Archive | December, 2011

Keep the Cycling Officer!

20 Dec

Dublin is heading for a fall:

Dublin City Council is axing the Cycling Officer (read our interview wit Ciaran Fallon, written more than a year ago – in happier times).

This is a call to action.

Please join the Dublin Cycling Campaign, and help us keep our cycling officer.

Dublin needs your help. Now.

Join the protest,

sign the petition,

and write to your local Councillors (instructions follow…).




Dear TD/Councillor,

We abhor the failure of Dublin City Council (DCC) to find funding to continue the contract of the Cycling Officer.  We understand that the Cycling Officer’s position has been funded up to now by the Department of the Environment, Communications and Local Government, but this contract ceases on January 5th.

A Cycling Officer is needed not only to represent the interests of the increasing number of Dubliners who already cycle, but to rapidly increase modal share, by-

  • Co-ordinating & guiding DCC policy towards increasing cycling, e.g. by reviewing draft policy documents like the Development Plan and contributing to the Transport Strategic Policy Committee, etc.;
  • As an engineer, counteracting the mindset of roads engineers who have been trained in outmoded, car-based transport principles;
  • Publicly promoting cycling, as done very successfully with the recent family-oriented Sky Ride, when 10,000 Dubliners took to their bikes in the city and gave an enthusiastic response.

We in the Campaign have developed an excellent working relationship with the current Officer, but all citizens can see the tangible results.  Due to bigger cycling numbers, Dublin’s streets are now quieter, less congested and, most importantly, safer for ALL road users.

The background to this issue is the mystifying way transport has developed in Ireland:

  • How is it that our roads have been made unsafe for kids to cycle to school, when over 300,000 of our children are overweight or obese?
  • How is it that, with car ownership now costing over €10,000 per year, and a crazy 40% of short trips being made by car, we’re not energetically pushing this low-cost transport mode?
  • Why is our Department of the Environment apparently reducing funding, when research published last week showed that high cycling numbers could make a huge dent in Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions?
  • Are we really content to simply continue to sit in traffic jams?  A Dublin Underground is not going to materialise any time soon.  Cycling is a quick, easy, very cheap answer to congestion.

It’s clear (and it’s in the Government’s own Cycle Policy Framework) that there should be not only a Dublin Cycling Officer, but a Cycling Tsar or team at Government level, and one in every Local Authority in the State.  Departments of Health and Children, Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Environment all bear responsibility here.  Yes, budgets are tight, but with a 20 to 1 return on investment in cycling (the huge health benefits to the population allow immense savings), it’s crazy to penny-pinch one key professional’s salary.

Indeed, we would be very interested to see DCC’s cost/benefit analysis of the decision to end this contract, given that its Transportation division expenditure was €73 million for 2010, and the Dublin Bikes scheme alone brings in €400,000.  Funding is not the problem here, it’s ill-informed and regressive thinking.


Yours sincerely,








Dublin City Councillors are listed here-…

Maria Parodi
Pat McCartan
Dermot Lacey;
Mary Freehill
Mannix Flynn
Kieran Binchy
Gerry Ashe
Edie Wynne
Oisin Quinn

Dublin TDs listed below.  Often a TD’s e-mail address is like-

Dublin Central (4)

Pascal Donohoe (FG)
Joe Costello (Labour)
Mary Lou McDonald (SF)
Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind)


Dublin West (4)

Joan Burton (Labour)
Leo Varadkar (FG)
Joe Higgins (Socialist/ULA)
Patrick Nulty (Labour/Ind)


Dublin North (4)

James Reilly (FG)
Brendan Ryan (Labour)
Clare Daly (Socialist/ULA)
Alan Farrell (FG)


Dublin North Central (3)

Richard Bruton (FG)
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Labour)
Finian McGrath (Ind)


Dublin North East (3)

Terence Flanagan (FG)
Tommy Broughan (Labour)
Sean Kenny (Labour)


Dublin North West (3)

Roisin Shortall (Labour)
John Lyons (Labour)
Dessie Ellis (SF)


Dublin Mid-West (4)
Joanna Tuffy (Labour)
Frances Fitzgerald (FG)
Robert Dowds (Labour)
Derek Keating (FG)


Dublin South (5)

Shane Ross (Ind)
Alex White (Labour)
Peter Matthews (FG)
Alan Shatter (FG)
Olivia Mitchell (FG)


Dublin South Central (5)

Eric Byrne (Labour)
Aengus O Snodaigh (SF)
Catherine Byrne (FG)
Joan Collins (PBP/ULA)
Michael Conaghan (Labour)


Dublin South East (4)

Ruari Quinn (Labour)
Lucinda Creighton (FG)
Eoghan Murphy (FG)
Kevin Humphreys (Labour)


Dublin South West (4)

Pat Rabbitte (Labour)
Brian Hayes (FG)
Sean Crowe (SF)
Eamonn Maloney (Labour)


Dun Laoghaire (4)

Eamon Gilmore (Labour)
Seán Barrett (FG)
Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG)
Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP/ULA)