A new era for cycling

 

Sir, –As a regular cyclist, I am “swiped” by motorists on average once a day, generally by commercial vehicles, presumably driven by “professional” drivers. On two occasions I was knocked from my bicycle.

While the majority of drivers are courteous and careful, there is a sizeable minority of motorists who are actively aggressive towards cyclists. I have to concede that the situation is not helped by those cyclists who exhibit a blatant disregard for the rules of the road. There is a need to effect an attitude shift by both motorists and cyclists, but like all behavioural adjustments, this will take time and education.

In the meantime, the depressing toll of road deaths of cyclists continues.

As the uptake of both commuter and leisure cycling continues, prompted by the needs to maintain social distancing, as well as lowering our carbon emissions, I suspect the toll will continue to rise unless remedial measures are implemented as a matter of urgency.

With the inclusion of the Green Party in the new Government and its commitment to the green agenda, there is an opportunity to make some essential changes. If we want to lower or eliminate cycling deaths, we have to end the practice of sharing the same space with motor vehicles. As in most of other European countries, we need to elevate and separate cycling lanes, by widening existing footpaths and delineating the pedestrian lane from the cycling one. Needless to say these cycling lanes need to be one-directional and properly maintained.

Might I also suggest that An Garda Síochána develop and resource an expanded cycling division to police the burgeoning cycling community, enforce the rule of law, and monitor both bad motoring and cycling behaviour. – Yours, etc,

FRANK WALSH,

Coolballow,

Wexford.