1 January 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Green Party Councillor Colette Finn has said that the state of disrepair many of the ‘Coca Cola’ bikes found throughout Cork City reflects the wider government commitment to cycling in Cork:
“As we start 2020 it is worth reflecting on the condition of the rent-a-bike scheme in Cork. It is indicative of the sad state of cycling infrastructure in Ireland. Although it is a hugely successful scheme in Cork from an activity perspective, its maintenance has been allowed it to fall into disrepair. Broken tail lights which go unfixed mean that unsuspecting users are acting illegally by using them at night.
“I have discussed the scheme with Gerry O’Beirne (Cork City Council Director of Infrastructure Development) who informed me that maintenance is the responsibility of the National Transport Authority,” Councillor Finn continued. “However the NTA as a national body has many other demands on their time and funding. The upkeep of the Cork scheme is obviously not a priority.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that the NTA had established a new office dedicated to cycling infrastructure, but it would focus on the ‘Dublin City Council area’.
“Cork City Council, who only designated a budget line to cycling in their 2020 accounts, are reluctant to take on the maintenance of the scheme without an increase in central funding to go with it,” the Green Party Councillor continued. “Indeed it is unclear with the new city council directorates who exactly would be responsible for this scheme should the responsibility be transferred. There is no designated cycling officer post, and so it would probably be a ‘pass the parcel’ of whose job it would be.
“Cork City Council passed a Climate and Biodiversity emergency motion at its first meeting after the elections. However, without the funding and the political will of Fine Gael in government, then the sad state of the rent a bike scheme will be a fitting example of their seriousness about the issue.”