The Dutch spend €750 million every year on developing cycling infrastructure.
Naas Neighbourhood Greenways and Maynooth Cycling Campaign have called for 10% of the Transport Budget to be dedicated to cycling.
That 10% figure matches a long standing government aim that by 2020, 10% of commuting trips will be by bicycle.
The two cycling lobbying groups came together to issue a statement earlier today, noting that they support “increased everyday cycling in our towns.
“By everyday cycling, we mean cycling by all groups including young people, elderly people and women, groups that are either not represented or underrepresented among existing cyclists.
“While people repeatedly state that they would like to cycle or like their children to cycle, they refuse to do so while the existing road environment is unsafe and dominated by motorised traffic.
“This is particularly true when cyclist fatalities occur locally as has happened in Kildare in each of the last two years.”
The statement explains that in 2009, the National Cycle Policy Framework set out a target of 10% of commuting by bike by 2020 although a lack of action by successive governments has meant that there’s no danger of that target being reached.
There is “little provision of cycling facilities nationally and what has been provided is often of poor quality.
“As a result, the level of cycling in the country nationally is estimated at 3%. And 50% of people use cars for journeys of less than 2km.
“If this is to change, expenditure on cycling must be increased substantially. Attaining this target would benefit society, not just those people who cycle. It would lead to a reduction in traffic congestion, reduced air and noise pollution, help to meet climate change targets and result in a more healthy community - in short, a more active and sustainable future for all.”
Their call for 10% of the overall transport budget to be allocated to cycling, is in conjunction with a similar call from aligned organisations nationally.