Cycling is part of the public transport mix
Sir, – Recently I was perusing an excellent book Father Browne’s Ireland, which is a compilation of photographs of Ireland from the 1920s to 1940s. Many of the images of that bygone era included steam trains, double-decker trams and bicycles.
It would appear that early independent Ireland had a vastly superior attitude towards public transport compared to the Ireland of today!
With that in mind, I have to agree with the sentiments of recent letter writers about the Government today not “getting” cycling as part of the transport mix. If any policymaker in a transport infrastructure function were to seriously look at cycling as a public transport solution, we would be seeing an entirely different approach towards how we plan and develop our infrastructure at a national and local level.
As an example, if you were to look at the recent Dublin canal cordon reports undertaken jointly by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority, the data has consistently shown a picture where the number of people travelling into Dublin city centre by bicycle has either matched or in some years exceeded the number of passengers travelling by Luas. In terms of investment levels, well over €1 billion has been invested in Luas infrastructure (excluding running costs) whereas cycling infrastructure gets a pittance by comparison but somehow is moving the same number of people through Dublin city centre.
Cycling should be considered a form of public transport given the current and potential volume of people that can be transported around our towns and cities by this transport method.
The combined benefits of offering zero traffic congestion, zero carbon or harmful nitrogen oxide emissions, zero wear and tear on our roads, as well as giving individuals a healthy dose of exercise, should be enough to persuade even the stingiest of our public transport policy officials to let loose the purse strings and go beyond painting a few lines on busy roads and calling this cycling infrastructure. Cycling delivers results and can move people around extremely efficiently compared to single-occupant cars, be they fossil fuel or electric powered. – Yours, etc,