Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Cycling Facilities Funding
While we all recognise there has been a substantial increase in the number of people commuting by bicycle, cyclists only account for 3% of commuters. Among children commuting to school the figure is even lower at 2%. There is potential for more people to cycle. It is a very laudable objective and one the Government should be clearly behind because of its impact on personal health and activity levels, reducing congestion, CO2 emissions and so on. There is much to benefit society by encouraging and supporting more people to cycle.
It all boils down to funding and unfortunately funding levels have been incredibly low in recent years. In a recent reply to me, the Minister stated that the amount provided for cycling was only 2.2% of the overall road transport budget last year. Clearly there is a huge amount of ground to make up. It is a matter of setting very clear targets. Does the Minister accept the safer we make cycling, the more people will start commuting by bicycle? The lack of safety and segregation of cycle lanes is a big barrier to people deciding to cycle to work, school or college. Will the Minister indicate what percentage of the road transport budget he believes needs to be dedicated to cycling?