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Five times more secondary school girls drive than cycle

Which look is best if you want to promote cycling?

Comment & Analysis: Quoted as an obesity expert, Dr Donal O’Shea, the director of weight management services at two hospitals in Dublin, told the Irish Independent yesterday that driving children short distances to school is damaging. It’s worth reading the article in full, here.

He pointed out that 2,500 secondary school girls in Ireland drive themselves to school but only around 500 cycle (likely stats from the 2006 census).

Because of overly obsessed safety agencies and others, cycling promotion for children and adults in Dublin and the rest of Ireland is sadly hugely hindered by the high-vis and helmet agendas.

Getting people cycling can be hard enough with out unneeded and unproven safety gear getting in the way.

So to hell with safety? No. Convince people to use good lights, which are far more effictive than high-vis ever will be, and helmets are all they are made out to be, see this article on IrishHealth.com and the comprehensive resource cyclehelmets.org.

The national cycle policy includes many ways to make cycling safer, it does not mention helmets

You might get primary school children to wear high-vis and helmets, you might even get some secondary school teenagers wearing them. But make if you want to make cycling any way mainstream while promoting “safety” gear, including for girls, forget it.

So how do you make cycling safer? The most effective and most proven way to make cycling and walking safer is to get more people cycling and walking (sources: 1, 2, 3 etc), second to that is to lower speeds of cars (1 etc).

As already mentioned getting cyclists to use lights is more important and beyond that cycling training could be rolled out as promised in the National Cycle Framework Policy. Generally and quickly implementing the policy would make a huge difference.

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Subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).

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IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

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I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

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Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

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