Where will our bikes take us from now on?
Now that society has begun to open up a bit again, wouldn’t it be great if some of those more positive things that happened in the last few months continue? I’m thinking of the fact that there are now so many more people out on bikes and walking. People nipping down to the village on their bike. Families out together for a spin. Cycling has become so much more normal, it is great. And is it just Skerries, or is there more mutual respect between road users everywhere?
The challenge now is to keep the momentum going and build on this increase in cycling!
This is where Skerries Cycling Initiative could play a truly important role – especially if you help us in this!
Skerries Cycling Initiative (SCI) is a voluntary group working for the improvement of cycling conditions in and around Skerries. SCI is a committee of the Skerries Community Association, established over ten years ago, and is also a member group of the national umbrella organisation for cycling advocacy groups in Ireland, Cyclist.ie.
SCI wants to represent anyone who would benefit from better cycling conditions around Skerries and its environs: Those cycling to work or to the shops; those who tour the area by bike; those who get to school or to a friend’s house on two wheels; sports cyclists, leisure cyclists…. really, anyone who gets on a bike, be it because they want to or because they have to. And also those who don’t cycle (yet) but would love to, if it was easier and / or safer.
New hope for cycling infrastructure!
After years of underfunding, there are now many initiatives and, perhaps even more important, funds coming from local authorities, national governments, and the EU. They all seek to encourage more cycling and walking. The penny (or cent) has dropped with a clang, and our national agreed Programme for Government – currently being voted on by the three political parties involved – puts a lot of emphasis on active travel.
No matter what perspective you take, be it health, climate, air quality or general wellbeing, there is a lot to be gained from more people doing more trips, more often by bike!
This is happening along Fingal’s coast:
- Fingal County Council has just opened the Baldoyle to Portmarnock walking and cycling greenway project – an 1.8 km stretch and a vital first phase of the overall Sutton to Malahide Greenway Scheme.
- An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for the construction of the Broadmeadow Way, a 6 km greenway from Malahide Castle across the Broadmeadow estuary to reach Newbridge House & Farm. Construction is expected to get seriously underway in 2021 and to be completed in 2022.
- Donabate to Balbriggan: That is our stretch of the coast! The public consultations in late 2019 received very positive feedback from the general public. Later this year, route options will be published. Then, further consultations will be held. It is great to see this moving – even if it is happening much more slowly than we would have liked.
So what is needed for Skerries?
While the Greenway running along the coast will be a wonderful amenity, in itself this is not enough to make Skerries a town that is active-travel-friendly for all.
Active cyclists need also to be cycling activists. We need to establish what would be best in our town, and to communicate that clearly to the relevant people in Fingal County Council. A strategic, focused, organised approach is very important for this.
And we can only achieve that approach if we are an active, functioning group that meets regularly. A group that talks through the issues and agrees actions.
Encouraged by the recent increase in cycling, and by the overwhelming public support for active-travel measures, we have decided to get the wheels of Skerries Cycling Initiative back into full swing. Now is the perfect time to join us and become an active member!
Next Friday, 19 June, at 8 p.m. SCI will host an online meeting (via Zoom) to review what is happening and to decide where we can go from here.
This meeting is open to all interested. We want to hear from you!
Be a part of that meeting, and who knows – maybe you will then decide that it’s time for you to become a part of Skerries Cycling Initiative!
- To attend the online Zoom meeting hosted by Skerries Cycling Initiative on Fri 19 June, 8 p.m., please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we will email you the details on how to join the Zoom meeting.
If you have any comments or suggestions, do get in touch – or even better, attend the online meeting!
For Skerries Cycling Initiative,