Cycling Ireland Develop Working Relationship With National Transport Authority’s Active Travel Team

Posted in: Commuting
By Gavin Quinn, Communications Officer, Cycling ireland
Apr 12, 2023 - 12:33:37 PM

Cycling Ireland are excited to develop a closer working relationship with the National Transport Authority through the Get Ireland Cycling Initiative.

The relationship between Cycling Ireland and the NTA’S Active Travel team will predominantly be based around cycling as a means of transport and leisure.

It will include co-ordination, consultation and promotion of NTA programmes and initiatives in the Republic of Ireland that enable cycling for all ages and ability levels.

The relationship will also help us share NTA projects with Cycling Ireland members and the wider Irish cycling community while the NTA will also engage with our newly established Advocacy & Participation Working Group.

The NTA spent €310 million on Active Travel projects in 2022 – including cycling infrastructure projects such as greenways and cycle lanes.

Many of these projects are still ongoing, with the NTA committed to spending a further €290m in 2023 on Active Travel projects. These include the Dodder Greenway between Herbert Park and Donnybrook Road in Dublin, a new cycle and pedestrian bridge over the N40 in Cork, connecting to Tramore Valley Park, and the connection of the Waterford Greenway from Bilberry into the heart of Waterford City Centre.

The figures represent a sizeable increase in both funding and personnel resources for Active Travel projects, compared to 2019, when €39m was spent on cycling and walking projects.

Other programmes and initiatives of the NTA include bike libraries and E-Mobility Hubs, which offer people the opportunity to borrow/ rent e-bikes, cargo bikes and other forms of mobility on a short or long term basis.

The projects contribute towards the NTA’s long-term CycleConnects strategy to deliver Ireland’s Cycle Network.

Working closely with its partners in the Local Authorities, the NTA is aiming to develop a network of connected, accessible and comprehensive cycle networks across the country that will offer more people the opportunity to choose safer cycling as a realistic alternative to the private car, particularly for shorter journeys.

Cycling Ireland aim to be vocal in advocating for a shift in priority to ensure that both local and national authorities deliver the changes, and space, needed to make choosing a bike to get from A to B as easy as possible.

Developing an enhanced cycle network will also play a part in the delivery of Ireland’s climate obligations.

NTA Head of Active Travel Investment, Joe Seymour, said:

“In just a matter of a few short years, we have seen the investment in Active Travel infrastructure go from tens of millions per year to hundreds of millions per year. We are starting to reap the benefits of that investment with some excellent cycling projects coming on stream right across the country."

"Delivering connected cycle networks that get people to where they need to be safely is a key objective of our work. The substantial funding commitment from the Department of Transport, that we have seen year after year, will allow us and our Local Authority partners to continue to plan and deliver for a more sustainable future.”

Cycling Ireland Get Ireland Cycling Officer, Paul Norton, said:

“We are looking forward to developing a close relationship with NTA, especially the Active Travel Department that is headed up by Joe Seymour. It is a really exciting time for cycling and the pledge the government has shown in committing 10% of the transport budget towards active travel infrastructure is key to encouraging people out of their cars and choosing a more active mode of transport for commuting, doing the school run or making those shorter trips.”

“By far and away the biggest barrier to entry people have as a reason not to cycle is safety and having to share the road with motorists. The NTA Active Travel Department have extensive plans for 2023 and beyond with dozens of projects to be completed in 2023 and hundreds more in the pipeline."

Cycling Ireland Advocacy & Participation Working Group Chairperson, Anluan Dunne, said:

“Engagement with Active Travel departments in local authorities, and also within the NTA, will be key to informing Cycling Ireland policy for how we advocate for people who choose their bike for transport, sport or just the fun of it. Cycling Ireland members have the real world experience of using the infrastructure designed and delivered by the NTA and local authorities and so we have a responsibility to advocate on their behalf. Constructive relationships, such as our new partnership with the NTA, provide a valuable and open way to communicate the needs of vulnerable road users.”

“Safety is a key concern, and a shift in priority is needed to allocate more space to people walking or choosing their bike to get around. The NTA, through the enormous increase in funding in the past few years, are creating and executing more programmes of work to change how we get around the country. This is really welcome and Cycling Ireland look forward to seeing a fundamental shift in how local authorities, the NTA and TII design our roads and streets to shift the priority from motor traffic to active travel."

More information on the NTA's Active Travel Investment Programme is available link here...