Campaigners call on cyclists to act ahead of Dail vote on Thursday

National cycling campaigners Cyclist.ie and the Dublin Cycling Campaign have called on cyclists act now and ask their TDs to support a motion on cycling to be made in the Dail tomorrow, Thursday.

As we reported last month, a vote on the motion was deferred until this week.

The campaigners said: “In advance of Thursday vote we are asking our followers to contact their local TDs and ask them to support Deputy Troy’s motion. You can find your local TD and their contact information via WhoismyTD.com.”

The motion by Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Robert Troy condemns the “risks that cyclists face on Irish roads, owing to our poorly developed cycling infrastructure, the low funding allocations for cycling at only approximately 2% of the transport capital budget; and transport minister Shane Ross’s failure to bring forward legislation requiring drivers to maintain a minimum distance when passing cyclists.”

The motion calls on the Government to prioritise the rollout of dedicated cycle tracks segregated from other road users; and appoint a dedicated cycling officer to every local authority at an appropriate level of seniority, and establish a dedicated cycling division within the Department of Transport.

It also looks for cycling-friendly legislative initiatives, including contra-flow cycling without lanes, and left turn at red lights.

The motion states that the Government should expand bike sharing schemes to major suburbs of towns and cities and revise the Bike to Work scheme to allow commuters to purchase a new bike every three years instead of every five years, and to extend the scheme to pensioners and unemployed people.

In the short term it wants the introduce immediate supplementary funding to local authorities to support the rollout of ‘quick win’ projects supporting safe cycling and walking routes in the short term; and for two new cycling projects to be delivered in advance of Velo-City 2019, which Dublin is hosting.

The debate and vote is expected to take place Thursday January 17 at 12.47pm, it follows a deferral in December.

The full motion is as follows:

That Dáil Éireann: recognises:

— the rapidly growing popularity of cycling as a means of transport, particularly in Ireland’s urban and suburban areas, as evidenced by recent Census figures and the popularity of schemes such as the dublinbikes public bicycle rental scheme;

— the considerable health benefits that regular physical activity, such as cycling, brings to citizens and the need to promote such activity;

— the high level of economic returns and value for money that cycling projects give;

— that chronic congestion is grinding our cities and road arteries to a halt, making it more difficult and more unpleasant for people to get to work;

— that cycling is a zero-carbon mode of transport and one which can help to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions, as per our commitments at European Union and international level;

— that Ireland lags behind our European peers in the provision of safe cycling infrastructure, such as dedicated cycle lanes, secure bike storage facilities and cyclist-friendly traffic lights; and

— that the largest cycling conference in the world is due to take place in Dublin in June 2019, and that Ireland needs to show progress on the development of cycling infrastructure;

condemns:

— the considerable safety risks that cyclists face on Irish roads, owing to our poorly developed cycling infrastructure;

— the current low funding allocations for cycling at only approximately two per cent of the overall land transport capital budget; and

— the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport’s failure to bring forward legislation requiring drivers to maintain a minimum distance when passing cyclists; and

calls on the Government to:

— prioritise the rollout of dedicated cycle tracks, that are physically segregated from other road users, across the country;

— place cycling infrastructure at the heart of transport infrastructure planning by appointing a dedicated cycling officer to every local authority at an appropriate level of seniority, and by establishing a dedicated cycling division within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to coordinate activity and projects across all departments;

— introduce cycle friendly legislative initiatives, similar to those of our European neighbours to promote the growth of cycling, including contra-flow cycling, left turn at red lights and joint use of pedestrian crossings;

— build on the successes of bike sharing schemes by expanding these schemes to major suburbs of towns and cities;

— revise the Bike to Work scheme to allow commuters to purchase a new bike every three years instead of every five years, and to extend this scheme to pensioners and unemployed people;

— introduce immediate supplementary funding to local authorities to support the rollout of ‘quick win’ projects supporting safe cycling and walking routes in the short term; and

— prioritise two cycling projects to be delivered in advance of Velo-City 2019.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

1 Comment

  1. Does anyone have an update on this vote? Will it have any impact?

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