Cycling and health
Sir, – In your September 10th editorial “Obesity – a burgeoning crisis”, you pointed out that Ireland now has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe, with one in four adults classed as obese and one in four children overweight.
One of the most obvious reasons for this is the fact that Irish people now drive everywhere. If a large proportion cycled, it could end this burgeoning problem.
The National Transport Authority launched a plan for the comprehensive Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network five years ago. It has not been built. Some 82 companies and organisations in the Dublin area, representing thousands of employees and students, have written to the Minister for Transport and the National Transport Authority through the Cyclingworks Dublin initiative to ask for this network to be built immediately.
The 2016 census revealed that half of all journeys shorter than two kilometres (one-and-a-half times around Stephen’s Green) were driven, and children are increasingly driven to school rather than walking or cycling. Other figures on the lack of active travel were equally damning. The number of adults and children riding bicycles in and outside Dublin is growing, and will grow exponentially if there is a protected network to allow people to cycle safely. It is time to build this now. – Yours, etc,
DAVID Ó LAIGHEANÁIN,