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Ireland ranked 14th in EU for cycling

Ireland is ranked as 14th out of the 27 EU countries for cycling in a European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) report.

“The main purpose of launching the ECF Cycling Barometer today is to get people talking about international comparisons in cycling. We are constantly asked which countries in Europe are ‘best for cycling’. The ECF Cycling Barometer is our way of prompting a debate around five dimensions of cycling we are prioritising,” said ECF cycling barometer project manager Chloe Mispelon.

Unlike recent the Copenhagenize Index 2013 which focused on cities and ranks Dublin as 9th, the ECF report looks at all of Ireland. Because of this, the two reports can’t be directly compared — Dublin City has a cycling modal share of 7.6% while nationally the share is just 2.4%.

The ECF looked at modal share, road safety, cycling tourism, the bicycle market, and advocacy. Here’s their list, with Ireland at 14th:

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ECF rankingJPG

One area Ireland did notable well was a low number of deaths per number of cyclists. On this Ireland is only better by Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark.

number of deaths per number of cyclists

While deaths are not the only index of safety, and a lack of perceived safety will stop many people from getting on bicycles, Dublin would fare better a deaths per number of cyclist ranking. In recent years, the bulk of cyclists in Ireland are Dublin-based, but the bulk of deaths happen outside the County Dublin.

The recent Copenhagenize Index 2013, which ranked Dublin at 9th worldwide, did so partly based on future plans, fast growth in recent year, and because got ‘bonus points’ for  “particularly impressive efforts or results” — the full criteria can be read here, while this is what the index said about Dublin:

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Dublin is the Great Bike Hope among Emerging Bicycle Cities. Visionary political will can be all too fleeting but the city seems to keep on pushing forward. The city still has bicycles on the brain and the National Transport Authority is trying to provide a tailwind. Dublin’s incredibly successful bike share programme has been instrumental in reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape. Now larger-scale infrastructure projects and a city-wide cycling strategy can take the city to the next level as it tackles rising urbanisation with little room left for more cars. 30 km/h zones and bicycle infrastructure have combined to make Dublin the safest EU capital.

With a modal share of 7.5%, the city centre can sometimes boast of double digits. An incredible rise over just six or so years. Dublin is the only city after Amsterdam and Copenhagen to retain their placement on the Index. They scored high on the bonus points. They remain an inspiration and a city to watch.

DOWNLOAD: ECF Cycling Barometer 2013 technical document (PDF) is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty

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