Naas-based Cllr Seamie Moore (independent) was criticised today after making comments on cyclists on footpaths when he voted against cycling projects which would likely solved the issue, according to a rival local election candidate.
Bill Clear, a local election candidate for the Social Democrats, said that Cllr Seamie Moore had voted against cycling project in Naas.
Weeks ago it was reported that Cllr Moore said that Gardaí should tackle the “abuse of footpath cycling by cyclists of all ages and all times of the day”, in a more recent local media report it said that the councillor had no issue if “small children” on bikes on footpaths if accompanied by a parent.
Clear said: “Adults should never cycle in the footpaths however they do that as they don’t feel safe cycling on the roads. Children are cycling on the footpath as their parents are too worried that they will be killed if the cycle on the road.”
He added: “We would not have this issue in Naas if this councillor would stop voting against all cycle schemes in Naas in the last few years. Councillor Moore is not pro-cycling that’s for sure.”
Cycling on footpaths in Ireland is technically illegal for adults, but often encouraged, including by some members of the Gardai and other officials.
The Road Safety Authority says children under 12 should cycle on footpaths rather than the road, and, when former transport minister Paschal Donohoe introduced fines for cycling offences, he said he was purposely excluding cycling on footpaths from the system of fines.
“I’m not going to change the status quo,” Minister Donohoe said at the time. “I’m aware of circumstances where an adult could be with a minor who is on a bike and they are … on a footpath for the child’s safety.”
He added: “We will be bringing in a fixed charge notice for anyone who cycles in a way that is not safe for them or any other road user.”
That fixed charge notice is now known as “cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration” — as per the Minister’s comments, it can only be applied to cycling without “reasonable consideration”, meaning it cannot be used on all types of cycling on footpaths.