In a spin: We're 14th best in EU for cyclists with low death rate
IRELAND is ranked as 14th out of the 27 EU countries for cycling in – and we have one of the lowest death rates.
A report from the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) shows while the bulk of cyclists are Dublin-based, most deaths happen outside the capital.
And it commends the Government for "pushing forward" plans to make cycling more accessible for commuters and students, including the roll-out of the highly-successful Dublin Bikes Scheme to other cities.
But it shows that just one in 20 adults (5pc) use a bike as their main mode of transport, compared with 30pc in the Netherlands and almost 20pc in Hungary and Denmark.
The report ranks countries based on daily cycling levels, cycle tourism, advocacy activity, bicycle sales and cyclists' safety.
It finds that although Denmark and the Netherlands top the poll, Ireland lies in 14th place. The worst countries in which to cycle are Greece and Latvia.
"The main purpose of launching the ECF Cycling Barometer is to get people talking about international comparisons in cycling," ECF project manager Chloe Mispelon said.
"We are constantly asked which countries in Europe are 'best for cycling'. The ECF Cycling Barometer is our way of prompting a debate around five dimensions of cycling we are prioritising."
The report finds there are 20 bicycle sales per 1,000 population, compared with 120 in Slovenia and 100 in Denmark.
A total of four cyclists have died so far this year on Irish roads, which is among the lowest in the EU 27.
"While deaths are not the only index of safety, and a lack of perceived safety will stop many people from getting on bicycles, Dublin would fare better at deaths per number of cyclists," the report said.
"In recent years, the bulk of cyclists in Ireland are Dublin-based, but the bulk of deaths happen outside Co Dublin." The report comes after the recent Copenhagenize Index 2013 which only focused on cities and ranked Dublin as ninth.
Some 7.6pc of commuters use a bike every day in the capital, compared with 2.4pc across the country.
The index described the capital as a "Great Bike Hope", saying the city had "bicycles on the brain". "Dublin's incredibly successful bike share programme has been instrumental in reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape," it said.