Kildare County Council has established the Kildare Cycling Forum, the purpose of which is to support the development of cycling infrastructure within the County, promote recreational cycling and encourage commuters to adopt cycling.
The Cycling Forum will aim to provide a forum for professional and advocacy groups to input into ongoing policy and the practical development of sustainable transport solutions in Kildare.
The Forum will be chaired by Councillor Darren Scully, Chairperson of the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee on Transportation, Safety and Emergency Services, with an elected representative from each of the five Municipal Districts.
Membership of the Committee will also include the Council’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh, a member of An Garda Síochána, Cycle Rite, the Kildare Sports Partnership and other cycling organisations. As a sub-Committee of the SPC, the Forum will convene four times per year.
Cycling and walking are two key pillars of the Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2023, with the aim of promoting ease of movement within the County, improvements to existing cycle and pedestrian facilities, and facilitating the development of new cycleways.
While walking and cycling trends vary across Kildare, the key aim of the Development Plan is to actively support the implementation of the National Cycle Policy which is part of the Government’s policy entitled ‘Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future 2009-2020’.
The Forum will also support Cycle Rite, which is a new national cycle training programme for National Schools currently being developed the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland.
In recent years, Kildare County Council has supported and sponsored, through its Road Safety Section, the provision of approved cycle skills and training programmes to sixteen schools.
Each year, almost one thousand students are trained by cycle trainers to deliver training on all aspects of cycle training and road wise awareness, both from a cyclist’s perspective and that of another road user, in particular, a driver.
Welcoming the establishment of the Forum, Declan Keogh has said “the Forum will support and advocate the development of cycling projects within Kildare, promote cycling programmes and activities, while also providing a platform for professional and advocacy groups to input into future policies on sustainable transport.”
Welcoming the news, Barbara Connolly, Cycling Standards Development Officer for Cycling Ireland said “with more and more people taking to the bike for leisure and commuting it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that everyone has the necessary skills to move safely on a bike in the road environment.”
Whether you cycle to work or school, or do so as part of your job or just simply enjoy cycling as a pastime, cycling is fun, enjoyable and healthy. Not only is it good for your wellbeing, it is also good for the environment.
New cycle schemes are currently underway in Kildare, including the Royal Canal Greenway, proposed cycleways in Naas, Kill, Sallins and the Barrow Blueway.