23 April 2009

Irish Sense

A shiny new document has seen the light of day in Ireland.

A National Cycle Policy Framework for 2009-2020. The backdrop to this policy is the Government’s new transport policy for Ireland "2009 - 2020 Smarter Travel - A Sustainable Transport Future".

It seems to be quite a progressive policy. Interestingly, they used many photos from what appears to be the Netherlands. Surely trying to emulate what is possible for Ireland.

I particularly love the passage on page 32:

"There must be a clear message that cycling is a readily accessible form of transport, not requiring unnecessary encumbrances such as specialised cycling attire."

The document admits cycling has an image problem in Ireland and it's great they included a sentence like this. Normalising cycling as a transport option is the goal.

Some of the main points include:
- Move 160,000 people a day to work by bike; an increase of 125,000 people.
- Increase cycling’s share of the total travel market, from 2% to 10%.
- Investment of €3 million in refurbishment of key cycle routes in Dublin City.
- Improved maintenance of road surfaces used by cyclists.
- Allowing bicycles on city trains and trams, and trial US-like buses racks.
- Provision of municipally-run public bike schemes in cities over 100,000 population"
- Support for provision of secure parking for bikes in appropriate locations, including public spaces, public transport stations etc.
- A new approach to the design of urban roads to better recognise the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.

You can download the .pdf right here, right now.

Well done, Emerald Isle. Well done. Now do it.

Thanks to Cian and Shane, et al. for the heads up.


Kevin Love said...

Looks good in principle, but my cynical side notices that the target date is 2020 and there are zero measurable goals within the current government's mandate. For that matter, there are zero intermediate goals for any date before 2020.

For example, on p. 21, the Sutton to Sandycove scheme for the capital is badly needed, but there is no actual deadline to get it done.

One technical point: I see on p. 11 it asserts that bicycle speed is three times walking speed. I am used to using a factor of four, not three.

Mikael said...

point taken. like with all govt papers, let's wait for the results.

regarding bicycle speed, the average speed is 15.3 km/h. that's the speed that 500,000 people sub-consciously and democratically decide upon, apparently.

walking is about 5-8 km/h so three times seems a fair estimate.

anna said...

Thanks for sharing this. So after Ireland spend a hell lot of money on highway construction, they finally also invest some in public transport and cycling.

The image problem is really one of the biggest, in Austria too. On the one hand there's the people that think cycling is sport and there's the rest that thinks cycling is only for poor and unemployed people who can't afford a car. The latter I think can easily be avoided if one puts role models on bikes (for real, and not just for pictures).

Best of luck to Ireland, I hope they will hit their target.

lehommeauvelo said...

All very interesting,I wonder when if ever they will get around to providing a decent Infrastructure for Cyclists in the Republic of Ireland.

I replied recently to a Survey on the Quality of Life and Sustainability and Transport on their Site,

2030 vision .ie and I said you have this Geared to the Year 2030 when most of us will be all Dead how about providing something Decent now.
I gave my Opinion on providing Safe Cycling Infrastructure and also more Traffic Free Areas in our Cities and Towns. I also Recommended looking at the Netherlands at their Infrastructure and said theirs is the Best in the World. I also said look at Copenhagenize . com and Amsterdamize.com.

CIE Irish Rail Recently Bought New Inter City Trains from Korea with no Provision for Bicycles,Heretofore we always had the Guards Van at the Back of the Trains but on these New ones nowhere for Bicycles. After many Protests by the cycling Organisations they made available some space for two or so Bikes on the Trains.
They are still to Pro Car Lobby and are only getting interested now in Cycling Infrastructure because of our Carbon Footprint and Global Warming.

There are an awful lot more Cyclists on the Roads as well demanding Safer Cycling Facilities.

ianworthy said...

The main image problem with cycling in Ireland is not much about fashion but that the roads are narrow, and the cycle lane is not separated, but merely painted on.

Cycling here is not dangerous but it looks dangerous. You don't see a lot of lycra (Mikael's 'bete noir') but probably due to this subjective safety issue you do see too many high-visibility jackets and helmets.