Change transport culture to protect vulnerable commuters
Sir, – I am in La Rochelle in France on holiday. It has a pro-cycling culture and cyclists feel safe. Cyclist traffic is considerably heavier compared to Dublin. Many children cycle to school. Yet most cyclists do not wear high-visibility clothing and fewer again wear helmets. Cyclists are permitted to cycle on one-way roads against the flow of traffic. The cycling infrastructure is better but it is far from perfect and, as in Dublin, cyclists are forced to cycle alongside motor vehicles in parts of the city. However, unlike Dublin, it appears that motorists respect cyclists, and are mindful of them. Likewise, cyclists respect motorists, and this is reflected in their behaviour on the road.
Irish policymakers should travel to places like La Rochelle to review their transport user model. They will quickly recognise that our transport culture needs to change to protect vulnerable commuters like cyclists. Otherwise more cyclists will die on their way to work this year. – Yours, etc,