Pictured at the official launch of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Bike Hub which will be used to store and loan out the fleet of DLR bicycles, trishaws and tandems were Photo by Peter Cavanagh
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are working with local partners to enable older adults and people with a physical disability to cycle in the County.
From Monday, June 21st, booking of Trishaws or inclusive bikes will be available via a dedicated portal at www.thebikehub.ie
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to announce the launch of a new free inclusive bike rental scheme that will provide all abilities and ages the opportunity to initially take part in cycling along the Coastal Mobility Route (CMR) in Dún Laoghaire, and will extend to other accessible and suitable routes across the county in due course. Following a collaboration with DLR Sports Partnership, The Bike Hub, and Cycling Without Age, older adults and people with a disability can now book a range of inclusive bikes to cycle along this accessible route.
Cycling uptake has increased significantly in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County and the Council envisions establishing an inclusive culture where people of all ages and abilities can consider cycling as their preferred mode of transportation. There are strong opportunities for delivering great community services and developing new concepts and projects that will continue to place Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown as the most cycle and mobility-friendly location in the country.
Speaking of the launch An Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Lettie McCarthy said:
“I am delighted that the Council and its partners have been able to bring this innovative project forward. It is testament to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s continuing commitment to inclusion, mobility, and accessibility. This project will help to provide active mobility options to everyone, no matter their age or ability.”
This new inclusive fleet includes two brand new electric Trishaws which are designed to carry one or two people with a mobility issue at the front and allow them to enjoy the sensation of cycling with the wind in their hair. These specialised Trishaws require a pilot to safely operate them, and these volunteers are trained and supported by Cycling Without Age who deliver this service in a number of locations around Ireland. Older adults and people with limited mobility now have the opportunity to go on a cycle at an easy pace, taking in the sights and sounds of the coastline of the CMR, whatever the weather.
This new inclusive bike fleet will also have a range of DLR Sports Partnership bikes (a tandem bike, handcycle, and specialised trike) for hire by children or adults with a disability. The bikes will be located at and hired from a new purpose-built unit, located at Dún Laoghaire harbour, across from the existing RNLI shop where they will be managed and rented out by The Bike Hub, which is a social enterprise focused on supporting the community in cycling-related activities. An online booking portal will be available for members of the public to select the appropriate bike and slot they require. The Bike Hub staff will then be on site to facilitate this as well as assist with the correct use of these bikes.
Therese Langan, dlr Director of Service Community and Cultural Development commented:
“This initiative, and others like it, are key to the Council’s aim of developing and expanding our services and activities for those that are mobility impaired giving them more freedom and better quality of life. It has been a very worthwhile collaborative project and highlighted in our Corporate Plan.”
The dlr Disability & Consultation Group (DCG), one of the project partners, plays a role in recommending improvements and greater inclusion to dlr County Council. Their work helps to provide awareness of and insight into the needs for greater accessibility to Council services, e.g. beaches, parks, and new cycle ways. DCG Interim Chair Helena Mollaghan and NCBI Advocate stated that as Interim Chair she “very much welcomes the introduction of the Bikehub project.”
Robert Burns, dlr Director of Service of Infrastructure and Climate Action added:
“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council values inclusiveness and accessibility and would like as wide a range of users as possible to safely enjoy the mobility infrastructure available across the county. We hope that this scheme will be a success and that it can be developed and expanded across the county and, indeed, may become a model to be adopted by other local authorities in time.”
This project has been made possible due to months of planning and collaboration between these partners who are all working to provide all abilities and ages an opportunity to participate in and enjoy cycling. With bookings starting for the Trishaws at the end of June and other inclusive cycles in the coming days, this service will be available throughout the Summer and Autumn months.
Funding for this project has been secured from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Sport Ireland through the Dormant Accounts Fund and Active Dublin. In addition, Canada Life Re-insurance have very kindly donated funding to support the purchase of one of the Trishaws.
To book one of these Trishaws or inclusive bikes see www.thebikehub.ie. Website and booking open from Monday 21st June.
For more details on this project or queries around the sport of cycling for people with a disability please contact Brian in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership on 01-2719506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.