CALL FOR KCC TO ALLOCATE €3M FOR CYCLING
In line with Cyclist.ie (the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network), Maynooth Cycling Campaign has called on Kildare County Council to allocate 10% or €3 million of its transport budget for cycling in the 2017 budget. This expenditure equates to €10 per person per year which is approximately half of what is spent in the Netherlands but which is broadly in agreement with the recommendations of two recent Westminster reports. The increased funding is required in order to progress towards achieving the government target of 10% commuting by bicycle by 2020.
The background to the call is that cycling continues to get the crumbs at the table when it comes to overall national transport spend. Of the €10B (billion) allocated for transport investment in the Capital Investment Plan for 2016-2021, active travel (encompassing walking, cycling and other such measures) is allocated just €100M (million) – i.e. approx €17M per annum for each of the six years. That means that cycling is to receive approx 0.5% (half of one percent!) of the transport pie at a time when nationally cyclist fatalities in Ireland have been increasing as well as levels of obesity, pollution and congestion.
As everyone knows, contractors for Kildare County Council have been carrying out works on the Straffan Road and in order to provide space to operate, traffic has been temporarily restricted to two lanes in parts. Despite the works, residents in adjacent housing estates have been able to get in and out of their estates with relatively little trouble at peak time. This is in marked contrast to the forecasts of gridlock by politicians and residents in response to the proposal to permanently reallocate the turn right lanes for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and environmental improvements. In such controversial situations, international practice is often to trial new traffic management proposals before deciding in favour or against but at the time Kildare County Council rejected this option. Now we are having that trial and seeing that the reallocation of space was both realistic and feasible.
MOYGADDY OUTER ORBITAL ROUTE
Meath County Council is still assessing the submissions for the Moygaddy Outer Orbital Route including one from Maynooth Cycling Campaign. The most important issue from our point of view was the proposed inadequate / substandard separation of the cycle track from the road.
We also sought a difference in height between the footpath and cycle track in line with best Irish and international practice and filtered permeability so that the existing road would not be used for rat running, in other words use of the existing road would be prioritised for pedestrians and cyclists.
Maynooth Cycling Campaign is a non-party political cycling advocacy group. Its aims are to promote cycling as a healthy leisure pursuit and as a safe, enjoyable and efficient mode of transport for everyone in the Maynooth area.
It is affiliated to Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cyclist Advocacy Network and through it to the European Cycling Federation.