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Wheels in motion for more bike parking

DUBLIN City Council is considering the rollout of an innovative solution to the capital's bicycle parking problem.

The local authority has already undertaken a pilot project involving the installation of Cyclehoops at a number of locations.

It is now examining whether to expand the scheme in order to meet the demands of the rapidly rising numbers of cyclists.

Cyclehoops were developed in the UK as an attachment to existing poles, railings and walls.

In a report, the council states 40 councils across Britain and Northern Ireland are now using the product.

"Dublin City Council is the first local authority outside of the UK to install Cyclehoops.

"The hoop offers certain advantages over conventional cycle parking and is particularly appropriate in a city centre area where space is limited and bicycle parking at poles is ubiquitous."

The council says the number of people cycling is on the increase.

"Cycling numbers are up 7pc in the last year and 30pc over the last five years. These increases are set to continue as Government policies are committed to promoting cycling as part of the sustainable transport agenda.

"The Department of Transport has set a national target of 10pc of commutes by bicycle by 2020, which means a five-fold increase in the next 10 years."

To cater for new cyclists, an increase in parking space is required.

A survey carried out in 2007 revealed there are approximately 1,000 cycle stands within the city centre area.

"There is already evidence of a shortage of cycle parking facilities in the city centre.

"If the Department of Transport target is to be met it will be necessary to provide approximately 10,000 cycle parking spaces in the city," the council said.

The majority of the spaces will be provided within offices as a condition of planning permissions.

However, an additional 3,000 to 4,000 cycle stands will be required.

The council pointed out the provision of so-called Sheffield bicycle stands at all locations is "not possible".

"Dublin City Council is now in the process of developing a parking programme that comprises conventional Sheffield stands augmented by Cyclehoops," it said.