Prior to the local elections in May 2019, Limerick Cycling Campaign is asking local election candidates for their opinions on a list of actions that if enacted we believe would make Limerick a leading cycle-friendly city. This is Action 3, the development of a Transport Steering Group and the role of a Cycling Officer. Responses will be published prior to the local elections.
Cycling should be a very important element of the transport
Cycling should be a very important element of the transport mix for any well designed, growing city. It, however, does not sit in isolation from other transport modes and provision of cycling infrastructure must fit with a wider transport strategy. Decisions around transport infrastructure have a fundamental impact on the nature of development in cities. Limerick Council is ambitious and is keen to make progress. However, while there is accredited in-house expertise in the area of transport planning across different departments, there is a lack of a co-ordinated approach to the provision of transport infrastructure. The consequence of this is that the best decisions relating to transport provision are much less likely to be taken, and this in turn inevitably stunts the potential and growth of the city. A modern, ambitious, European city must take transport planning seriously. To that end, Limerick Council should immediately put together a steering group, made up of and led by qualified, accredited transport planning personnel. which would look at and report to the Executive on strategic infrastructure provision.
In addition to the above, a dedicated cycle transport officer role should be created by Limerick Council. This person would be a vital and necessary element to the development of a successful cycle network. Generally, in terms of road/street projects cycle infrastructure has not been seen as an integral part of the design and is more an afterthought or something that is added on if space and budget allows. Employing a dedicated cycling officer, with knowledge of cycle network and infrastructure design would mean that all road and street design projects would be assessed from cycle traffic’s viewpoint and how it contributes to the overall transport network.
Limerick Cycling Campaign is requesting the creation of Transport Steering Group & the creation of the role of a Cycling Officer within Limerick City and County council.
National Policy and Documentation on the Issue
National Cycle Policy 2009-2020 – Chapter 6 – link to the document
Within each Local Authority, there must be a figure who will take responsibility for and oversee the implementation of the cycling policy. Since the cycling policy cuts across all elements of transportation policy (and beyond), this must be a figure at an appropriate senior level in the organisation. The appointment
of a “Cycling Officer” at too junior a level in the organisation may reinforce the idea that cycling is a separate, more marginal, mode. This has been the experience in some UK Local Authorities.
National Cycle Policy 2009-2020 – Policy 17.3: Local Authority Cycling Officers – link to the document
We will require each Local Authority to assign an officer at an appropriate senior level as a “Cycling Officer”. He or she will establish a Cycle Forum and be responsible for overseeing the formulation and delivery of the local cycling policy. This policy must be embedded within wider transportation policies and in the statutory plans. He or she will also be responsible for the upskilling of staff within the local authority so as to ensure that the competencies exist to fully implement the policies.
Implemented by: DEH&LG, DoT, LA’s
National Cycle Policy 2009-2020 – Objective 17 – link to the document
Develop a structure that can coordinate the implementation of activities across the many government departments, agencies and ngo’s
National Cycle Policy 2009-2020 – Objective 18 – link to the document
Provide design professionals with suitable training / guidance to develop and implement the policies of the ncpf. Support the deepening of knowledge of the subject of planning for cyclists in ireland.
Report of the Joint Committee on Climate Action: Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus for Action (March 2019) – Link to the document
Local and national authorities do not, by and large, have a good track record when it comes to putting in infrastructure such as dedicated segregated cycle facilities, and that will have to change. Ireland’s first National Cycle Policy Framework was launched in April 2009 and given that many of its recommendations were not implemented, it should now be implemented in line with the recommendations in this Report.