Dublin’s four councils need to act urgently to deliver cycling infrastructure, fully resource their Active Travel teams, and follow best international practices, according to the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
Joan O’Connell, the vice chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “With the pressing need for prioritising the safety of people walking and cycling road safety, together with the very real impacts of climate collapse, the urgency for full and proper investment in safe and accessible infrastructure has never been greater.”
The Dublin Cycling Campaign said that it “broadly welcomes” the direction from the transport Minister Eamon Ryan to local authorities, requiring them to implement “quick win” infrastructure for cycling and walking projects.
But the statement by the campaign comes after the news on Wednesday that Irish councils didn’t spend 42% of 2021 walking and cycling funding, and today that seven Irish councils have yet to fill 50% of walking and cycling jobs funded by national Government.
On funding, Dublin City Council underspent by the most across Ireland — €23.6 million after being allocated nearly €50 million.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council allocated €34m and underspent by €16 million, South Dublin County Council were allocated €20.7m but underspent by nearly €10 million, and Fingal County Council were allocated nearly €15 million and underspent by nearly €6 million.
The Active Travel Teams head up the roll-out of walking and cycling projects.
Dublin City Council has an allocation of 55 staff, but so-far has only filled 26 of these positions, Fingal County Council has an allocation of 18 but has so-far employed 9, and both Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council have allocations of 18 each and but have only finished the process on 10 employees each.
O’Connell said: “Dublin Cycling Campaign urges the four Dublin local authorities to move much more quickly to ensure that they each have full and fully-resourced Active Travel Teams in place. Each Council must also ensure that these Teams are encouraged and facilitated in working in accordance with best international practice.”
“We can see the proven benefits of high-quality infrastructure, such as the Coastal Mobility Route in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and welcome the long-awaited schemes such as the Clontarf to City Centre project,” she said.
O’Connell referred to the NTA Bike Life report which showed there is untapped demand from people who want to cycle, but who don’t feel that it is safe enough to do so.
O’Connell added: “As can be seen from examples here at home and abroad, when proper investment is made in safe infrastructure for all, cycling and walking becomes attractive and popular with many more people for whom it’s an option, among both disabled and able people, including children, older people, new communities, women and more.”