Submission on Sustainable Mobility Public Consultation

This submission is made on behalf of Sligo Cycling Campaign. Our group advocates for better and safer conditions for cyclists in and around Sligo town. We aim to raise public awareness of the benefits of cycling and aim to promote and support the improvement of cycling infrastructure in Sligo City so that many more people, of all ages and abilities, can choose cycling as a realistic, safe, efficient and enjoyable way of getting around. We believe that every effort to increase the modal shift from motor vehicle use to cycling and walking should be at the heart of the Sustainable Mobility Policy.


Our vision for sustainable mobility is to see people of all ages and ability have a realistic and safe option of cycling or walking on a daily basis. Our vision is for a fairer balance of investment be given to the development of cycling infrastructure in both rural and urban town and cities. Our vision is greener communities having active transport combined with sufficient public transport infrastructure contributing to health benefits for all - with improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, better physical and mental health for all and lower carbon footprint impact.

The following elements of our vision include:

  • Streets and urban districts that primarily accommodate pedestrians and cyclists and facilitate good public transport

  • Roads that provide segregated lanes for cyclists and sufficient space for pedestrian paths which should be separate from vehicular traffic, where possible. Particular consideration should be given to target safe cycle routes to schools 

  • Default 30kph speeds on all residential roads, in the town centre and within 1km radius of all schools

  • Safe secure bike parking throughout Sligo City

  • More frequent rail services allowing for a viable alternative for daily commuters travelling from rural areas into urban areas, for example, between Collooney and Sligo

  • Park and Ride service to reduce congestion and accommodate more commuter cyclists

 

Investment should urgently prioritise active modes of transport:

 

We recommend that the transport policy prioritises cycling and walking infrastructure and public transport net-work, which should also facilitate the carriage of bicycles and scooters. There is a keen interest in cycling among parents and children but fear of the large volumes of high speed motor traffic is generally quoted as the main obstacle. The result is that only 1% of cycling journeys is taken in rural Ireland. We therefore call for immediate investment to be allocated to walking, cycling and public transport and that negative growth in car based modes of transport be prioritised

Investment in the following areas:

  • Increase road space for cycling/scooting/walking by prioritising the development of high quality segregated cycling infrastructure with particular emphasis on safe design for busy junctions and roundabouts. Our roads need to be safe and suitable for all ages - from 8 to 80 years.

  • Create immediate ‘Quick Build’ projects in the interim to improve the cycling experience, while waiting for the major projects to be completed.

  • Invest a minimum of 10% of the capital budget towards the development of cycling as a mode of transport.

  • Create permanent post for National Cycling Office in the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport

  • Incentivise and provide clear legislation for new electronic devices such as e-scooters and e-bikes

  • Provide affordable public transport services, particularly for those on low incomes

  • Public transport fleets fuelled by renewable energy and all towns buses to be equipped with bike carrying facilities

  • Invest in cycle training for school children and adults and provide safety and awareness initiatives for cycling generally

  • Make provision for “school streets” and safe routes to school

Conclusion

 

Prioritising cycling for all our towns, cities and communities has a wide-ranging positive impact on many aspects of our lives. More cycling improves health and well-being for all, reduces congestion, improves our urban spaces, supports local economies and increase tourism and helps to meet out climate change targets. It is imperative that investment and policy changes are made to ensure that a healthy, safe active mode of transport be put in place for all.

Sligo Cycling Campaign logo2020.png