Transport minister Shane Ross has included a goal of “fewer single occupancy vehicles and more commuters walking and cycling” as part of his department’s Statement of Strategy 2016 – 2019.
The strategy — which was released last Friday, December 23 — re-commits the department to the implementing the “remaining safety actions in the National Cycling Framework 2009-2020”, although the policy is also already government policy generally.
As part of the land transport section of the strategy, the department will “plan for appropriate public spending and investment in efficient, sustainable, integrated and accessible land transport networks and services.”
The department said it will “promote improved sustainability in land transport” by the following actions: contribute to the National Planning Framework to enhance integration between transport and land use; lead the development of transport aspects of national climate action policy and develop a strategy for the future development of greenways.
The monitoring of goals in the strategy, the department said it will look for “Fewer single occupancy vehicles and more commuters walking and cycling”, while “Greater uptake of sustainable modes of travel: walking, cycling and public transport” is included under the heading of “achieving our goals will have these positive outcomes”.
But while the Department of Transport has mentioned cycling in key parts of its strategy, Cyclist.ie, a group which represents most cycling campaigns in Ireland, highlighted a lack of ministerial focus on the issues on cycling, decarbonisation of transport and active travel.
“This is the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross’, Statement of Strategy for his department. The minister’s foreword makes no mention of decarbonisation of transport or active travel never mind the role that cycling has to play in the face of relentless climate change,” said Cyclist.ie in a Facebook post.