MAIN IMAGE: Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, pictured in the centre with his courtesy car parked in a cycle lane within a bus lane.
A gofundme.com page started to buy Dublin City Council a mayoral bicycle is likely to reach its target within 24 hours of starting — at the time of writing the page was at €350 of its €500 goal which was raised by 31 people in 7 hours.
The page was set up by the Dublin Cycling Campaign and helped by the Dutch Bike Shop by offering a Gazelle city bike at cost price.
On the page, the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “Every year Dublin’s Lord Mayor receives a shiny new ‘official’ car, courtesy of a major car dealership or car sales group. The car is used for the Lord Mayor’s many official engagements but, while there may be a genuine need for the car, it’s simply not the most efficient way to get around Dublin.”
“To this end, Dublin Cycling Campaign is raising funds to provide an official bicycle to Dublin’s Lord Mayor, to help him get to his engagements in a more efficient, healthy, convenient and enjoyable way,” said the campaign.
It said the city is fast becoming a cycling city and that the Lord Mayor should be “setting an example to his fellow Dubliners on how easy it is to choose cycling as a transport option for getting around the city”.
The group hope to hand over the bicycle to the mayor next month but in an interview with Newstalk FM this week, the current Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, that he needs his car to get around.
Councillor Ring, who was elected mayor by other councillors, has indicated a number of times that he is a cyclist, but it is understood that he mainly is a sports / leisure cyclist and doesn’t use cycling for transport.
The use of a car came up this week again when the mayor tweet images of the mayoral car parked in a cycle lane on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, which he apologised for. He was on the street to launch a tour bus.
“I’m usually in the lord mayor car and some people said why aren’t cycling — because when you’re in Lord Mayor car, you’re the Lord Mayor. I can’t be cycling around with the [mayor’s] chain.
Asked by presenter Ciaran Kelly if a mayor’s bicycle would be a good idea, Cllr Ring said: “When I’m going to a function, one, you like to drive there fresh, you have to have the chain on and when you’re in the car you can get some work done, you can prepare your speech etc.”
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“I’d 100% justify the use of the Lord Mayor’s car at all times because you genuinely can get a lot done.”
The mayor then started talking about the relationship between people who cycle and other road users and how cars are needed in the city centre to buy 26 inch televisions — see our story published earlier today.