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By Chamber Press Office, 01 July 2018
Dublin businesses are coming together to demand safer cycling infrastructure in the city for their staff. More than 40 of Dublin Chamber's member companies have teamed up so far to call for increased Government spending on segregated cycle lanes and better bike facilities in Dublin.
The move is part of a new partnership between the 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.
A key goal of the campaign is for the Government to provide the National Transport Authority with the funding required to implement the GDA Cycle Network Plan, which was launched in 2013.
Dublin Chamber said progress on the implementation of this plan has been far too slow over the past 5 years.
According to Dublin Chamber’s Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen: "Companies are seeing a sharp increase in the amount of staff commuting to work by bike. They are becoming increasingly aware of the need for better, safer cycling facilities in the city.
McQueen added: "Improved cycling infrastructure is key to growing cyclist numbers in Dublin. It’s hugely encouraging to see a sharp rise in the number of people cycling in Dublin over recent years. Since 2008, the number of people commuting into the city has doubled to more than 12,000 every day. However, for the most part, this progress does not come as a result of good cycling infrastructure, but rather in spite of it. This needs to change. Workers in Dublin are increasingly looking at cycling as a way of getting around the city. Feedback tells us that thousands more would like to cycle, but are too afraid to get on their bikes.”
The Chamber said its vision is for much safer segregated cycle lanes throughout Dublin, meaning cyclists no longer need to share space with buses and private vehicles.
56% of Firms See Rise in Staff Cycling
A survey by Dublin Chamber, which represents over 1,300 companies throughout the Dublin region, found that more than two-thirds (70%) of firms believe that better cycling infrastructure in the city would be beneficial to their staff and to their business in general.
More than half (56%) of the 392 respondents to the survey said that they had seen an increase in the number of staff cycling to/from work over the past 12 months.
Around 1 in 10 (11%) of the owner/managers surveyed said they themselves currently cycle to work on a ‘frequent’ basis, while 17% said they cycled to work ‘only occasionally’. Of the 71% who said they did not cycle to work, 25% cited the fact that it was ‘unsafe’ as their reason for not doing so. A further 8% pointed to the lack of segregated cycle lanes.
Mr McQueen: "Better cycling infrastructure is important to firms of all sizes and in all sectors. The companies backing our call include both small SMEs and large corporates. The need for a proper cycling plan in Dublin is clear. Such plans have been central to cycling becoming so popular in cities in Denmark and the Netherlands. Currently, around 6% of work commutes in Dublin are made by bike. In Copenhagen, that number exceeds 40%. Dublin Chamber believes that a 20% cycling share is possible in Dublin within 10 years, but only if we start investing properly in the cycling network."
Dublin Chamber will this week send a letter to the Transport Minister highlighting the need for the GDA Cycle Network Plan to be implemented.
Amongst the Chamber's calls in the letter will be: more segregated cycle lanes within the M50, more bike parking facilities at train stations and Luas stops, and the delivery of more parking-protected cycle lanes.
The Chamber's move comes as 3 in 4 firms in Dublin note that the negative effect of congestion on their business has increased since the start of 2018.
Mr McQueen said: “The plan is there to develop a network of safe cycling routes throughout Dublin – but, almost 5 years after it was launched, it is still sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Why are we sitting on our hands? Increasing the amount of cycling is an open goal for Dublin – a city which is clogged with traffic on a daily basis. Making Dublin safer for cycling will make the city more family-friendly and greatly improve the quality of life for Dubliners."
Companies who have signed up to the Chamber’s call so far include: CPL, Olytico, Evolve, Griffith College, DIT, The Entrepreneur Academy, Arthur Cox, Mason Hayes & Curran, JLL, Ronan Daly Jermyn, The Panel Search & Selection, Talbot Pierce, Sam’s Bar, The Dawson Hotel, Venue 35, Voxpro, Distilled SCH, Contracting Plus, Sodexo Ireland, Linesight, Clearsight Communications, Engage People, 101 Translations, Alstom Transport Ireland, Hanna Moore + Curley, The Alternative Board, Hartley & Marks Publishers, Wandsoft, ShinAwiL, Horizon Blue Talent Consulting, Ervia, Mason Alexander, BDM Property, CBRE, CFO Services, MyNewApp.com, William Fry, K3 and Goodbody.
According to Stephen McManus, co-founder of CyclingWorks: “The campaign team is excited to partner with Dublin Chamber of Commerce and we welcome member companies who are joining the call for immediate investment in cycling facilities. People who commute to work by bike are happier, healthier, more likely to arrive on time and less likely to take sick days. Companies are increasingly aware of these benefits and also realise that the cost of providing parking spaces can be prohibitive. So, it makes sense that companies are now eager to see their employees being provided with a safer commute which can be provided through increased investment in infrastructure. The bottom line is clear: cycling is good for business, good for the city and all its citizens.”