Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport and Tourism Timmy Dooley has called for a coordinated plan to encourage and protect cyclists on our roads.  Provisional figures from the RSA reveal that five cyclists were killed and 690 were involved in collisions last year.  Cyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and more needs to be done to ensure their safety.

“There’s been a massive increase in the number of people choosing to take to the roads on bikes.  In fact, in Dublin alone, the number of people using bikes to get into work now matches the numbers taking the Luas, however there’s a massive underinvestment in cycling infrastructure in the city.  €728 million was spent setting up the Luas.  A fraction of that amount would dramatically improve cycling facilities in Dublin and in other urban areas”, commented Deputy Dooley.

“The RSA figures show a real need for there to be greater segregation of cycle lanes and traffic lanes.  Many of the current cycle lanes and paths are unsafe and need to be repaired or upgraded.  Fianna Fáil has already put forward proposals for a stimulus package for the construction of new cross cycle routes, which include cycle contra flows on all one-way streets.  These changes would create a safer environment for cyclists in the city centre as well as in suburban areas.

“The party also wants to see the Sutton to Sandycove (s2s) cycleway prioritised and extended to Howth, which would bring major benefits to commuters, tourists and retailers along the route.  We’re also committed to introducing a database of bike serial numbers for cyclists to register their bikes as wekk as introducing secure bike depots across the city which will help reduce the number of bike thefts.

“The Dublin Bikes Scheme has been hugely successful and should be capitalised on.  I’m calling on the Minister to expand the number of Dublin Bikes stations across all parts of the city and its suburbs.  The number of docking stations at existing sites should also be increased.

“More needs to be done to encourage more people to get on their bikes.  At a time when obesity is increasing, programmes to promote active living will have a major impact on the health of the nation, as well as leading to substantial financial savings in the future.   If the Government is serious about its cycling strategy it needs to invest in improving the current infrastructure.  I’m calling on Minister Varadkar to make cycling a priority and to provide the funds necessary to promote and maintain a safer environment for commuters, tourists and recreational cyclists in Dublin and across the country.