Dublin are taking a step forward to increase the room for cyclists by cutting the use of private vehicles.
While many places have cycle-lanes implemented (or maybe cycle lines may be more appropriate) it is not going to automatically improve the public making the switch of travelling by bike. Not if they do not feel safe.
Dublin wants to become a cycling city by 2030 – and they are on track with these new proposals, but it will take “political courage, consistency, and significant investment” says Klaus Bondam, former ‘bicycle mayor’ of Copenhagen.
Action may not be needed against cyclists but more towards private cars, a simple fact being that cars need much more room than bikes. Cars dominate roads, particularly in built up areas, but the consequences on our climate are getting more and more worrying. 47 UK places are either on the limit of 10 micro-grams per cubic metre’s or are exceeding it. Dublin’s proposal is to cut the use of private cars altogether, enforcing the use of more sustainable modes of travel, walking, cycling and using the public bus.
58% of people who live in Amsterdam over the age of 12 cycle daily. No wonder it is considered one of the top cycling cities of the world. The key to getting to this level of cycling is the infrastructure, the ability to feel safe on the roads. So much so, most people who cycle in Amsterdam do not even wear a helmet because it is not deemed as a dangerous activity in the Netherlands.
Dublin has been too hung up on focusing on making the roads more suitable for car drivers which has in turn contributed to the climate crisis; now realising measures need to be taken.
Wherever in the UK, we should look to cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen and adopt the infrastructure mindset to improve the roads, the climate and the amount of people feeling safe on our roads.