Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1031. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if additional measures will be brought forward to prevent cyclists and users of electric scooters from using footpaths in view of the danger the activity poses for pedestrians; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2678/20]
The offence of cycling on the footpath is not explicitly spelled out in law because it is important that members of An Garda Síochána be allowed a degree of discretion when it comes to allowing very young cyclists stay off the roads as a result of their age and heightened vulnerability. This discretion does not extend, however, to allowing all cyclists free rein to mount and dismount footpaths as they please. As the Deputy may recall, my predecessor as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D., introduced fixed charge notices for a number of cycling offences, including that of cycling without reasonable consideration, in August 2015. The offence of cycling without reasonable consideration was in fact worded in such a way that it would include those caught cycling on a footpath and my Department does not consider any further legislative provision necessary at this time.
While I entirely agree with the Deputy's view that cycling on the footpath poses a threat to public safety, particularly when it comes to the very young, the elderly, and the disabled, I must stress that the enforcement of cycling regulations, as with all aspects of Road Traffic law, is a matter for An Garda Síochána.
I must further clarify that the use of electric scooters in public places is strictly prohibited in Ireland, irrespective of whether the vehicle is driven on a footpath, cycle track, bus lane or open road.