Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1022. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to allow exemptions for very young or hearing impaired cyclists to use footpaths; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1680/15]
The law at present, as set out in the Roads Act 1993, specifies that footpaths are for the use of pedestrians.
Safety is my highest priority in all areas of transport. When it comes to road safety, certain road users are especially vulnerable, including pedestrians and cyclists. Both my Department and the Road Safety Authority have pursued and are continuing to pursue a wide range of measures to improve safety for all road users, and in particular for those who are most vulnerable. These include infrastructural improvements through funding for the provision of cycle lanes and educational initiatives to improve awareness of the safety of cyclists, among both cyclists and motorists.
However, I do not believe that a change in the law to allow some cyclists to use footpaths is an appropriate response. This would take some cyclists off the road, but at the price of creating more risk for pedestrians. It would also be difficult to enforce a situation in which some cyclists were allowed on footpaths and others not. I have therefore no plans to amend the legislation on usage of footpaths at this time.