Greens: Ross must prioritise cycling infrastructure to ease gridlock

The Green Party said today that Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD must prioritise cycling infrastructure to ease the country’s traffic gridlock and protect cyclists, as cyclists protested in Dublin City Centre this lunchtime.

Latest figures show a 10% increase in the number of cyclists commuting in Dublin, but investment in cycling remains woefully inadequate.

Speaking today, Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe, who chairs Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee, said: “The figures released recently show the public desire to cycle to school and work. We have seen an increase of 10% in cycling in the last 12 months with very little infrastructure investment in the same time. People want to walk and cycle – imagine the increases we would see if we had dedicated cycling infrastructure in our towns and cities?

“In Dublin we are seeing improvements in cycling facilities, but these changes are happening far too slowly. We are calling on Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, to devote more funds to walking and cycling. Currently the ‘Smarter Travel Programme’ receives €13m per year or less than 1% of the Department of Transport’s Budget. Roads receive €746m or more than fifty times as much. This is not sustainable. In addition the small budget of €13m is being robbed to pay for public transport, and transport research which the Department openly admits is was not set up to do

“We must invest in decent cycle lanes, footpaths, near our schools, in our towns and cities, and where people live. At least €100m per years must be spent on providing for the needs of vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians. This will allow us to build state-of-the-art facilities like a decent Liffey Cycleway, A Dodder Greenway, the Royal Canal Cycle Route, and the Sutton to Sandycove coastal route around Dublin Bay. If we don’t do this we will fail to meet our targets on climate change, we will fail to meet our goals on childhood obesity, and we fail to honour the policies that are enshrined in European and Irish Law

“Investment in walking and cycling reduces traffic, improves health and tackles climate change. It is a win-win solution. It is unacceptable that walking and cycling only receive the crumbs of funding from the transport cake. It is time for Minister Shane Ross to get on his bike, and give sustainable transport the funding it deserves, and allow Dublin City Council and other local authorities to recruit adequate staff to fast-track these projects.”

Issued 22Feb17, last updated 28Mar17

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