CyclingForAll.ie has today written to transport and climate Minister Eamon Ryan requesting a response to and action on a letter signed by 28 cycling groups and sent to him last month.
After extensive consultation, CyclingForAll.ie was launched by IrishCycle.com in 2018 to seek to help to address the poor design of cycling infrastructure. Readers and cycling campainers contune to outline examples of poor design still being built and planned as part of cycling projects as well as roads projects, BusConnects and new housing and business areas.
Over 150 politicians across Ireland have signed up for CyclingForAll.ie — check the list to see if your councillors and TDs have signed up yet, and ask them now if they have not.
The letter to Minister Ryan, dated August 27 and supported by cycling and other groups across Ireland, is jammed-packed. But, basically, it asks for Minister Ryan to:
- Issue interim design standards
- Integrate all cycling standards into an expanded DMURS
- Fund only high-quality projects
- Focus on demonstration areas, and strategic network plans
- Set up national oversight committee
- Take funding back where needed
For details, please read the full letter.
A recent a parliamentary question asked Minister Ryan about what action he was taking, but the main action is the on-going review of the National Cycle Manual.
In a parliamentary question, Waterford TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Green Party) asked the Minister for “the timeline for the delivery an updated national cycle manual in view of the letter received from 28 groups (details supplied); if the guidance in the manual will be integrated with the design manual for urban roads and streets; his views on whether there is a need to adopt interim standards to ensure quality of infrastructure rolled out; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”
A ministrial reply in Minister Ryan’s name said: “The National Cycle Manual was first published by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in 2011 and is the principal source for guidance on the design of cycle facilities in Ireland. As ten years have since passed, it was decided that a review of the National Cycle Manual was required and in April 2021 consultants were appointed by the NTA to carry out this review. It is expected that this piece of work will take approximately six months, following which a period of consultation will take place, most likely in Quarter 4 2021. I understand that a revised and updated Manual will be finalised by early next year.”
“Once finalised, the NTA intends to complement the publication and dissemination of the new Manual with a series of training sessions for relevant stakeholders and it is my expectation that this work, together with other initiatives planned in the area of National Roads Offices and local authority resourcing, will result in improved cycling outcomes across the country,” the reply said.
The ministerial reply added: “Deputy may also interested to know that my Department is currently undertaking a piece work in relation to the various safety standards and guidelines that apply in relation the development and delivery of cycling infrastructure. There is currently some overlap and interaction between such guidelines which suggests a need to improve their coordination and implementation to avoid potential conflicts and to provide for a consistent and integrated approach to the quality of new cycling infrastructure. My officials along with representatives from the NTA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the County and City Management Association (CCMA) will form a working group, with the first meeting to be held this month, to help facilitate this coordination.
When first published, a version of the manual was on line so that it could be easily updated. Ten years without a revision is far too long for such publication.
Yes. The Design Manual For Urban Roads and Streets has been updated with one major revision and supporting documents since it was launched.
Cian, this is pretty much the point I was trying to make to you in my previous response to the suspension of walking and cycling route in Deansgrange. I may have hijacked the anti-cycling lobby for a better cycling outcome for cyclists but these need routes to be designed by professionals and not left to well meaning amateurs.
The suspension of the project could be seen as being in line with the ask mentioned above “Take funding back where needed” — there’s little point in the NTA or the Government funding projects if there’s always the risk key parts of the project might be put on pause or otherwise deferred. The fault seems to be at the feet of those objecting.
Control of the project is always in the hands of those holding the purse strings. Given the all powerful and unaccountable nature of local government, attributing blame to those objecting is ridiculous. I can only speak from a Dun Laoghaire point of view but what the County management decide on what will be done, gets done, regardless of any local objections from citisens or councilors.