Kildare County Council’s newly formed Kildare Cycling Forum, is to be chaired by Councillor Darren Scully (FG), a councillor who vowed to oppose cycle routes.
Cllr Scully tried to get councillors in the Naas district of County Kildare to reverse their approval of cycle paths on the Dublin Road in Naas and he also vowed at a public meeting to stop a planned route between schools and residential areas on the Kilcullen Road in Naas.
Local cyclists are puzzled by Cllr Scully’s appointment to the head of the committee.
On Facebook, Naas Neighborhood Greenways said: “Looking forward to working with Councillor Scully with his new found interest in cycling.”
Also on Facebook, responding to the news, the Maynooth Cycling Campaign said: “We may have interesting times in the new Cycle Forum!”
Kildare County Council said in a press release yesterday that the purpose of the cycle forum is to “support the development of cycling infrastructure within Kildare County, promote recreational cycling and encourage commuters to adopt cycling”.
The council said: “The Forum will be chaired by Councillor Darren Scully, Chairperson of the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee on Transportation, Safety and Emergency Services, with an elected representative from each of the five Municipal Districts. Membership of the Committee will also include the Council’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh, a member of An Garda Síochána, Cycle Right, the Kildare Sports Partnership and other cycling organisations. As a sub-Committee of the SPC, the Forum will convene four times per year.”
Declan Keogh said: “The Forum will support and advocate the development of cycling projects within Kildare, promote cycling programmes and activities, while also providing a platform for professional and advocacy groups to input into future policies on sustainable transport.”
The council statement added: “Cycling and walking are two key elements of the Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2023, with the aim of promoting ease of movement within the County, improvements to existing cycle and pedestrian facilities, and facilitating the development of new cycleways.”
The council said the cycle schemes currently underway in Kildare include the Royal Canal Greenway, proposed cycleways in Naas, Kill, Sallins and the Barrow Blueway.
Cycling Ireland, which is implementing the national cycling training standard welcomed the establishment of the cycle forum.
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Kildare County Council said that it has “supported and sponsored, through its Road Safety Section, the provision of approved cycle skills and training programmes to sixteen schools each school term. Each year, almost one thousand students are trained by cycle trainers who deliver training on all aspects of cycle training and road wise awareness, both from a cyclist’s perspective and that of another road user, in particular, a driver.”