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Dublin: 3 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019
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Watch: Several hundred cyclists just held a LOUD protest at Dáil Éireann calling for more funding

With all bikes present either ringing bells or blowing whistles, the protest proved something of a cacophonous event.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE made their way to Leinster House this afternoon to protest at underfunding for cycling in Ireland.

The protest began at Transport Minister Shane Ross’ nearby head office off Leeson Street before making its way to Dáil Éireann.

Dublin Cycling Campaign, who organised the protest, were joined by several public representatives, including the Green Party’s Eamon Ryan and the Social Democrats’ Róisín Shortall, at the gates of the Dáil.

The protest, a follow-on from a similar action last October, was being held to call for 10% of the €10 billion available under the government’s Capital Investment Plan to be made available for ‘active travel’ – ie sustainable transport like cycling or walking.

At present just €100 million of that funding has been earmarked for such travel.

With all present ringing their bicycle bells and many others blowing whistles, the procession made a lot of noise on its way to the Dáil.

20170222_131017 Source: TheJournal.ie

There, spokesperson for the Dublin Cycling Campaign Muireann O’Dea made a speech calling for an end to the “chronic underfunding” of cycling.

“The government’s target is for 10% of journeys to be made by bike by 2020, but allocations for walking and cycling in the capital budget for transport for the next five years is just 1%. So how are we going to achieve 10% journeys by bicycle?” she said.

We’re here to demand a fair share of transport funding for cycling, at least 10%. The UN says we should be spending 20% or more on cycling and walking.

“We’re here on behalf of every cyclist in Ireland, because this is a national issue, not just a Dublin issue. We’re here on behalf of the thousands of people who would cycle if roads were safer, on behalf of the children who want to cycle but aren’t allowed to as they don’t have safe routes to school, and we’re here on behalf of the parents who would like to let their children cycle,” she added.

Tomorrow, a motion will go before Dublin City Council’s transport committee calling for the introduction of automatic towing of any vehicles parked in cycle-exclusive lanes.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael is proposing a minimum €80 fine and penalty points for drivers who drive too close to cyclists.

Read: ‘Only matter of time until someone is killed’ – Council to vote on towing cars that block cycle lanes

Read: ‘A serious accident waiting to happen’ – cyclists not happy with Luas lines on single lane O’Connell Street

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