DEVELOPMENT of cycling infrastructure in Cork city will remain at “a snail's pace” without adequate funding, it has been warned.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for a dedicated Cycling Officer to be put in place for Cork city.
“We need to create a stronger cycling strategy. For me, we are only scratching the surface with the potential of cycling in the city. A dedicated Cycling Officer can bring a lot more to joined-up thinking,” Cllr McCarthy said.
He said there are just a small number of voices in the Council Chamber who speak about the need for cycling due to the variety of funding needs.
“At the budget estimates meetings last September, the Council had to choose between repair of footpaths or a local cycling funding pot.
"The majority wanted footpath repair, which is fair enough – but we shouldn’t be in a situation, where one has to choose between two important pieces of infrastructure,” Cllr McCarthy said.
“Much of the funding for cycling infrastructure is highly dependent on central government funding.
"At this moment in time without an uplift in interest in the Council chamber and in local funding, the development of cycling in the city will remain at a snail's pace for the foreseeable future, which is very regrettable,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the disrepair of many of the ‘Coca Cola’ bikes in Cork city.
Green Party Councillor Colette Finn has said it reflects the wider government commitment to cycling in Cork: “Although it is a hugely successful scheme in Cork from an activity perspective, its maintenance has been allowed it to fall into disrepair.
"Broken tail lights which go unfixed mean that unsuspecting users are acting illegally by using them at night,” she said.
Maintenance is the responsibility of the National Transport Authority, however, Cllr Finn continued: “The NTA as a national body has many other demands on their time and funding. The upkeep of the Cork scheme is obviously not a priority.
"Cork City Council passed a Climate and Biodiversity emergency motion at its first meeting after the elections.
"However, without the funding and the political will of Fine Gael in government, then the sad state of the rent a bike scheme will be a fitting example of their seriousness about the issue."