Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Active Travel and Urban Planning Focusing on Cycling: Discussion

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Dr. Aldred, Mr Küster and Mr. Deegan. I would like to pick up on Mr. Deegan's final comment. As he is aware, the National Transport Authority is trying to roll out the BusConnects programme. This bus network will provide 230 km of bus lanes and 200 km of segregated cycle lanes on 16 key routes coming into the city. Mr. Deegan is probably aware that there has been a great deal of local resistance to the roll-out of BusConnects, particularly where it is proposed to cut trees down. Does he have any advice for us on how to balance the public interest in ensuring we have adequate infrastructure for public transport and cycling when we are making the physical changes needed to build this infrastructure?

My second question relates to e-scooters and e-bikes. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has commissioned a review of the safety of such transport. We need to regulate e-scooters here. The review is being carried out by the Road Safety Authority. As for France, while Mr. Küster provided some good figures, I understand from watching media coverage of what is happening there that problems are being encountered. The uptake is very good but there is a lack of regulation. As e-scooters and e-bikes come on board, we do not want a lack of regulation to allow them to be used on footpaths because that would upset everybody.

Our guests were talking about those who were disabled and pedestrians and ensuring the issue of safety was regulated. This is new to us as we now see e-scooters in Ireland. We need to work on the issue of their regulation, which we are doing. What is the advice in that regard and where has it worked well in other jurisdictions?


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