Greens: Cork can become electric bike capital of Europe

Greens: Cork can become electric bike capital of Europe

Green Party councillor Oliver Moran.

A CORK city councillor has said that Cork needs to set a “moonshot ambition” to become the electric bike capital of Europe with 10 years.

Speaking to The Echo, Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran said electric bicycles are perfect for tackling Cork’s hills and may be a great alternative for getting more people interested in cycling.

“I think it’s important that we set ourselves big ambitions.

“Setting ourselves a big ambition like that – what it does is focuses your mind on where you want to get to. It presents you with a challenge then that you can start working to achieve.

“For me, looking at Cork it has great potential when it comes to cycling but there are obvious geographic challenges involved.

“For many people too there’s the challenge of cycling and just getting back on a bike. What an electric bike does is it gets over an awful lot of that.

An electric bike in Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
An electric bike in Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

“Cork has its unique geographical challenges of the hills and electric bikes eat the hills,” he said.

Mr Moran said electric bikes usually prompt people to use their cars less often and therefore have the potential to make a positive environmental difference.

“What electric bikes do for people who start using them is that suddenly cycling becomes something which can rival the car and when people get electric bikes they start seeing that they can actually move away from their car for their daily commute to work or to school or to college or just going shopping in the city centre because they can go further, they’re not intimidated by the hills, they can move faster and they can also carry their shopping on the bikes,” he said.

Mr Moran said that he would like to see a citywide implementation of a 30km/h speed limit as a matter of safety.

“30km/h citywide is something that would be a great equaliser for all road users.

“First of all for pedestrians it makes city streets and residential areas a lot safer but for cyclists too, it means that cyclists and cars are travelling at more or less the same speed.

“It means that you don’t have this conflict for space between different road users because they’re all operating in an area that’s respectful to each other,” he said.

Mr Moran said that there will be a major launch later this month via TMF Cork, Cork City Council and County Council, and stakeholders including Electric Bicycles Ireland and Cork credit unions to “promote electric bicycles as a really viable commuter alternative in Cork City and County”.

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