Thursday, 5 November 2009
National Cycle Policy.
Noel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
Since announcing the national cycle policy framework in April, I have indicated my intention to provide financial support to exemplary, demonstration, cycling infrastructure projects in the following areas: the Phoenix Park; Carrigaline; Eyeries; Passagewest, with a link to Rochestown; Crosshaven to Carrigaline; Dublin city, from Portobello to Fairview Park; Galway, comprising the Fisheries Field greenway; Fenit to Tralee; Castletroy; Newport to Mulranny; Westport greenway; and south Dublin, to link Adamstown directly to the Grand Canal cycle path. In addition, I am supporting refurbishment of cycle lanes in Dublin City, new cycle parking facilities in Galway and Waterford and in schools and workplaces and other cycling-related initiatives around the country. My support for the foregoing projects, some of which will be provided over this year and 2010, will be some €18.4 million. This is a significant increase in investment which will not only will facilitate cycling but seek to deliver a safety dividend.
On the safety issue, I understand from the Road Safety Authority that seven cyclist fatalities have occurred to date this year. This is a decrease of 46% on the full year figure for 2008. I offer my condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones in traffic accidents. However, I should record that the Government is making significant progress in delivering the road safety strategy and in achieving its objective of reducing road fatalities to 60 fatalities per million of population, or 252 per year, by 2012.
Regrettably, use of our roads, whether by motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, can never be risk free. The safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users is and remains a matter of concern. The development of a national cycling safety strategy by the Road Safety Authority has been amalgamated into the national cycle policy framework. Enforcement is, of course, a matter for the Garda Síochána.