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Saturday 23 September 2017

Two-wheel triumph: Fewer than 12 free Dublin Bikes stolen in four years

Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

FEWER than a dozen Dublin Bikes have been damaged or stolen in the four years since the scheme began, making it the most successful such project in Europe.

And there have been very few road accidents with users of the bicycles. Any that have occurred on Dublin Bikes wouldn't necessarily be reported to Dublin City Council, but they would be included in the overall road safety statistics, a representative said.

To date, only three significant incidents have been reported to JC Decaux, the organiser of the scheme.

“We don't see any vandalism because most of the bikes are used nine or 10 times a day,” the representative said.

“They are not being targeted. They are also locked down between 12.30am and 7am.”

There are 33,973 long-term subscribers and 483,752 journeys have been taken in the year to date. The next phase of the bike scheme will extend as far west as Heuston Station and east to the Docklands.

Construction of new bike parks will begin later this year.

Road safety for cyclists in Ireland has improved significantly in the past 15 years.

In 1998, 21 cyclists were killed on the country's road; by 2008 that figure had dropped to 13.

The 2011 census showed that more than 200, 000 people travelled less than 4km by car on their commute to work, school or college.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is committed to promoting cycling as a means to reducing the country's reliance on the private car.

Bike Week runs from June 15 to 23, and will include lunchtime city cycles throughout Ireland, romantic midsummer night cycles, cycles with gardening or foodie themes and free bike servicing.

Avid cyclist Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Bike Week was a great opportunity for people to participate in outdoor events.

“Cycling is a wonderful way to keep fit and relieve stress, whether you use the bike to get to work or for leisure,” he said.

 “It is also a great way to see the Irish countryside. Exploring our cycleways and back roads by bike is a really valuable addition to any holiday in Ireland.

“I'm encouraging everyone who can to check out the Bike Week events, which I have no doubt will whet their appetite for more cycling.”

All events are listed on www.bikeweek.ie.

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