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					                         Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group
                       ‘Rosca’ Dublin Road, Malahide, Co. Dublin Phone 01 845 3928
        Email:        Website: www.
Sustainable Travel Consultation,
Department of Transport,
Transport House,
Kildare St.,
Dublin 2,

                                                                                                    13 August 2011
Dear Sir,

The Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group1 was founded in August 2006 to accelerate the provision of safe cycling
routes in Fingal in keeping with the objectives in the Fingal Development plan 2005-2011, which include:
Objective CIO4:
To ensure that sites (community facilities) are accessible by a range of travel modes, particularly by public
transport, pedestrians and cyclists.
Objective TO29:
To ensure where possible that cycle-ways and footpaths are effectively separated from major vehicular
We would like to make a submission on the proposed 2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport.

                                                      SUBMISSION POINTS
    1      The Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group lobbies for safe, off-road cycle-paths to enable everybody,
           especially families and young children, to cycle in safety for pleasure and for local transport.
           We believe that cycling must first and foremost be SAFE. Young cyclists need safe, off-road cycle-
           paths, where they may fall off their bikes without the fear of being run over.
    2      We warmly welcome the thrust of the 2020 vision – to encourage and facilitate „Active Travel‟.
           However, „support for alternative ways of travelling, including walking and cycling‟ will not be enough.
           Significant investment is required to provide the people of Ireland with the World Class walking
           and cycling infrastructure that we deserve.
    3      We welcome the development of a National Cycling Policy:
           We recommend a policy along the lines of:
           “Cycling is a practical, healthy, inexpensive means of transport, that can assist the country achieve its
           strategic objectives in the areas of Transport, Health, Environment and Tourism, and must be invested in
           proportionally to other means of transport.”
    4      We specifically ask the Dept. of Transport to fund the development of the „Broadmeadow Estuary Orbital
           Route‟. This 10km walking and cycling trail around the Broadmeadow inner estuary will provide a
           fabulous „Active Travel‟ amenity, linking the areas of Swords, Donabate and Malahide. Critically, it will
           provide easy access by foot or bike to the Train, Dart and Metro Stations in each of the three towns. This
           will hugely benefit local residents, but will also provide a major tourist attraction.
           Fingal County Council voted unanimously to build the „Broadmeadow Orbital Route‟ in September
           20072. We met Fingal County Council Management yesterday, 16th April 2008, and were informed that
           no funding has been provided for this project.

    Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group – visit our BLOG at

Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group: Submission on ‘2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport’
    5    We note the estimate of EUR45 million, to complete a „tourism‟ cycle Network. This is a tiny amount
         when compared to the billions being spent on Transport21. Funding for this network should be
         provided immediately by the Department of Transport.
         While we would welcome the development of a „tourism‟ cycle network, we agree that this falls short of
         being a National Cycle Network, and we call on the Department of Transport to fund the
         development of a COMPLETE National Cycle Network as a matter of urgency.
    6    Regarding section 4.2.1:
         The document states that the number of people cycling in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) has dropped
         despite the investment of over 30 million euro by the GDA. The reduction may be due to the fact that
         much of the cycling infrastructure provided to date has been of poor, often unsafe design.

         Cycling and Waking infrastructure must be of ‘World Class’ standard.
         We recommend that the Department of Transport involve SUSTRANS in the development and
         implementation of this 2020 Vision (See WWW.SUSTRANS.ORG). SUSTRANS (Sustainable
         Transport) is a UK based organisation (registered charity) that is responsible for building and maintaining
         the UK National Cycle Network. SUSTRANS has been operating for thirty years and is a recognised
         world leader in „Active Travel‟, specifically in the development of cycling and walking infrastructure.
         The UK network, consisting of 11,500 miles of Cycling and Pedestrian paths, recently won an award from
         the World Health Organisation for contribution to combating obesity.3 Expert organisations, like
         SUSTRANS, can provide expertise in the design of safe shared use cycle-ways. They can also help with
         the many challenges that will arise, including:
                 o Land ownership issues
                 o Fear of new access paths leading to increased anti-social behaviour
                 o Environmental issues (e.g. around the Broadmeadow Estuary)
                 o Safety concerns, such as fear regarding the shared use of paths by cyclists and pedestrians.
                 o    Current culture of NIMBYism (not in my back yard), which is supported by local councillors.
                      This is a serious obstacle to improving permeability.
    7    Q 3.1 What measures are required to better integrate land use and transport:
         First and foremost – provide funding to enable local authorities to address the following matters.
         1. Make it is easy and safe (from motorised traffic), for people to walk and cycle within their own
            community – to shops, clubs, parks, and public transport.
         2. Legalise cycling within / through parks (currently illegal to cycle in any park in Fingal).
         3. Legalise cycling along all canal banks (currently illegal to cycle along canal paths in Dublin)
         4. Build shared use cycle / pedestrian paths to and through all public parks and green spaces, subject to
            environmental issues being addressed etc.
         5. Link public green spaces with shared use cycle / pedestrian paths.
         6. Build safe cycle paths to all train and dart stations.
         7. Build safe cycle paths to all schools and public amenities
         8. Require all new developments to be fully permeable for pedestrians and cyclists, with restricted
            access for motor vehicles. The design of the pedestrian/cycle access paths is critical, given the fear of
            anti-social behaviour. E.g. they should be fully overlooked by houses.

    See extract of Council Minutes at:
    World Health Organisation award to SUSTRANS National Cycle Network

Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group: Submission on ‘2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport’              Page 2
       9. Increase pedestrian and cyclist permeability of existing developments, towns and villages.
       10. Introduce a pre-condition for all new developments to have safe walking and cycling routes to the
           nearest town or village.
       11. Currently, Iarnrod Eireann is preventing, or at least failing to co-operate with, local authorities
           attempts to build pedestrian/cyclist bridges over railway lines. Examples in Fingal include a
           pedestrian/cyclist bridge urgently required on „The Back Road‟ in Malahide near Malahide Demesne,
           and a pedestrian/cyclist path required across the Broadmeadow causeway. The result is that parents
           are forced to drive children to schools in the absence of safe foot and cycle paths. The Dept. of
           Transport should require Iarnrod Eireann, by law if necessary, to build, or allow local
           authorities to build, shared use pedestrian and cycle paths across and alongside railway lines.
 8     Chapter 4 cites a number of „Key issues to be Considered‟, including:
       „The importance of supporting healthy travel options through national cycling and walking policies‟.
       Chapter 4 proceeds to explain what Transport 21 will deliver. We welcome the list of projects covered by
       Transport 21, but we are disappointed that T21 includes no ‘Active Travel’ projects.
       We welcome the development of „national cycling and walking policies‟ – but policies alone will achieve
       nothing. We urgently require funding for the provision of ‘Active Travel’ infrastructure.
 9     Q4.3.4 How can existing bus and rail services be improved for customers:
       1. Provide frequent shuttle buses to Dart and Train stations
       2. Provide safe shared use cycle / pedestrian paths to all train and dart stations.
       3. Provide secure cycle parking facilities at all train and dart stations.
       4. Require Iarnrod Eireann, by law if necessary, to invest in rolling stock that will allow bikes to be
          transported on trains and Darts. This is common practice in countries such as Denmark and Sweden.
       5. Address the current ridiculous situation in which Dublin Bus will not run shuttle buses to Dart / Train
          stations, and the law prevents anyone else from doing so.
 10    Q4.3.5 In addition to the investment in T21, what other measures are needed to improve and expand
            -    Extend Metro North to Donabate and have Enterprise service stop at Donabate
                 T21 already provides for the extension of the DART to Donabate and on to Balbriggan.
                 Extending Metro North to Donabate will allow North-side residents to travel by rail to Dublin
                 Airport, DCU, the Mater hospital etc. without going to the city centre first. Creating this „circle
                 line‟ will spread passenger numbers in both directions (currently all head into the city in the
                 morning, and out of the city in the evening), thus reducing congestion on both DART and Metro
                 North at peak travel times.

                 Having the Enterprise service stop at Donabate will reduce the rail travel time from Dublin
                 Airport to / from Belfast city centre by approx. 40 minutes or approx. 30%. It will also reduce the
                 rail travel time from Malahide to / from Belfast city centre by a similar amount, thus encouraging
                 people to travel by rail to/from Belfast, rather than car.
 12    Recognise and acknowledge the fact that different cycling communities have different needs but equal
       rights to have them met. The communities include:
       1. Family / Young Children
       2. Commuter / Urban
       3. Leisure (e.g. Cycle Touring Club)
       4. Racing Cyclists
       5. Mountain / Trail Biking

Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group: Submission on ‘2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport’            Page 3
 13    The current law requiring cyclists to use cycle lanes when provided is causing a divide between the
       Family / Young Children community and the Commuter / Urban community and. The Family / Young
       Children community is calling for „safe off-road cycle routes‟, and the urban community is rejecting this
       call, due to their experience with badly designed off-road cycle paths to date.
       Options include:
       1. Repeal the law.
       2. Replace „solid white lines‟ with „broken white lines‟ (Would make lanes „optional‟)
       3. Ensure that cycle lane design meets international best practice.
 14    Q4.3.9 What course of action should be taken to encourage more people to walk and cycle?
       1. Make cycling attractive enough to make people CHOOSE to cycle rather than drive.
                 a. Provide SAFE cycle paths, off-road where possible.
                    Safety is a primary concern, particularly for parents. No parent will consider allowing his or
                    her child to cycle unless the cycling route is a safe one.
                 b. Given the choice, everybody would prefer to cycle through a park or green space than beside
                    trucks and cars.
       2. Shift the balance in favour of pedestrians and cyclists within villages and towns.
                 a. Replace on-street parking with increased width footpaths / cycle paths.
                    (On street parking is a significant cause of traffic congestion).
                 b. Increase the amount of pedestrian / cyclist only areas within all towns and villages.
                    (SUSTRANS research indicates that retail sales are highest in pedestrianised areas)
       3. Conduct public information campaigns to explain the health benefits of „Active Travel‟, the health
          risk posed by being overweight or obese, and the sheer pleasure of walking and cycling.
                 a. Bring high profile figures on board (e.g. Kelly, Roche….)
                 b. Put on high profile fun cycles
                 c. Arrange for Late Late Show appearance(s)
       4. Tackle the current culture in Ireland, which belittles cycling rather than treating it as a credible means
          of transport. The impact of the current culture is:
                 a. Little value attributed to provision of quality cycling infrastructure.
                 b. Cyclists are viewed as „eccentrics‟.
                 c. Cycling is belittled – e.g. Ryan Tubridy‟s comments about Enda Kenny being photographed
                    on a bicycle during summer ‟06.
       5. Make it EASY for people to walk and cycle.
       6. Focus on changing the mindset of children.
          For children, „normality‟ is what they experience on a daily basis. If they grow up being ferried
          everywhere by car, they themselves will expect that travel by car is the norm. If they are encouraged
          to walk or cycle to school, they will treat walking and cycling as normal travel modes.

Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group: Submission on ‘2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport’            Page 4
    13   We recommend the provision of a cyclists’ charter of rights (part of a citizens’ charter of rights):
         All cyclists, whether local or tourist should be entitled to expect the following, as a minimum:
         1. A safe surface on which to cycle, that is properly maintained.
         2. Safe cycle-paths, separated from motor traffic where possible.
         3. Bicycle parking spaces in every „car park‟ (especially local authority ones).
         4. Bicycle parking spaces on the main street of every town and village.
         5. Treatment as an equal on all carriageways excluding Motorways.
         6. The right to travel the safest route between two points.
            (This specifically refers to the current law that requires cyclists to use certain cycle paths when
            provided, regardless of the potential risk that the cycle path may pose to the safety of the cyclist).
         7. The right to expect cycle lanes to be designed and built to a safe standard.
         8. To be able to cycle easily and safely to all amenities within their local area.
         9. To be able to cycle easily and safely between towns and villages.
    14   There is a need for an „island of Ireland‟ body capable of designing and implementing „international best
         practice‟ cycling infrastructure.
         SUSTRANS performs this role in the UK (WWW.SUSTRANS.ORG). SUSTRANS has expressed
         interest in performing this role in Ireland too. They have the capability and experience to:
         a. Liaise with bodies responsible for cycling infrastructure.
         b. Design and build „international best practice‟ cycling infrastructure.
         c. Identify sources of funding.
         Regarding Chapter 7: Delivering the vision
         The Fingal County Development Plan (2005-2011) includes excellent „Active Travel‟ policies.4 Despite
         the County Plan calling for a modal change from car to foot / cycle, the focus of the Fingal County
         Council Transport Department appears to be on motorised vehicles only and does not appear to regard
         walking or cycling as modes of transport at all. For example, the Fingal County Council Draft 2008
         Transportation Programme of Works provides no funds for walking or cycling infrastructure.
         It is critical that the Department of Transport require, by law if necessary, that county council transport
         departments actively deliver the National Cycling policy. It is also critical that the Department of
         Transport provide funding to local authorities to deliver this policy.

Yours sincerely,

Ken O‟Connor

 Fingal Development Plan -
Objective CIO4: To ensure that sites (community facilities) are accessible by a range of travel modes, particularly by
public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.
Objective TO29: To ensure where possible that cycleways and footpaths are effectively separated from major vehicular

Fingal Safe Cycling Action Group: Submission on ‘2020 Vision – Sustainable Travel and Transport’                Page 5

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