Following the launch of its Budget Submission 2019 in September 2018 and the Lobby Day in Buswells Hotel, Cyclist.ie set up a working group to progress the #Allocate4Cycling Campaign which involved individuals from a number of campaign groups including Maynooth Cycling Campaign.
There were five objectives to our work:
- Create a logo for #Allocate4Cycling
- Clarify government expenditure on cycling
- Make a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport with an objective of being invited to present before them
- Engage with political parties, and
- Publicise our efforts through the issue of press releases.
We designed a logo for #Allocate4Cycling to try and create a recognisable brand. Originally it was similar to a speed limit sign – with black text, white background and surrounded with a red circle. After mature reflection, however, it was thought that such signs indicate prohibition rather than approval so the colour was changed to white text, blue background and white circle. The intention was that the logo would appear on websites and correspondence with external parties but the outcome has been patchy at best.
Estimation of government expenditure was linked to engagement with political parties. We contacted all the parties which had indicated their support for #Allocate4Cycling as well as some independents and asked them to put down parliamentary questions on finance to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. Some of the department responses were so obtuse that they shone no light on the issue at all but gradually the picture began to get clearer although we still require one final answer to fully resolve the question or as least as much as is possible.
We wanted to raise an issue with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport (JOCT) which might get have the same impact as Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action (JOCCA). We contacted Catherine Murphy TD who is an Oireachtas committee member for advice on how to raise such an issue. We had already made a submission on Budget 2019 and decided to submit a related one to the secretary of the JOCT. This may seem strange as the JOCCA has already endorsed the recommendation that 10% of transport capital funding should be allocated to cycling. However, it was felt important that the issue should be kept in the news to ensure that the recommendation is carried through to the All of Government Plan for Climate Action. This is especially important as the main government party representatives, Fine Gael, voted against the 10% allocation but were outvoted on a motion submitted by Eamon Ryan and supported by the members from other parties and independents.
One of the greatest difficulties for Cyclist.ie is having an impact in the media. Cyclist.ie is made up of a number of geographically spread groups which are trying to make an impact in their own locality as well as nationally. We have learnt lessons from our support for Stop Climate Change and the campaign for Active Travel. However, it would be fair to state that we have still to make an impact on this area but hope to do better in the future. All in all though, we feel that progress is being made but that the next twelve months will be critical due to elections (local, European and probably national), the All of Government Report on Climate Action and Budget 2020.