Thursday, 5 November 2009
National Cycle Policy.
Tommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
It is tragic that cyclists are still being killed on our roads. I echo the Minister's comments in that regard and sympathise with the relatives and friends of the people who died so tragically. There have been 11 cycling related deaths in this city over the past seven or eight years. The Dublin cycling campaign, the Galway cycling campaign and other cycling campaigns with which I have liaised have made the point that the enforcement of the rule on overtaking cyclists is not being carried out by the Garda Síochána. Will the Minister look at that issue in the context of his cycling strategy?
I thank the Minister for the details he gave us on the overall programme. Going into 2010, what level of funding is being requested for cycling projects generally and what level of funding will the Minister be able to provide? I am aware there was a row between the Minister and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy John Gormley, with regard to the Sutton to Sandycove route. Are the Ministers talking to each other again and will there be further progress on that project? I tried to launch the project 17 or 18 years ago, but we are still waiting for it. An astonishing figure of €7 million per km was given by Dublin City Council for that route. Has the Minister discussed the matter with the city council? I am aware the Minister has an overall budget, as indicated in the cycling strategy, of €1.2 billion. However, is it realistic to expect these additional resources will be brought forward in the next couple of years?
I congratulate my colleague, Councillor Andrew Montague, who proposed the free bike scheme which has been so successful for Dublin. It is a wonderful initiative. When I was on the council some years ago, I proposed the radial cycleway network, which was the beginning of the cycling programme. I congratulate Councillor Montague on the major step that has been taken and hope it will be replicated in other major cities throughout the country.