Friday 19 January 2018

Call for road safety campaign for cyclists

Myles Buchanan

Groups of cyclists are putting themselves at risk by failing to realise the potential dangers when cycling on rural roads, Wicklow County Council was told at its latest monthly meeting.

Cllr Shay Cullen called on the council to launch a road safety campaign for cyclists and motorists alike during last week's meeting.

'The safety concerns multiply over the weekend,' warned Cllr Cullen.

'Take rural roads - say the road from Kilmacanogue to Glendalough - you have large groups of cyclists on the roads, with a build-up of traffic behind them. Some motorists end up taking risks because they get so frustrated. A lot of cyclists don't take the opportunity to pull in or let the traffic pass them.

'Sometimes I don't think cyclists understand the issues on rural roads and the dangers. Often they don't wear high-vis jackets, their front or rear lights don't work and unfortunately, they have no identification.

'I don't want people to think this is an attack. It is purely down to a safety issue. Cyclists provide revenue to our county. They use shops and cafés and that shouldn't be lost in the debate.'

Cllr Cullen proposed that Wicklow County Council launch a road safety campaign for both cyclists and motorists.'

Cllr Gerry O'Neill also expressed his frustration at some cyclists.

'Cyclists have a responsibility as well. It is crazy and frustrating to try and get from A to B only to be stuck behind three to four cyclists chatting away about this and that and holding up the whole show. Maybe we need to erect signage for their own safety advising them to travel in single-file.'

Cllr Brendan Thornhill felt the problem was two-fold, with cycle lanes often blocked up by parked cars.

'I have seen cyclists without lights, not wearing high-vis jackets and going through red lights and cycling on footpaths.

'But then there is a counter-point. In Bray there is no shortage of cycle lanes but at school times and other busy parts of the day, they are blocked up by parked cars. There is a lack of consideration towards cyclists as well.'

Cllr Steven Matthews said that there was a lack of investment in cycle infrastructure, especially when taking into consideration the growing number of people who regularly cycle.

Bray People

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