Should Ireland have a “Bike to School” discount scheme (similar to Bike to Work scheme)

5 November 2018
By Elaine Murphy

Labour Local Election candidate in Cork City South East Ward Peter Horgan has secured backing from the Labour Party national conference for the creation of a Bike to School incentive similar to the Bike to Work scheme operating since 2009.

File photo of Peter Horgan

“This is an incentive that if followed through by government, would see a sharp rise in the numbers availing of cycling lanes and cycle paths through this country in their commute to school and college,” said Mr Horgan

“Our cities are choked with traffic. Our estates and communities are riddled with rat running as motorists seek to take the quickest route as fast as possible putting those most vulnerable to a road accident – children, those with buggys, those in wheelchairs, those who may not be the steadiest on their feet – in harms way. This could see a significant reduction of commuter traffic, especially for those engaged in school commuting.”

“The census showed that in my own area of Cork taking in Mahon, Blackrock, Ballintemple, Ballinlough and Douglas – 66% of those commuting to school or college do so in a private car. That’s just over 6,000 people. How many commuted on bike? One point three percent. 121 people. There is something radically wrong when you have the suburban communities of this State’s second city stuck in traffic jams on a daily basis.”

“There are those who will say they don’t want their children – no matter the age – cycling on the roads because it is too dangerous. Cycling is not dangerous it is the activity of reckless drivers that is dangerous. Our roads are becoming more and more dangerous for vulnerable road users. But that is Not a reason to abandon all hope of a different path to take. There is an onus on all of us to make roads safer.”

The motion which was submitted by Mr Horgan on behalf of the Blackrock/Mahon branch will now form party of the Labour Party’s national policy on sustainable and alternative transport.

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