Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South, Jim O’Callaghan has said that in light of another cycling fatality in Dublin last month, the Department of Transport must urgently take steps to improve safety for cyclists in Dublin.
The Deputy raised the matter directly with the Minister in Dáil Éireann yesterday evening.
He said, “On April 18th, a young man was knocked down and killed while cycling on the Stillorgan dual carriageway. His death is a terrible tragedy for his family and I offer my condolences to his parents, brother, extended family and all of his friends.
“I highlight this young man’s death because, unfortunately, his tragic death meant that he became the sixth cyclist to be killed on our roads already this year. Sadly, the number of cyclist deaths on Ireland’s roads has steadily increased in the past two years.
“Approximately 95,000 people cycle in Dublin each day. I cycle around the city almost daily and it is a very efficient and environmentally friendly way of commuting, but I cannot say it is safe. The biggest threat to cyclists is posed by the close proximity of very large vehicles. To diminish that threat, we must segregate and protect cyclists from large vehicles.
“Information recently obtained by Fianna Fáil, revealed that the level of investment in cycling infrastructure has decreased significantly in recent years.
“In 2017, the Minister’s first full year in charge of the Department just €7 million was spent on improving cycling infrastructure. This is a stark €12 million less than allocated in 2015 when close to €19million was provided.
“Minister Ross has announced that an entirely inadequate sum of €8 million will be ring fenced for investing in cycling infrastructure over the course of 2018. This level of funding is nowhere near in line with the United Nations recommendation and marks a significant decrease in the amount of Government spending on safer cycling conditions.
“If this Government is serious about protecting cyclists, then it should devote more of its transport budget to increasing the level of investment in cycling infrastructure. The Minister must commit more effort in taking steps to make cycling in the Capital safer,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.