Category Archives: Uncategorized Report on Rural Cycling Symposium was delighted to be asked to present its Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland at a symposium hosted by one of its newest members, Pedal Vintage Durrow. The event, titled The Future of Cycling in Rural Ireland was held in collaboration with Laois County Council and with funding from The National Transport Authority. The symposium took place in the beautiful Castle Durrow Country House Hotel on Monday 15th May 2023. The official launch was performed by Laois Rose of Tralee, Sinead Dowd who grew up in New York and enjoyed cycling there.

The array of presenters covered every possible angle of cycling. Naturally there was an emphasis on developments in Laois. Diarmuid Donoghue from the Laois Active Travel Office described some of the council’s completed and planned walking and cycling projects. Of note were footpath extensions to various GAA grounds, the planned removal of hatching to create space for segregated cycling lanes, modification of roundabouts to ensure safer cycling and an urban greenway for Portlaoise!

Regina Dunne, Laois Tourism Officer (see gave an animated presentation on the potential of Laois as a cycling destination. The county offers a variety of cycling experiences with a National Mountain Biking Centre in the Sliabh Blooms and a section of the Barrow Blueway at Vicarstown and Stradbally. Regina was particularly strong on the need for marketing and communication of what is available. She quoted interesting Fáilte Ireland research on the value of experience holidays and on how experiences should appeal to our emotions and to our senses.

Matt Doyle, Chairman of Pedal Vintage Durrow (see here) and John Holland, Coordinator of Portarlington Cycle Campaign each gave presentations. Beautiful pedal vintage hire bikes used by Durrow for their activities were on display. The Durrow group are interested in heritage but also in the practicalities of everyday cycling and there was also a presentation on a feasibility study report by Mark Murphy of MM Consult Cork on a planned Durrow Community Family Bike Hub. The study was jointly commissioned by Pedal Vintage and Laois County Council in collaboration with Coillte Management, and with funding provided under the ORIS funding stream. The trails envisage on-road off-road cycle routes from the centre of Durrow to two local woods, “Dunmore” and “Capponellan” with a (looped) return journey to The Square in Durrow. This ambitious plan chimes perfectly with one of the mantras of’s Rural Collective, “we want to be able to travel from our front door, not our car door!” members have always been amused by the nominative determinism in the name of our long-standing member and former Chair, Colm Ryder. However, John Holland, coordinator of Portarlington Cycling Campaign gave Colm a run for his money in a manner of speaking when he told us he wants Portarlington to become the Amsterdam of the midlands! John presented an ambitious vision of the cycling Mecca Portarlington could become! Campaign activities range from regular critical mass cycles highlighting the need for cycling infrastructure to celebratory events such as the Tour de Port or the novel Bike Camp and Swim events planned for Bike Week – see here

Contributors from outside of Laois included members, Clara Clark who presented on the hugely successful Cycling Without Age trishaw national initiative, and Joan Swift from the Rural Collective who presented on behalf of Jo Sachs Eldridge on the Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland.

The final contributors were from Cycling Ireland with Jason Goodison presenting on Community Bike Rides and Paul Norton on cycling infrastructure and facilities development. The Community Bike Rides initiative is a very flexible initiative as it offers an opportunity to log solo as well as group rides and to sign up for rewards and both types of rides are covered by Cycling Ireland insurance. Paul’s presentation focused on the assistance Cycling Ireland can offer to communities interested in setting up cycling facilities such as pump tracks, BMX tracks, skate parks and learn to cycle tracks. He showed a lovely video of children enjoying the Dungarvan Learn to Cycle Facility.

Joan Swift from’s Rural Collective Group speaking at the event

Joan Swift (above) presented on’s Vision for Cycling in Rural Ireland – see The vision was launched in September 2020 and comprises eight asks which if implemented would enable people living in rural Ireland to cycle for whatever trips they choose, be it commuting, leisure or running errands. The presentation was updated to include both and national initiatives which have occurred since the original launch. 

Clara’s presentation on Cycling Without Age emphasised its national and voluntary nature, that it has grown from one trishaw in 2017 to over 63 operating all around Ireland. Many local authorities (though not yet Laois Council!) are now sponsoring trishaws for community use. Her video on how the Bike Hub partnership in Dun Laoghaire works, was a great example of social enterprise and Council cooperation.

Clara Clark speaking at the Durrow Pedal Vintage event, 15 May 2023

Developing and Cycling EuroVelo Route 1

On Tuesday 15 November 2022 (8pm), and Dublin Cycling Campaign will jointly host a very special online public meeting on the topic of EuroVelo Route 1 (EV#1) in Ireland, also known as the Atlantic Coast Cycling Route. You can register to attend here (with registrations closing at 6pm on Tue 15 Nov).

EV#1 is the long distance signed cycling route running along the coasts of Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, France, Spain and into Portugal (see below and here), and it is one of 17 EuroVelo routes being developed across Europe as coordinated by the European Cyclists’ Federation.   

The emerging EuroVelo network

We will have two extremely well qualified presenters on the night. 

Firstly, we will have Doug Corrie from Sport Ireland who works with their Outdoors unit. Doug has spent the last number of years liaising and engaging closely with the 10 Irish Local Authorities, through which the route runs, so as to identify the optimal route.

While the signing of the route is now nearing completion, the route itself will evolve over the coming years as new greenways come on stream and other interventions are advanced by local Councils. This will improve the cycling experience and widen its appeal to a more diverse set of users. At the presentation, Doug will explain the context around the development of EV#1 and the main considerations in identifying, signing and improving the route. 

Doug Corrie from Sport Ireland

Our second speaker, Florence Lessard, will be tuning in live from the North Coast of Quebec, having recently returned to Canada after cycling almost the complete EV#1 Irish route. Her journey ran from Rosslare, County Wexford, and on through the counties of Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Derry and Antrim – and finishing up in Belfast.

Florence will share her experiences of cycling EV#1 and camping along the way. Some images giving a taster of her trip can be seen below. Florence has cycle toured widely in Quebec and also has considerable hiking experience including in the national parks of New Zealand.

Florence Lessard on her journey in Ireland.

The event will take place online (at 8pm Irish time and 3pm Quebec time) on Tue 15 November 2022. You can register to attend via this link here

For more on the EuroVelo European Cycle Route Network, see here

SIXTH UN Global Road Safety Week – Love 30, Streets for Life – 17 to 23 May 2021

Why Ireland Needs 30km/h Urban Speed Limits

What difference does 30km/h make?

At 60km/h one in ten pedestrians survive collisions between car and pedestrians, while at 30km/h nine in ten pedestrians survive – see graphic below.  For the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week , The UN is calling on policymakers to act for low speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h where people walk, live and play.  This call echoes the 2020 Stockholm Declaration where Ireland was one of the co signatories pledging 30km/h urban speed limits.

We need to make this happen!

A 30km/h speed limit introduces calmer, safer roads and shorter braking distance. It gives the driver a better view of their surroundings and makes it easier for them to see any pedestrians crossing the road, cyclists and other vehicles and allows more time for drivers to react to the unexpected.

For 2021, the theme of the week is ‘Streets for life’ and this has never been more important as people spend more time in their own localities. 30km/h makes our cities, towns and villages safer places to live.  It allows children and those with limited mobility to move more freely and it creates vibrant people-friendly spaces.

Road traffic injuries rank among the top four causes of death for all children after infancy.  Crashes on the roads account for one third of all injury deaths across all age groups – pre-schoolers, older children or teenagers.

There was 6% increase in the number of people who died on Irish roads in 2020 as against 2019, despite a reduction in overall traffic volumes.  A total of 149 people died on Irish roads in 2020 – compared to 140 in 2019. This included 10 people on bikes.  

However, overall the measures taken to reduce road trauma are working: between 2013 and 2019, Ireland saw a 26% reduction in road traffic fatalities, compared to just a 6% reduction across the whole of the EU-27.  We had the two safest years on record for road fatalities in 2018 and 2019, and slowing down will ensure that this overall long-term downward trend in collisions and fatalities will continue. 

Many cities and urban areas worldwide have introduced widespread 30 km/h limits. Several countries are introducing default 30 km/h speed limits in all urban areas including The Netherlands, Spain, and Wales (20 m/h). Some locations have speed limits as low as 10 km/h. Love 30 and believe that Ireland, as a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration, must follow this best international practice and legislate for a default 30 km/h limit in all built-up areas.


For further information, contact:

Mairéad Forsythe: 086-8337577
Caitríona Corr: 083-0238790