Category Archives: Media

Anything from a newspaper, news website, or any media source

Cycle Right or Cycle Wrong?

In 2017, Deputy Catherine Murphy addressed a question in the Dail about the management of the cycle training programme Cycle Right, specifically the anticipated increase in cycling to school and the benchmark for success. This was against a background in the UK of increased training having no significant effect on cycling levels unless accompanied by the provision of high quality infrastructure.

The response by Minister Shane Ross was in short that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport had no idea about how effective the scheme would be and did not have any benchmark for success.

In 2018, one year on from having introduced the scheme, Deputy Catherine Murphy again asked about the effectiveness of Cycle Right. (​ See full transcript of question and answer) In a rambling response, the Minister Shane Ross confirmed that there was no data available on the number of children cycling to school directly as a result of Cycle Right training.

He did state that in 2017, 15,245 pupils participated in Cycle Right training in 428 schools. which means that 4% of primary schools pupils (if only primary schools took part) 1 or 2.7% of all pupils received cycle training. He went on to state that

“This cycle training ……. will result, over time, in an increase in the number of responsible cyclists on our roads. As Cycle Right is essentially a training programme, we will continue to monitor it based on the number of participants ……

There is no evidence that cycle training on its own will lead to increased cycling. In stating the increase in terms of additional responsible cycling, it could be interpreted that there would be no additional cyclists – only more ‘responsible’ ones. The statement that they will continue to monitor Cycle Right based on the number of participants is “flannel”. Of course the Department is going to continue to monitor the scheme as it is funded on the basis of a payment per head.

The response to the parliamentary question then rambles on to discuss the Green Schools programme although Green Schools were not referred to in the question. The Green School programme monitors the number of children travelling by active means but only those schools which are participating in the Travel Module. Any school which is not participating in the Travel Module or in the Green Schools programme is not monitored. The survey results report an increase from 3% to 4% over two years. This is more selective hype and spin by the Minister and his Department as they aggregate the results over more than one year in order to boost the results.

So now we know that only a small percentage of pupils receive cycle training and nobody has any idea about its effectiveness. This lack of interest in its outcome begs the question what is this Minister and / or senior management doing?

Quantifying the contribution of utility cycling to population levels of physical activity

Population levels of physical activity are far below recommendations limiting its public health benefits. Utility cycling (i.e. cycling for transport purposes) may be a means of increasing this activity. Empirical evidence quantifying the contribution of utility cycling to the population levels of physical activity is sparse. Read article

Published by the Health Economics Research Group (HERG)

Cyclist.ie delegates meet a key civil servant coordinating cabinet’s ‘Healthy Ireland’ initiative

Cyclist.ie met with Ronan Toomey (APO),  a top official in the Healthy Ireland section in the Department of Health yesterday to discuss the government’s ‘Healthy Ireland’ initiative launched by An Taoiseach and then Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly in 2013.

All the actions that flow from this initiative are grounded in the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy chaired by An Taoiseach.

We learned what the government action plan is to persuade citizens to adopt healthy lifestyles throughout their lives. A draft ‘National Physical Activity Plan’ is being readied. Cycling promotion for everyday trips will be central to the policy.

What impressed us is that finally departments of state are coming out of their silos to tackle the marked degree of unhealthy lifestyles among some citizens, particularly in relation to active travel like everyday cycling and walking to work, school and college. It is good to hear that the departments of Education, Environment, Transport, Children and Health will be acting in unison on the actions.

We need to start by taking extreme care not to locate new schools in cycling-hostile traffic environments.

Obesity/overweight tendencies start in childhood due to ‘environmental’ factor like not being able to walk or cycle to school due to bad traffic management so it is essential that the Department of Education and road authorities act sensibly so as to choose locations for new schools with care. Greenfield sites located on N-roads are not the way to go.

30 km/h speed limits are crucial to making routes to our schools walking and cycling friendly.

Let’s talk seriously about why cyclists break traffic laws

A view from the US (Washington Post)

In full disclosure, I have scoffed the law while cycling. In my neighborhood at night, when there’s no one around, I have rolled through a stop sign. I have paused at an intersection, “no turn on red,” and then done exactly that on a bike. I do these things … occasionally.

“I do, too,” says Wesley Marshall, now that we’re confessing. “If I’m sitting at a red light next to a bunch of cars, and there are no cars crossing, I’ll go through the red light to establish myself in the street in the next block, because I feel like I’m safer doing that.”

Read article

Improvements to cycle and public transport access to Cork Station

Millions of euro in funding is to be spent improving accessibility between Kent Station and the city centre; construction on the project commenced summer 2014. Iarnród Éireann had been seeking to enhance the existing facilities at the Cork train station, with plans to develop the North Docks with an entrance building accessed from Horgan’s Quay. Now €2.9m in funding, administered by the National Transport Authority, is to be spent on the new entrance and bus, cycle and access arrangements to improve connections to the city. Read article

Cork Cycling Campaign:

  • Campaign on behalf of Cork Cyclists
  • Sent in their own submission on the proposal for this project
  • Meet first wednesday of every month at 7pm in the Bodega, Coalquay, Cork.

The coco-cola zero bikes are coming to Galway, Cork and Limerick

11th November 2014 – The National Transport Authority has today announced further details for the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes regional scheme which will go live over the coming weeks. Galway will launch on Monday 24th November, followed by Limerick on 8th December and Cork on 18th December.

The National Transport Authority is also calling on the people of Galway, Limerick and Cork to pre-register now on www.bikeshare.ie so that the bikes can be availed of as soon as they are live on the streets.

Customers who pre-register will also get a 50% discount, receiving a special offer of €5 for annual subscription.  This special offer extends to the end of 2014. When a customer registers for an annual subscription, they will receive a Welcome Pack in the post containing details of the scheme and a subscription card.

Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “We’re delighted to announce that the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme will go live in Galway on November 24th. The bikes will be an exciting new addition to the cities of Limerick, Cork and Galway for business and recreational users alike. We urge anyone interested in using the bikes in any of the three cities to take advantage of the special 50% discount offer by registering now at www.bikeshare.ie.”

More information

Extraordinary coalition of businesses support bold Cycle Superhighway plans

The CEO of Microsoft UK, Michel Van Der Bel, gave his support today to the Mayor of London’s ambitious plans to build two new Cycle Superhighways. He joins an extraordinary coalition of businesses urging Boris Johnson to build the routes.

Microsoft joins over 120 employers who have sent letters of support for the Cycle Superhighways – including RBS, Unilever, Orange, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, the Financial Times, and law firms Olswang,Allen & Overy, and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Read article, but there is also opposition

Could the same thing happen for Dublin’s Quays? – see also the latest in the Irish Times