Based on Irish and international evidence, cycle tracks should not mandatory for people cycling to use, the Road Safety Authority told the Department of Transport a year ago.
Cycle tracks are the legal name for cycle lanes and most types of cycle paths in Ireland. The law was change in 2012 to remove mandatory use of cycle tracks for bicycle users, but the department have since claimed that there is an error in the legislation which invalidated the intent of the law change. Cycling groups have rejected this view.
The view of the RSA is likely to be welcomed by cycling groups, but it is unclear if recommended further research will change the position.
According to records released to IrishCycle.com under the Freedom of Information Acts, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said: “Overall, have considered the available Irish and international evidence, the RSA does not believe that cycle tracks should be mandatory without consideration to the following:”
“Further research should be conducted in Ireland to understand cycle lane usage by cyclists, their safety benefits, and cyclist/motorists attitudes towards usage.”
“Other cyclist safety measures should be considered to improve cyclist safety, particularly the reduction in speed limits in urban areas with or without cycle lanes where there is a high throughput of cyclist traffic.”
“The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport should, in collaboration with Local Authorities and TII as appropriate, undertake and engineering assessment to review current cycle lanes with regard to effectiveness, safety (keeping a minimum of 1.5 metre distance) and maintenance, as well as intersection with junctions and roundabouts.”
We reported in March of this year that the RSA maintained that it’s “inappropriate” to reveal cost of research into cycle tracks.
The Department of Transport now has the results of the research, but on August 16th refused to release it under Freedom of Information (FOI), saying that it will be released after Minister Shane Ross makes a decision on the issue. IrishCycle.com has requested a review of the refusal to release the documents.
FOI documents: Schedule and files records released:
Well so, the ‘research’ has been concluded. Do we know who carried out this ‘research’? Surely that information should be open to the public.
I have to say I’m very surpised, but pleasantly so. It seems like it would be uncontroversial that cyclists should not be forced to use substandard or dangerous cycle paths but everything the DoT, GSA and RSA have done up until now has made me think they could not see that. I guess we just need to get the DoT and GSA to see the obvious now.