Cycling to school safely

 

A chara, – As we mark Bike Week 2020, I would like to add the voice of a school principal to those campaigning for cities where cycling for people of all ages is normal, easy and safe. The call for schools to encourage families to cycle their children to school has been a constant in all of the guidelines for school reopening this year. At our school, we have a high proportion of children who arrive by bike, scooter or on foot each morning. We celebrate this fact.

For me, to issue an “encouragement” to families to come to school by bike, however, is something I cannot do. Our cities are largely hostile and dangerous environments for anybody to cycle in, let alone children. Improvements to cycling infrastructure frequently seem to be put in place only as a result of a fatality.

The Dublin 12 area is one which continues to be almost entirely overlooked when it comes to improvements for cyclists. A year-long Bike Bus campaign by parents to our school, along with recent correspondence with Dublin City Council, and South Dublin County Council, have yielded nothing more than an extra five seconds of crossing time at certain junctions.

In Holland, the move towards cycling as a preferred mode of transport occurred as a response to the high number of child deaths on the roads there in the 1970s. Can I appeal to those with decision-making powers in councils around Dublin to address decisively the need for a complete overhaul of our cycling infrastructure, before we face similar tragedies here? – Is mise,

MARGARET BURKE,

Principal,

Riverview Educate Together

National School,

Greenhills, Dublin 12.