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Dublin: -1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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New 'Cycling Office' announced by Ross as funding for cycling and walking set to increase

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has been asked to open a dedicated office to deliver cycling infrastructure.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

FUNDING FOR CYCLING is set to increase by 33% next year and a new ‘Cycling Office’ established under plans announced today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross. 

Ross has said that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has been tasked with opening a dedicated office “to ensure much-needed cycling infrastructure is delivered as quickly as possible”.

Ross has also said that there will be an additional €48 million in funding for cycling and walking programmes next year. 

Several major projects are set to get underway in 2019 including several sections of the Royal Canal Greenway, Clontarf to City Centre cycle route and a walking and cycling bridge in Cork city.

A revised Liffey Cycle Route is due to be announced early next year, too. 

It’s also proposed under the NTA’s BusConnects programme to build around 200km of segregated cycle lanes alongside an overhaul of the bus network over the coming years.

According to Census 2016 figures, the number of people commuting by bicycle increased by 43% in Ireland since 2011 with over 82,000 people using bicycle as their main mode of transport. 

In recent years, there have been calls for funding increases and improvements in cycling infrastructure to ensure cyclist safety. It has been pointed out that Irish cities are behind their European counterparts in terms of dedicated cycling infrastructure. 

In 2017, over 350 cyclists were treated in Irish hospitals for injuries while there were 15 cyclist deaths last year.

In Dublin, over 95,000 people cycle every day. The city appointed its own Cycling and Walking Officer back in 2015. 

In September, The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – cyclist.ie – made a pre-budget submission calling for a dedicated ‘National Cycling Office’ to be established. 

This office, it said, could develop national cycling policy and infrastructure standards as well as co-ordinate cycling initiatives. 

Next year, Dublin is hosting Velo City 2019, an international cycling conference taking place over four days. 

Announcing today’s new measures, Ross said that this conference “will be accompanied by the sounds of construction on a number of significant projects across the city and beyond”. 

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