“Vision Zero” required to make Irish roads safer for cycling

IMAGE: A speeding car passes a speed detected sign beside a narrow cycle lane in Ballina, Co Mayo.

— Lack of infrastructure funding, inappropriate speed limits and lack of enforcement putting people who cycle in Ireland at risk

Minister for transport Shane Ross and the Road Safety Authority should reconsider existing approaches to road safety and set a goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on Ireland’s roads, the Green Party have said.

“Vision Zero” was invented in Sweden and adopted in the last few years in Canada and a number of high-profile US cities. The party made the call after 11-year-old Tim Ross was killed while cycling to school yesterday morning in Co Offaly.

“There is no acceptable level of carnage on our roads. Every serious accident can be prevented. This requires leadership and vision starting from the top, and a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road safety. The culture of victim-blaming must stop, and this requires a new approach from safety authorities,” said Cllr Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party transport Spokesperson and chair of Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee.

He added: “Instead of insisting that vulnerable road users wear ‘high-viz’ clothing we should focus more on lower speed limits and changes in road design that encourage safer driving. An Garda Síochana must also devote more resources to tackling poor driver behaviour. 100km/hr speed limits are unacceptable on roads used by children to cycle to school.”

“Investment in quality walking and cycling facilities save lives. It is time for the Minister to act. The Government’s Capital Investment Programme over the next seven years devotes less than 1% of budgets to sustainable transport measures including walking and cycling. It is no longer acceptable to give sustainable transport the crumbs of the transport cake,” said Cllr Cuffe.

With three major Dublin cycle route projects possibly on hold due to lack of funding, Cllr Cuffe said: Minister Ross must dedicate greater resources to improving walking and cycling across Ireland. Money for gold-plated road projects should be put on hold until such time as we adequately fund sustainable transport projects.”

MORE: Major Dublin cycle route projects on hold due to lack of funding

2 Comments

  1. As car sales grow once again and congestion increases, one would think it is a no-brainer to invest in cycling, which, besides helping to relieve congestion, also gives the highest economic return of all transport investments. Despite the overwhelming evidence in support of investment in cycling the Department of Transport continually ignores the facts, and ends up reducing its investment levels in active travel.
    Our roads need to be made safer and more inviting for people, and in particular children, to take up cycling as an everyday transport option. This most recent tragic accident emphasises the urgency of the impasse. Get on to your local TD and/or minister and demand an about-turn in funding priority for cycling, and the need for the government to move to ensure that our roads are made safe for all users, and that active travel modes are prioritised.

  2. Quoting my own tweet from yesterday: “With infrastructure a kids’ bike is a mode of transport. Without it, just a toy for the park”.

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