Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Rural and Community Development

Transport Policy

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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481. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the steps she is taking to encourage active travel modes to and from work in her Department and public bodies and agencies that operate under her remit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17383/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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My Department has two office locations, one in Dublin and one in Mayo. Employees are encouraged to cycle to work where possible. To facilitate this, there are bike racks in each office, as well as showers available for staff who choose an active commute to work. My Department also promotes the tax incentivised Cycle to Work scheme, which aims to encourage staff to cycle to and from work, and the Tax Saver Commuter Ticket Scheme for use on public transport.

The Department also has a health and wellbeing programme whereby staff are encouraged to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. A range of initiatives have been rolled out, including walking challenges, which encourage staff to embrace physical activity as a means to contribute to the enjoyment of significant health and environmental benefits. As staff in my Department attend the office, the Human Resources unit is encouraging them to try to include an active element in their journey.

The table below outlines how the Department's four agencies under its remit encourage and facilitate employees to use active travel to commute to work.

Charities Regulator The Charities Regulator takes part in the Cycle to Work Scheme and provides showers and bike racks for staff who choose an active commute.
Western Development Commission (WDC) The WDC actively encourages employees to walk or cycle to work where possible and has opened offices in Galway and Sligo, as well as Ballaghaderreen, to facilitate local access for employees and to improve delivery to the citizen. The WDC actively promote the Cycle to Work scheme to staff.
Water Safety Ireland Water Safety Ireland takes part in the Cycle to Work Scheme and ensure this is highlighted to new staff in the induction process so that they are aware of the opportunity to take advantage of this initiative. They continue to examine ways to develop their facilities to further encourage active commuting.
Pobal Pobal was an early adopter of the Cycle To Work Scheme and staff have been availing of this benefit for many years for making qualifying journeys to/from work.

Pobal provides designated bicycle parking and shower facilities in most offices.

Staff may also avail of the “Tax Saver Commuter Ticket Scheme” to use public transport and many staff combine public transport and active travel as part of their daily commutes.


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