The Minister for Transport in Ireland Noel Dempsey is to provide almost €500,000 for cycle parking facilities in schools and businesses, including €120,000 to 30 private companies, to encourage more people to cycle to work and school.
The €500,000, which will be used to provide cycle stand and shelters, is being provided on a pilot basis and may be increased next year, depending on the success of the scheme. According to the Department of Transport in Ireland less than two per cent of commuters cycle to work. In Dublin more than 100,000 people drive a distance of less than 4km and 45,000 people use their car for a commute of under 2km. Indeed around 35 per cent of car commuters have said more secure cycle parking facilities would encourage them to switch to bicycles.
And more than 60 per cent of children are brought to school by car and the number of primary school children cycling to school has fallen by more than 80 per cent in 20 years.
The remainder will be available for about 30 businesses, mostly in the greater Dublin area. These companies will be chosen from organisations involved in the Dublin Transportation Office’s smarter travel workplaces scheme, which encourages cycling, walking, car-pooling, public transport use and video conferences as an alternative to business travel.
The news comes on the back of Minister Dempsey announcing that a funding package totalling €1.6m will be made available to Mayo County Council to develop a 17.5km off-road cycle and walking route between Newport and Mulranny in Co. Mayo.
Minister Dempsey said: "The delivery of this world class Newport to Mulranny cycle and walking route is an important step in delivering a National Cycle Network in Ireland. This particular route has the potential to become a very significant tourist attraction for the area as well as a safe, off-road, means of local travel by bike and on foot. I want new routes like this to help re-engage people with cycling and help promote a shift from the car to more sustainable forms of transport."