June 17, 2009

Greens propose dedicated fund for cycling infrastructure

Drop mandatory use of cycle lanes and introduce car-free Sundays once a month

The Green Party has proposed the creation of a dedicated fund for cycle projects. Speaking as the country celebrates National Bike Week, Green Party Transport spokesperson Ciaran Cuffe TD said a specific budget should be allowed for improvements in cycling infrastructure.

Deputy Cuffe said: “Ireland is twenty years behind many other countries such as Germany and the Netherlands in providing facilities for cyclists. I believe that the time is right for the creation of a stand-alone fund from which monies can be drawn down for the provision of cycle lanes and facilities. We already have a separate fund for ‘non-national’ roads. We now need a similar one, with a dedicated budget for cycle facilities.

“Local Authorities must do more for cyclists. I believe that every City Council in the country requires a dedicated Cycle Liaison Officer to spearhead improvements for cyclists. In many areas there is a lack of joined-up thinking on provision of road-space for cyclists.”

The Green Party has also proposed that the requirement for mandatory use of cycle lanes should be dropped. This would involve changes in the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) (Amendment) Regulations, SI 274 of 1998.

“There’s huge variation in the quality of cycle lanes,” said Deputy Cuffe. “Some lanes are very poorly designed, and cyclists should not be obliged by law to use them. Cities should also provide contra-flow cycle lanes on one-way streets that prevent cyclists from taking a direct route to their destination.”

In addition the Green Party has called for a car-free Sunday once a month on the Liffey Quays. “This would be a great opportunity each a month to give part of Dublin city back to cyclists, and would be good for the city and for tourism. Many cities around the world have similar initiatives that can boost the city’s image,” concluded Deputy Cuffe.
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