Home News Cycling Advocacy Ireland’s ‘Astonishing’ Boost for Cycling and Walking

Ireland’s ‘Astonishing’ Boost for Cycling and Walking

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A former bike shop owner has secured a substantial financial settlement for active travel in the Republic of Ireland. For the next five years, cycling and walking schemes—including protected cycling networks and expanded sidewalks—will receive €360 million (A$587 million) annually or A$2.93 billion over five years.

20% of Ireland’s transport budget will go to walking and cycling while two-thirds of the rest will go to public transit.

To put this funding into perspective, Australian states typically devote about 1% of their transport funding towards cycling, so the Irish funding is about 20 times higher by proportion.

The population of Ireland is just under 5 million people, so pro rata for Australia’s 25 million population that would equate to A$2.93 billion per year and $14.65 billion over five years

The settlement was secured by Eamon Ryan, leader of Ireland’s Green Party, a former co-owner of the Belfield Bike Shop in Dublin, and founding chairman of the city’s cycling advocacy campaign.

Irish politician Eamon Ryan has just succeeded in legislating possibly the biggest funding package for cycling and walking in world history (measured on a per capita basis).

20% of Ireland’s transport budget will go to walking and cycling while two-thirds of the rest will go to public transit.

Ryan was saying back in January what many politicians have said during the pandemic: that active transport is the future for many cities.

“Unless you resource it,” he said before lockdown, “it won’t happen.”

Most of this article was first published on Forbes.com

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