Friday, 16 September 2016
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Safety Strategy
1813. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the action he is taking to ensure roads in Dublin and elsewhere here are a safe environment for all road users and which encourage greater levels of health and well-being, in view of the recent deaths of cyclists; his plans to meet the Government's target of 10% of journeys by bicycle by 2020; and the way in which he is contributing to and funding measures that will incentivise significantly improved health in the broader populace. [25844/16]
1816. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures being taken to improve safety for cyclists on roads; if his attention has been drawn to the dangers posed for cyclists by truck drivers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25883/16]
I propose to answer Questions Nos. 1813 and 1816 together.
An increase in people engaging in cycling as a means of active travel is one of the key aims of the National Physical Activity Plan published in early 2016. Participation in physical activity such as cycling has significant health benefits and helps combat sedentary behaviour amongst all age groups.
In all areas of transport the highest priority for my Department is safety. Both my Department and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are engaged in promoting awareness of the Rules of the Road and safe practice on our roads for all road users. This includes promoting awareness of cyclists and other vulnerable road users among motorists including drivers of heavy commercial vehicles, as well as promoting safe cycling practice among cyclists.
The current Road Safety Strategy, running from 2013 to 2020, contains a number of measures to ensure greater safety in cycling. These include promoting the use of personal protection equipment and high visibility clothing, the provision of which is heavily funded by the RSA, and developing a standardised road safety cycling proficiency training programme for schools.
My Department is funding the development and roll-out of "Cycle Right", a new national cycling training standard through which cyclists will increase their safe journeying on the road network. I expect that Cycle Right will roll out nationally from January 2017.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads are prioritised and funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants and my Department also operates a road safety Improvement grant programme to address safety hazards.
In the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) the National Transport Authority (NTA), together with the relevant local authorities, are responsible for the planning and delivery of cycling infrastructure. Funding of approximately €37m has been allocated by the NTA for investment in cycling/walking projects, QBCs, safety integration and traffic management projects in 2016 covering the GDA and also the regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.