The Green Party has called on Government to speed up the delivery of measures to improve the safety of cyclists on Irish roads. The call comes as the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD confirms that the Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017 law has been shelved. The Green Party’s Transport Spokesperson Cllr. Ciarán Cuffe said:
“This U-turn is bitterly disappointing and is hard to understand, particularly as other countries such as Australia have had minimum passing laws in place for some time. It seems that the Attorney General has adopted a somewhat cautious approach to these much-needed changes. Over fifty cyclists have died on Irish roads in the last five years and we desperately need to improve their safety.
“In the absence of a minimum passing law Minister Ross should proceed with the improvements recommended by the Road Safety Authority in their recent review of minimum passing distances. They proposed that An Garda Síochána place a greater emphasis on enforcing unsafe motorist-cyclist interactions, and Minister Ross should sit down with the Minister for Justice to make this happen.
“In addition, Ross should instruct the National Transport Authority to fast-track infrastructural solutions to segregate cyclist and motorised traffic, particularly in higher speed, congested locations. Other changes such as implementing segregated contra-flow cycle lanes are also needed in many locations
“Cycling is a great way to get around that can be healthy, speedy and efficient, but Fine Gael and Minister Ross must work much harder to ensure that safety improvements are delivered in 2019. It is unacceptable that plans such as the Liffey Cycleway have been opposed by Fine Gael councillors at a local level.
“With a major global cycling conference ‘Velo-City’ coming to Dublin later this year, 2019 represents a golden opportunity to be the year of cycling from our cities and towns to green routes in the countryside but it requires sustained effort and funding from the Government to make this happen.”
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