ie made a submission on proposals for the “Naas to Kill” Cycle Scheme, as developed by Kildare County Council. 

This is a proposed 4.4km high-quality cycle route connecting Naas and Kill via Johnstown Village. 

In general Cyclist.ie warmly welcomes this proposed scheme from the outskirts of Naas to the village of Kill, a route that has the potential to be transformative, and opens up safe and relatively pleasant cycling and walking along this route.




However, we particularly urge consideration of the following items in drawing up the final scheme:

● Narrowing of the main carriageway through both villages to encourage lower vehicle speeds, and enable a better quality and continuous cycle track.
● Consideration of the addition of Zebra/Wombat crossings in further locations in both villages.
● Reduction of the posted speed limit from 50kph to 30kph in the villages of Johnstown and Kill in line with current guidelines.
● Remove all the unsightly railings from outside Saplings Special school.
● Upgrade the cycle route from the Dublin Roundabout to Naas Town Centre, in line with a previous Part 8, to ensure that there is a complete safe route from Naas Town Centre to Kill Village.

Cyclist.ie’s submission can be read in full here.

The submission of Naas Cycling Campaign, a new member group of Cyclist.ie, can be read here

And the formal planning application documents from Kildare County Council can be viewed here.

Cyclist.ie at World Cycling Alliance 2022 AGM

Cyclist.ie is part of the World Cycling Alliance through our own membership of the European Cyclists’ Federation

We were delighted that two members of Cyclist.ie’s Executive Committee attended the (fully online) Annual General Meeting of the World Cycling Alliance earlier today (Tuesday 18 October 2022) – Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator) and Will Andrews. 

The World Cycling Alliance comprises the overarching groups in each continent of the world, and it was fantastic to see cycling advocates from South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, India, Australia and over a dozen European countries at the meeting. 

The WCA’s major achievement recently was the last-minute change to the transport resolutions made at COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021. The WCA joined other environmental groups and secured a brief, but crucial, inclusion of active trave in the final Declaration:

We recognise that alongside the shift to zero emission vehicles, a sustainable future for road transport will require wider system transformation, including support for active travel, public and shared transport, as well as addressing the full value chain impacts from vehicle production, use and disposal.
[The full Declaration can be read here.]

Before WCA’s intervention, the ambition had been wholly aimed at promoting electric car roll-out.

Having such measures set and agreed at global level helps us all advocate for improved provisions, even down to local level where, for instance, unsustainable and counter-productive roads and traffic management projects are being backed by local politicians. 

Likewise, WCA membership can give credibility to those in emerging economies who want to promote cycling and sustainable transport in the face of car-biased urban planning policies.

Other initiatives of WCA include: 

* Promoting World Bicycle Day on June 3rd – for the background on this see here;

* Encouraging the UN General Assembly to pass Resolution 76/255, which calls for all governments to promote and encourage cycling as transport;

* Applying to the UN to be included in all future COP meetings.

The World Cycling Alliance 2022 AGM elected a member from each continent to its Board, and selected a new Chair, Graham Watson, who is a former MEP and current ECF board member.

Cyclist.ie looks forward to engaging more closely with the World Cycling Alliance over the coming months and years.

The photo at the top was taken at the (2016) Vélo-city Taipei parade.

New Business / Organisation Member – Lime

Cyclist.ie is delighted to have Lime joining as our latest Business / Organisation member.

This membership type for Cyclist.ie is available for those businesses and organisations who support our aims to make the cities, towns, villages and roads of Ireland bicycle-friendly for their employees, customers and their community. 

Lime joins Dropbox and the Irish Heart Foundation (amongst others) who support the advocacy work of Cyclist.ie / Dublin Cycling Campaign as Business / Organisation members. Lime join as a “Gold” category member. 

Lime is the world’s largest shared electric vehicle company. Its mission is “to build a future where transportation is shared, affordable and carbon-free”. See here

More information on our Business / Organisation membership scheme at:

https://cyclist.ie/membership/join-cyclist-ie-business/
and
https://www.dublincycling.com/businessmembers