23 April 2018

Suspension of part time bus lanes disappoints cyclists

Cork Cycling Campaign expressed their disappointment at the suspension of the part time bus lanes on St Patrick’s St.  Though the traffic restrictions had little impact on cyclists, the group continue to support City Hall’s efforts to alleviate traffic congestion in Cork. The Campaign called for reintroduction of Patrick Street bus lanes in August following wider consultation with stakeholders and after appropriate amendments to the City Centre Movement Strategy.

The group stated that traffic congestion in Cork is an urgent matter that affects thousands of commuters in Cork every day.  Traffic congestion also reduces the attractiveness and competitiveness of Cork, and especially its city centre, as a place to live, work, and shop. With Cork’s predicted growth of population and employment, business-as-usual traffic management and city centre gridlock cannot be the way forward.

The cycling group noted that traffic congestion in Cork is ultimately not a question of roads but of the number of vehicles on those roads.  Providing attractive and reliable alternatives to private vehicles must be a priority for the region. Public transportation is one answer to this problem, but it is not the only solution.

The Cycling Campaign pointed out that cycling, like bus travel, is a highly efficient mode of transport.  Cycling is popular and has been adopted in high numbers in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and even in Dublin. Increasing cycling rates in Cork is readily achievable and would immediately alleviate traffic congestion, especially in the city centre.

According to Stephan Koch, a transport professional in the Campaign, “Buses and bicycles are multiple times more efficient than private cars in terms of transport capacity and use of limited road space. They bring far more people into the city centre and generate more footfall.  Small changes and active marketing would greatly improve rates of cycling in Cork”.

The Campaign called on the City to do more to promote cycling and improve cycling infrastructure, like improved bicycle parking, while continuing to prioritise bus traffic.

The group urged all parties to reject a business-as-usual approach and to work together to increase the attractiveness of efficient and sustainable transport in the region.  Only by doing so would the worsening blight to traffic congestion be avoided.

Cork Cycling Campaign works with local councils, community groups, and other institutions to improve cycling infrastructure and encourage people to cycle, which will also complement public transport. The Campaign’s focus is primarily on everyday cycling – that is, cycling as a form of transport. We also support the development of recreational cycling facilities.  The Campaign strives to improve safety for all cyclists and to encourage mutual consideration, understanding, and respect between cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.