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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Dublin cycling office on the way as NTA issues tender

Dublin is currently hosting Velo City 2019, an international cycling conference taking place until Friday.

Image: Shutterstock.com

DUBLIN’S CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE could see improvements over the coming years after the National Transport Authority (NTA) issued a tender this week for a cycling office. 

In December, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross announced the measure, saying that the NTA had been tasked with opening a dedicated design office “to ensure much-needed cycling infrastructure is delivered as quickly as possible”.

The main objective of this office, the NTA has said, is to assist in the delivery of cycling projects in Dublin, but also across the country. 

A number of people will make up the ‘Core Design Team’, the primary role of which is to “develop various cycle schemes through the design and planning stages of each project,” the NTA has said.

The new dedicated design team will be made up of a project manager, four cycling scheme designers, one technician and one administrator. 

The office will be responsible for developing an overall cycling investment plan for the NTA, conducting feasibility studies as well as assessing cycling route options. 

The contract for the new cycling office will run for two years with an option for renewal. 

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 way behind their European counterparts in terms of dedicated cycling infrastructure. 

Dublin is currently hosting Velo City 2019, an international cycling conference taking place until Friday. 

The conference – which is taking place at Dublin’s Convention Centre – will see participants from around the world discussing safe cycling facilities, technology, health, behavioural change as well as urban and infrastructure policies.

‘Stalled infrastructure’ 

In April, the NTA unveiled the Liffey Cycle Route, a fully segregated track running along both the north and south quays. 

The NTA took over management and design of the Liffey route project after Dublin City Council failed to agree on a number of different route options. 

Earlier this week, there was further criticism of Dublin’s cycling facilities when The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported that the city’s progress on installing proper cycling infrastructure was lagging behind other European cities.  

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 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. 

Last 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. 

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