Fianna Fáil launches Cycling Manifesto
Party sets out its key cycling policies and acknowledges that cycling is now “mainstream.”
Fianna Fáil’s Transport Spokesperson, Robert Troy, flanked by Dublin TD John Lahart and Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee, this morning launched the party’s cycling manifesto and set out the key policies which it would like to see implemented. The four major initiatives that were highlighted at today’s press briefing are as follows:
Bring forward legislation for a minimum safe overtaking distance (due to frustration over the slow progress of Minister Ross’ proposed legislation on the same issue).
Establish a dedicated cycling division within the National Transport Authority.
Bicycle storage facilities at all major transport hubs to enable multi-modal transport.
Dedicated cycling officers in each and every local authority.
The policy document also sets out the need for more segregated cycle lanes, greater enforcement around illegal parking in cycle lanes, and the creation of a “National Cycling Champion”. The full policy document can be found here and overall it makes for good reading from a cycling advocacy perspective, with well-informed policies based on research and analysis from both Ireland and abroad. There are specific references to Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as the city of Seville which rapidly built an integrated cycle network and saw huge increases in cycling as a result.
The one major element that the policy document is lacking, however, is a commitment to increasing the overall investment in walking & cycling infrastructure. We, and others, have been calling for 20% of the national transport budget to be set aside for walking & cycling infrastructure. Without dedicated, large-scale investment we will never catch up with the cities which we aspire to be like, such as Seville, Copenhagen and [insert almost any Dutch city here].
John Lahart attended the Liffey Cycle Protest last Sunday and he made reference to the protest during today’s press briefing, while also acknowledging that cycling is now mainstream and no longer just a niche activity.
Fianna Fáil’s announcement today shows that cycling is now on the radar of the major political parties and that it will be an election issue for the forthcoming Local and General Elections. We will be interested to see how other parties respond, and whether anyone will step up to the plate and acknowledge the need for 20% of the transport budget to be dedicated to walking & cycling.
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