Dublin Businesses Ask Minister to Change Gear on Cycling Investment

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By no author23 December 2019

Businesses in Dublin have come together to express their frustration at the slow rollout of safe cycling infrastructure around Dublin.

Six years on from the announcement of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan, which was supposed to provide the rollout of more than 2,500km of continuous cycle lanes around the Dublin region, Dublin Chamber last week wrote to the Minister for Transport to renew its call for a step change in the delivery of safer cycling infrastructure in Dublin.

The letter, which carried the names of around 100 businesses - all members of Dublin Chamber – expressed concern at the continued delay to much-needed projects such as the Liffey Cycle Route and the Fitzwilliam Cycle Route.  

The move is part of a partnership between Dublin Chamber and the CyclingWorks Dublin campaign, which aims to encourage the business community to pressure the Government to significantly increase the amount of money it is spending on safe cycling infrastructure in Dublin.

Some of the notable companies and organisations joining the Chamber/CyclingWorks Dublin call include: Vodafone, Workday, Voxpro, Olytico, CBRE, Dalata Hotel Group, Ervia, Arthur Cox, Sodexo, Mason Alexander, Ronan Daly Jermyn, Goodbody, JLL, Evolve, Alstom, Indeed, Mason Hayes & Curran, Siemens, The Dean Hotel, Google, Intercom and DCU.

According to Dublin Chamber’s Head of Communications Graeme McQueen: “The GDA Cycle Network Plan promised to deliver a much-needed region-wide network of safe cycle lanes. More than six years on, it is hugely disappointing - and concerning – that so little of the plan has been delivered. The number of cyclists in Dublin has increased by 150% over the past 12 years, but this progress has come despite, rather than because of, Dublin’s present cycling infrastructure. For the most, cycling infrastructure in Dublin remains inadequate and, in large areas of the city, rather dangerous.”

Dublin Chamber said in the letter that it was concerned by the drop in cyclist numbers in 2018. The organisation attributed the 2% decline (versus 2017) to the lack of safe cycle lanes in the city.

According to Mr McQueen: “There is an open goal for Dublin to increase the number of people cycling in the city over the next decade. The demand is absolutely there, but encouraging more people to get on their bikes is contingent on Dublin becoming a safer place to cycle around. That means putting in place a proper network of segregated cycle lanes within the M50. Ultimately, cycling should be an attractive and feasible option for people of all ages, including school children. This has been achieved in other cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam and there is no reason why Dublin cannot replicate that success.”

Dublin Chamber outlined in its letter to Minister Ross that its vision for Dublin is that residents and workers will be able to move easily around the city, with journey times that are both short and consistent.

The Chamber said in the letter: “In the medium term, we believe that there is scope for at least 20% of commutes in the city to be made via bicycle. However, we do not believe that this will happen unless there is more concerted and ambitious investment in the city’s cycling infrastructure.”

Mr McQueen said: “The need for safer cycling infrastructure is a message that we are hearing loud and clear from businesses in the Dublin region. Workers in the city are telling us that they would like to cycle, but they are too afraid to get on their bikes. Dublin Chamber’s vision for cycling in Dublin is for a network of segregated cycle lanes meaning that cyclists no longer need to share road space with buses and private vehicles. Such progress would be good for the environment, better for peoples’ health and, crucially, will ensure that Dublin is a nicer and more attractive place to live and work.”