The Social Democrats have today launched their cycling policy – a policy they say brings us closer to a society where the emphasis is placed on moving people rather than moving cars. The party notes that Ireland falls far behind much of Europe in terms of cycling infrastructure and it is time that Ireland started recognising cycling as a major mode of transport which can contribute hugely to society.
The party commits to continuing its support for Cycleways and Greenways such as the Baldoyle to Portmarnock Cycleway and the Naas Greenway, and other projects including the Galway Cycle Bus an the Liffey Cycle Path. The party lays out a number of concrete policy proposals including increased funding provision for cycling in the Land Development Budget, an expansion of urban bike schemes, and a specific unit focused solely on cycling, within the Department of Transport.
Social Democrats Cllr and general election candidate in Dublin Central, Gary Gannon said:
“My bike is my primary form of transport. I go everywhere on it, and as someone working and living in and around Dublin City, I am all too aware of just how poor the cycling infrastructure is and how downright dangerous every trip can be. We need people out of their cars, but many are just so afraid to take the risk on roads without proper cycling lanes, without any form of proper enforcement, and with a culture that has traditionally not always been friendly to cyclists. Our policy commits to an education programme for school children and a much greater emphasis on cycling safety as part of driver training. These are the kind of steps needed to take us from a situation where cycling is considered a dangerous mode of transport to one where it is a preferred choice.”
Niall Ó Tuathail, the Party’s Galway West candidate added:
“Every child should have a safe route to school, with safe cycling an option as much as possible. The Galway Cycling Bus has been a huge success and is fun and exciting for those children that use it daily. Young people benefit hugely through these means of safe active travel to school, and so does the environment around them, with less cars, less congestion and an overall improvement in health and wellbeing.”
Sarah Durcan, the party’s general election candidate in Dublin Bay South said:
“Our capital city is one of the most congested in the world and many of our other cities and towns don’t fare much better when it comes to being able to move around. The reality is that cycling is just not safe in so many places – yet it is a key factor in trying to alleviate the traffic congestion we all face. Investment in cycling infrastructure benefits everyone – it not only plays a crucial role in helping to take people out of cars and thereby helping alleviate the climate crisis but it also reduces the time we all spend sitting in traffic and provides an opportunity for more time and a better quality of life. Our policy aims to make cycling a realistic alternative to car travel such as has happened in other European cities like Copenhagen.”
2nd February 2020
2. The Party is running 20 candidates across the country.