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Lord mayor’s #shopbybike claim was “ridiculous and offence” says councillor

Comments made by Dublin lord mayor, Cllr Brendan Carr, implying that people on bicycles never cycled home with bags of shopping were “ridiculous and offence” Cllr Paul Hand has said.

Cllr Hand (independent) used speaking time at the Dublin City transport committee to rebuke Cllr Carr’s comments.

“Regarding the lord mayor, he did make a few ridiculous and offence comments regarding cyclists who apparently when they cycle to the city centre they don’t spend any money,” said Cllr Hand.

He was interrupted by the chairman of the committee, Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green) who said it was inappropriate when Cllr Carr was not these to reply.

Cllr Carr had been a guest at the meeting to speak about Liffey Cycle Route, but he seemed to leave the council chamber shortly after his contribution, which claimed cyclists got “everything they wanted” with the sub-standard Option 8.

Cllr Hand added: “I’m going to say it in public anyway and I will email him. I think it is offence to say that cyclists don’t spend any money in the city centre when it’s quite clear that they do. That’s a point that needs to be made.”

Cllr Carr made his comments on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show, which he was on after he had used the launch of Dublin hosting the 2019 Velo-City cycling conference to argue against the then preferred route for the Liffey Cycle Route.

On Newstalk, Cllr Carr said: “Motorists are coming into the city and keeping businesses alive”. When the presenter said that “so are cyclists and people on buses”, Cllr Carr said: “I don’t know any cyclists who come into town and do bags of shopping and bring them home on their bike.”

The comments speared on more active local use of the #shopbybike hastag on Twitter.

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Cian Ginty


  1. Even aside from the ignorance of Mr Carr’s comments, because the data shows him to be factually wrong, it shouldn’t be the case that one needs to spend money in order to be afforded safe passage along the city streets. That’s the truly despicable attitude he has.

  2. He says he doesnt know any Cyclists who come into Town and goes Home with Bags full of Shopping.He actually does not know any Cyclists at all and could not care, he seems to hate Cyclists. He deed not bother to ask Cyclists if they shopped in the City to find out.In fact the Council or big Shops never seemed to do any Surveys of Cyclists to find out how much Shopping they did in the City.

    Like everybody else if I need Clothes I get them in the City.I often get the Fruit and Veg and Fish in Moore St,then off to Aldi or Tesco . Then possibly M& Spencer or TK Max to have a look at the Clothes. Now If I had a Cargo Bike I could get a lot more in one go.

  3. Carr’s statement was clearly rubbish. I think the explanation that he in fact doesn’t know any cyclists is the most likely one. People who want to drive their car to the shops are not now, and never will, be enticed in to the city centre. It is simply not suitable for huge numbers of cars and those people will go to out of town shopping centres like Blanchardstown, Dundrum and farther afield regardless of whether you keep squeezing cars down the quays and every other street in the city.

    The city centre has big advantages over those out of town centres, the variety of shops, the fact that you can take in some culture while browsing for a new dress, the very centrality which allows people from all over the city to arrange to meet for coffee of a drink. None of these things will persuade someone whose only criteria is “how easy is it to get to by car and how cheaply and easily can I park”. Chasing after them is a fools game.

    You get everyone else in by making access as simple and convenient as possible and this means public transport, walking and cycling. Sacrificing those modes on the altar of the already doomed “car or nothing” attitude is staggeringly short sighted and foolish. I can only assume that the people running Dublin Town and those adamantly anti-cycling and anti-public transport councillors are in the group which feels that if I can’t drive to something in my private car I don’t want to go there at all. At least the car park owners association has a clear financial imperative. The longer they can put off their demise the more money they will squeeze out of the city at the expense of the general population.


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