Does the Government ‘get’ cycling?


Sir, – Your online edition carried two reports by journalists Tim O’Brien and Ronan McGreevy alluding to cyclists’ dissatisfaction with Budget 2020 (News, October 9th).

As it happens, I was visiting Dublin yesterday and my observations as an non-resident may be of interest.

On my walk to the Dundrum Luas station at around 8am, only people travelling by bike and on foot were making progress. Buses and cars on the Dundrum bypass and approach roads were at a standstill. At Dundrum Luas Stop, I managed to squeeze on to the fourth Luas, and every seat and every standing space were full, as were the trams going in the opposite direction towards Sandyford. On Grafton Street, hundreds of pedestrians were making brisk progress,

On Nassau Street, cyclists were making progress but were competing for space with Luas and buses. In Kilkenny Design on Nassau Street, eight cycling-helmet carrying gardaí were having breakfast, having policed the IBike protest. I chatted to one and he concurred that cycling was the best way for them to get around.

Dundrum is the location of the constituency office of Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Does he see what I saw or is he only there on Saturdays when there are fewer commuters? Even if one were entirely heedless of the effects of climate change, indifferent to EU fines, uncaring regarding air pollution, is it not staring him in the face that part of the answer to traffic congestion for drivers, bus-users and cyclists alike is more and better cycling infrastructure?

At some point last year, Mr Ross announced to the Dáil that he now “gets” cycling. My short foray to our capital city belies that notion. – Yours, etc,