Cyclist.ie members, including Maynooth Cycling Campaign, have put together a strong budget submission addressed to Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue, outlining the deficiency in government funding supports to enable cycling to grow. Essentially we are calling for an immediate 10% of Land Transport Funding to be allocated to Cycling, to enable the government to meet its own target of 10% of modal share by cycling by 2020. Currently the modal share stands at only approximately 3% of trips by bike, and funding levels are at approximately 2% of Land Transport Funding!
The Cyclist.ie submission points out that the appropriate funding for cycling aligns with numerous government policies and initiatives across a variety of sectors such as Transport, Environment, Climate Change, Health, Business, and Education. Cycling, as a mode of transport, offers numerous well documented benefits to society, including:
- Improved public health
- Reduced congestion
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduced air and noise pollution
- More liveable and sociable streets and communities, and
- High rates of economic return
Unlocking these benefits requires targeted and sustained investment, and international evidence demonstrates that investing in cycling provides excellent value for money.
From available data we estimate that spending on cycling currently only amounts to approximately 2% of Transport capital spending. This compares to recommended targets of 10% for cycling, and present European levels of between 5% and 8%. This very low proportion is not commensurate with the benefits offered by cycling, or with the significant economic costs which car dependence imposes on Irish society. To encourage people to make more journeys by bicycle;
We call for 10% of the capital budget for land transport to be invested in cycling.
At the same time, an increase in current spending on a range of different objectives which can support a transition to a cycling friendly society is also required.
The full budget submission is available here and a short summary document here. We need YOU to contact your local representatives and make the case to increase funding for cycling. See https://www.whoismytd.com/ for the names and contact details of your local TDs.
IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW!