Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Promoting Cycling: Motion [Private Members]
I welcome the opportunity to speak to the motion this evening and I also welcome the people from the campaign groups in the Gallery. It is a matter that has exercised people hugely, and as Deputy Munster indicated, there are many positives within the motion. We know a motion has no legal standing but it provides an important opportunity for me and others to state that this topic is a priority. It is an opportunity to debate it this evening.
I am not a cyclist, although I have cycled on occasions. Frankly, I would be petrified to do it. I have cycled around the city recently enough and it is absolutely terrifying. I live in Skerries and some of the smaller roads there can be quite scary for the people using them, even when motorists give as much space as possible. Although it may not necessarily dangerous where I live, it is dangerous to cycle in the city. I do not know how people manage to navigate the city even with helmets and everything else. When we consider other cities that have got this right, they are much more pleasant places to be and walk around because there are fewer cars. Currently, there is no incentive to cycle a bike here and I would be scared to do so. I know there are some dedicated and designated cycle lanes but very often they taper to nothing. I notice it as a motorist and pedestrian. It must be terrifying for cyclists.
This motion contains very sensible suggestions. The Minister has indicated he is doing everything suggested in the motion and if it were not for the hint of condemnation of the Government, he would probably support it. To be fair, people in the Gallery and others have contacted us all this week and last week about the motion. If they thought everything was already being done, they would not look to talk to us. Most people do not want to engage with politicians, if we are honest.