Cycling low on list of priorities for transport minister Varadkar

UPDATE: John Carroll, an advisor to the minister, has contacted us via Twitter to say: “That list is not in order of priority. It’s a list of priorities.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, has released his list of priorities for 2013 — and cycling is down the list.  

Varadkar’s department for the first time covers transport, tourism and sport and cycling ticks all three boxes as a mode of transport, a sport, active leisure activity and an attractor for tourists.  But cycling comes in 18th of 20th of the minister’s priorities for the year ahead.

The full list below, from a press release issued tonight, shows where cycling stands:

Priorities for 2013

  1. Implement planned budget savings bringing the Department in on budget at the end of 2013 to help reduce the Government’s budget deficit;
  2. Commence enabling works on the cross-city Luas project;
  3. Realise ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ project, meeting the target of 325,000 additional visitors and €170 million in additional revenue;
  4. Restart the PPP roads programme by commencing work on the N7 (Newlands Cross), N11 (Rathnew) and N17/18 (Gort-Tuam) projects;
  5. Resolve the CIE financial situation without recourse to additional subvention;
  6. Establish Shannon NewCo – the independent Shannon Airport – and restore the airport to passenger growth;
  7. Launch a new Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020;
  8. Meet the objectives set down for the Irish Presidency of the Council of Transport Ministers;
  9. Determine the structure of the public service (PSO) bus market, secure funding of the CIE companies post-2014, and re-organise Irish Rail by year’s end;
  10. Launch the new plastic card licence and implement the nationwide review of speed limits;
  11. Develop new facilities at the National Sports Campus including the access roads and multi-use pitches and pavilion;
  12. Promote sport (physical education) as an examination subject;
  13. Pass the Road Traffic, Vessels Registration, Taxi, Sport Ireland and Vehicle Clamping Bills;
  14. Publish the new Ports Policy;
  15. Complete the consultation phase for the new Aviation Policy and begin work on a Tourism policy review;
  16. Implement a Maritime ‘Safety at Sea’ initiative;
  17. Launch and pilot a new Community and Local Improvement Scheme for minor local roads;
  18. Develop new schemes to encourage cycling and walking and bring the Mullingar to Dublin section of the proposed coast-to-coast greenway to shovel-ready status;
  19. Report on the feasibility of an Irish Museum of Sport;
  20. Complete the merger of the NRA and RPA.

IMAGE: Varadkar at the International Transport Forum Attribution Some rights reserved by European Cyclists’ Federation

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