Minister of State Malcolm Noonan
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform who formally launched the Cyclist.ie vision for cycling in rural Ireland plan said at the event that a 'cultural shift' was required in the thinking of Local Authorities in designing equal spaces for cyclists and walkers.
'Our smaller towns and villages are in deep crisis; they were before Covid 19 but now they may never fully recover unless we reimagine how we use these important civic spaces. Accomodating the needs and listening to the voices of vulnerable road users is vital to how we do this. This important manifesto outlines a worldview where cycling and walking will become the norm and accepted in our smaller urban centres and on rural roads. The Covid 19 restrictions opened up a whole new worldview to us all; where children in particular cycled around their neighbourhoods with ease and without fear of the noise, pollution and danger posed by vehicles; vehicles that are getting bigger and bigger. We should not waste this crisis and act now to re design everything'
He said that Local Authorities are best placed to make the changes needed but that it is important that the views of those who cycle everyday are listened to. 'Government is committing serious money towards cycling and walking in the programme for government, that level of funding must be met by ambitious and brave plans by our local authorities to make everywhere much safer for the needs of cyclists and pedestrians' he said.