“No active response” from Minister Ross to 100 CEOs asking for cycle network

— Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network plan launched in 2013 but little progress since, says group.

Transport Minister Shane Ross has not actively responded to a call from 100 CEOs to build the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network, business-focused campaign group CyclingWorks Dublin has said.

“The late Neeraj Jain, a Deloitte staffer who was a visitor to our country and in our care, died [while cycling] last Friday 1 November on a road that was part of the plan for the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network. If it had been built, he might be alive today,” said CyclingWorks Dublin in a statement issued yesterday.

It said that it was “extraordinary” that none of the last three transport ministers — Leo Varadkar, Paschal Donohoe and Shane Ross — could or would mandate the building of safe, separated, protected cycling infrastructure.

CyclingWorks Dublin said: “The CEOs of some 100 organisations have written to the Minister and Department of Transport asking for the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network to be built, for the safety and health of their staff, members and students. These organisations include Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Google, Vodafone, SIPTU, Trinity College, Dublin and many other companies and entities.”

The group said: “There has been no active response from Minister or Department to the pleas of these presumably influential stakeholders, who have demonstrated their commitment to employee safety when travelling to and from the workplace.”

CyclingWorks Dublin said that the change in infrastructure was needed for Dubliners’ health, and to help fulfil Ireland’s commitments to reduce its carbon footprint.

The group said: “We demand that Leo Varadkar, Paschal Donohoe, Shane Ross, Dublin’s councillors, Dublin’s council staff and the staff of the Departments involved listen to the requests sent through dublin.cyclingworks.org by so many CEOs on behalf of so many working people and build the infrastructure that will make our city safe for cycling.”

The group added: “Several minimal toe-in-the-water approaches to cycling infrastructure for Dublin — a quietway from Kimmage to Donnybrook that would have taken cyclists off main roads; a rejig of the parking on the Georgian Mile to allow people to cycle safely through the south central city; the coastal Sutton-to-Sandycove Greenway; the Dodder Greenway; the Liffey Cycle Route — have, one after another, in succession, suffered delays, setbacks, promises and repeatedly dashed hopes. Councillors, civil servants, council staff, politicians and residents blame each other for delays. Motor interests have their own comments to make.”

It said that instead of progress, international cycling experts visiting Dublin for the 2019 VeloCity conference in June were “shocked and frightened at their experience of cycling in our capital”.

The Department of Transport were contacted for comment yesterday and comment will be added if they respond.

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.

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