— Review of National Cycle Policy underway and to be finished this year.
— New policy could include yearly reduction of car parking in urban areas.
Cycling features a good deal in the draft climate change National Mitigation Plan published today, but the plan includes no new funding to make cycling safer and attractive to convince more people to swap four wheels for two.
Cycling campaigners say that the current planned spend on cycling is 1% of the €10 billion allocated to transport in the Government’s capital plan 2016-2021. Of the €10 billion earmarked for transport in the capital plan, €5.9 billion is allocated to “roads” and €3.6 billion is allocated to “public transport” — the most optimistic estimate seen by IrishCycle.com of the spending planned on cycling amounts to just 2%.
Elsewhere in the National Mitigation Plan, it is outlined how that the National Cycle Policy is under review and how a review will be “published later this year”.
The draft plan states: “In April 2009, the Government published the first National Cycle Policy Framework. It outlined 19 high level objectives containing 109 actions, aimed at ensuring that a strong cycling culture is developed in Ireland. The Framework set a target that 10% of all journeys will be made by bicycle by 2020. A Review of the National Cycle Policy Framework is currently underway and will be published later this year”.
The plan also includes a potential expansion of the Bike to Work Scheme tax support scheme, but it does not provide any details of how this would be done.
Other measures under consideration include possable ” increased and accelerated” public transport investment, extra incentives to increase the take up of “low emission vehicles”, including hybrids or fully electric cars; and increased use of biofuels in transport.
Potential “longer-term” measures for transport include reducing the top speed limit on motorways from 120km/h to 110km/h and a parking policy.
The parking policy would include a review of both car and bicycle parking nationally. The draft plan states: “A comprehensive national policy on parking should be developed. It should include motorised vehicles and bicycles and Local Authorities should be provided with guidelines to support its implementation as they are responsible for parking provision, planning and related matters.”
It adds: “By reducing the public parking supply by a small percentage every year in urban centres, more space would be available to facilitate services and infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation. However, any change to parking supply in urban centres would have to be considered in tandem with policies on ‘out-of-town’ parking. A national parking policy would have to complement demand management measures and developments in ITS in context of the EU’s Smart Cities Initiative.”
Written submissions on the draft National Mitigation Plan can be made by Wednesday 26 April 2017. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment said today that submissions can be made by emailing NationalMitigationPlan@DCCAE.gov.ie and including the subject heading “Draft NMP consultation and (name of respondent)”.
MORE: Draft National Mitigation Plan (PDF)
UPDATE: Shortly after publication, this article was edited to include a more inviting headline and to cover a broader range of the measures planned.