Making cycling safer

‘Recent horrific cycling deaths on our roads’ have highlighted the difficulties cyclists face in making basic journeys to work, to school, or simply for leisure

 

Cyclists are in the ha’penny place when it comes to capital funding for transport, as shown by the fact that cycling and walking – the “active modes” as they are termed – together account for a miserable one per cent of the 2016-2021 transport investment programme.

Against that backdrop, it’s no wonder that so many cyclists turned out in Dublin on Monday to call on Minister for Transport Shane Ross to increase capital funding.

In its pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, the Cyclist.ie lobby group pointed out that “recent horrific cycling deaths on our roads” have highlighted the difficulties encountered by cyclists in making basic journeys to work, to school, or simply for leisure.

If the roads are to be made safer for cyclists, it said, the Government needed to recognise the need to develop and financially support serious improvements in our “cycling infrastructure” – notably many much more secure cycleways on city streets.

By comparison with motorways and major public transport projects, cycling is a low-cost investment with enormous benefits. “The Minister is well aware of the unacceptably high incidence of overweight/obesity in the general population, but particularly in our children due, in part, to sedentary lifestyles where the school-run by car features too strongly in comparison to say Denmark, the Netherlands or Germany,” Cyclist.ie noted.

Yet we are still a long way from achieving the 2009 National Cycling Promotion Framework’s target of 10 per cent of daily commuting trips to be made by bike by 2020.

Government ministers with chauffeur-driven cars need to step outside their privileged position to consider the needs of our most vulnerable road users and to allocate a greater share of the transport “capital envelope” to cycling, including the provision of cycleways that would be physically-separated from the real dangers posed by vehicles travelling at speed.

Failure to do so would imply an entirely unacceptable degree of indifference, even insouciance, to road fatalities and serious injuries among those using just two wheels.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.