MEETING OF DÚN LAOGHAIRE RATHDOWN COUNTY COUNCIL8 SEPTEMBER 2008"SAFE CYCLING" ROUTE TO SCHOOLQuestion: Councillor M. Baker:
“To ask the Manager if consideration has been given to setting up on a pilot basis a"safe cycling" route to school to encourage more school children to cycle?”
A number of safer routes to school initiatives, including the provision of cyclefacilities were implemented in the past when funding was made available by theDublin Transportation Office for such projects. In recent years, grant allocations have been primarily focused on bus based projects, thus no safe routes to school projects are being implemented as no alternative funding source has been identified.As part of the ‘Cycling Strategy for the County' consultant's brief currently underway by Transport Initiatives, the implementation of ‘school travel plans' and ‘safe route to schools' projects as a means of increasing cycling will be examined. A set of prioritised recommendations will be contained in the final report which would be considered to contribute to achieving the Council's goal of reversing the decline in the modal share of cycling including trips to schools and colleges. It is envisaged that on completion of the Cycling Strategy, the Council will have achieved a policy document containing clear recommendations to be utilised as a means of securing grant allocation from the Dublin Transportation Office should funding be made available and furthermore, as a means of securing funding from the Council's Annual Budget.The Council continues to work in partnership with the Dublin Transportation Office's ‘Green School Project' (An Taisce), promoting walking and cycling to school as an alternative to travelling by car.The introduction of the Bikeability Project , i.e. training of school children in a ‘livetraffic /street environment's the in-school experience is proving abroad to be asuccessful initiative in encouraging school children to cycle safely. The BikeabilityProject is currently under consideration in Fingal and Dublin City Councils.Subject to the allocation of staff, the Council's Transportation Department would be supportive of setting up a similar project. The overall planned cycle network for DLR provided for approx. 100km. A little over 50% of the network is currently in place.