50 or more new jobs to support walking and cycling are to be created by Dublin City Council, at least 30 new jobs are to be created by Limerick City and County Council, and Cork Co Council are expected to hire around 16 people.
The jobs are the first details of the funding for 248 new jobs to support walking and cycling infrastructure, which IrishCycle.com reported on last month.
The staff include engineers, programme directors, communications staff, and technical advisors. According to the Green Party, the jobs are funded five years under a new national funding scheme for sustainable mobility announced by Eamon Ryan.
Brian Leddin, a Limerick Green Party TD, said: “I’m pleased that Minister Eamon Ryan has committed to funding a multidisciplinary office in Limerick City and County Council to support the government’s ambitious programme to build better walking and cycling infrastructure. There will also be a Regional Design Office based in Limerick to provide technical expertise to local authorities in the Mid West Region to help them develop walking and cycling.”
He added: “To my mind this will bring four primary benefits to Limerick – it will make our streets more accessible to all, it will increase the health of our population by encouraging walking or cycling short journeys, it will increase economic competitiveness by helping to attract companies who want to locate in a modern city, and it will reduce both greenhouse gas emissions which harm the planet, and air pollution which harms our citizens.”
On the Dublin news, Cllr Michael Pidgeon (Green) said: “Ten years ago I stood outside civic offices, campaigning for the council to hire just one cycling officer. A decade on and we’re looking at hiring over fifty staff for active travel. This is the kind of practical change you see when you put Greens in local and national government.”
He added: “There is now a huge amount of cycling and walking funding available – we just need the staff locally to design and spend it. This could be transformative for the city.”
Cllr Donna Cooney (Green) said that projects have been delayed in the city due to lack of staff and that “We requested this from Minister Eamon Ryan in September 2020 so we can use our share of one million euro a day to truly reset Dublin as a cycling capital after COVID.”
Cllr Janet Horner (Green) said that a switch to walking and cycling isn’t just about reducing carbon emissions, she said: “It’s also about improving our air quality, public health, efficiency of transport and ensuring that the city is safe and accessible for all.”
Cllr Claire Byrne (Green) said: “Having more staff for these projects also allows more specialisation, meaning higher quality walking and cycling designs for Dubliners. It will also free up other staff to work on other traffic issues, so it’s a win-win.”
She added: “We look forward to seeing a revised national cycle design manual, to ensure any new infrastructure works for all – regardless of age or ability.”
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Here's a breakdown on the active travel roles envisaged. As you'd expect, mainly engineers.
I'm told it can be difficult for DCC to recruit/retain traffic engineers, so this may change. pic.twitter.com/MA15I3GV4A
— Michael Pidgeon (@Pidge) February 1, 2021
On Saturday, County Cork-based Cllr Alan O’Connor (Green), said: “Following from last week’s news that 248 new posts would be created for walking and cycling projects, I’ve been told that Cork Co Council expect approx. 16 new staff in this area, more than doubling staff capacity. Detail to come, but very positive news.”