Fewer single-occupancy cars, more cycling goal in Ross’s new strategy

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.

MORE: Statement of Strategy 2016 – 2019 and submissions to it

3 Comments

  1. His actual actions (or lack of them) don’t seem to lead towards this goal though. Allowing, by inaction, the RSA to effectively recriminalise cycling on the road if there is any cycle lane, no matter how poor, nearby will not encourage people to cycle.

    I’m interested to hear what mechanism might reduce single occupancy car trips. The only one I’m aware of is the usage of HOV lanes but I can’t see that being very effective in Ireland.

  2. Eric,
    Good Public transport would reduce car usage.
    Imagine you could get from D15 to Leopardstown/Sandyford each morning better* than driving a car (Cheaper/faster/’better’)

    Or from the N7 corridor to the same destination?
    Or anywhere on the 75 route.

    Alternatively, the cost of a single occupant car journey could be made dearer than a pt alternative. Instead the opposite sems to have happened. It used to cost me about 2.75 by bus to get to work. it’s now about 6, it was more.
    It’s 2.10 toll, and about 2 euros ( its a bit less unless its congested) for petrol to get to work for me.
    In the winter, I can cycle faster than I can drive to work, and sometimes the bus is faster than driving, I can always beat the bus from Swords to Dublin city, and most days I beat it from Blakes Cross in Lusk to Santry. There’s no skill or fitness needed to beat the bus from Santry to Dublin.

    If I was going to Dublin and not drinking, It’s better for me to drive to Connolly station, park there, than to go to my local station, get the train in and out of Dublin.

  3. That’s a good point. Good public transport should, in theory, reduce all car usage. I didn’t think this related to a point about single occupancy cars however I had not made the connection that people pay per passenger on bus and train, and to a lesser extent taxi. So if a bus costs you €2 and driving your car costs you €6 then some people are going to take the bus instead. However if there are four people in the car then the bus may cost €8 compared to the car cost which is likely still close to €6.

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