Road safety advocate slams Cork City Council's lack of cycling funding

"Cork can show Dublin the way if they have the vision to."
Road safety advocate slams Cork City Council's lack of cycling funding
Parking in the cycle lane is dangerous, according to road safety campaigner Neil Fox. Picture: Cork Cycling Campaign.

Neil Fox, a road safety advocate and cycling campaigner, has slammed Cork City Council's decision to not create a local funding pot for cycling infrastructure.

Neil also says he believes Cork has the potential to lead the way for good cycling infrastructure in Ireland and to be better than Dublin in terms of cycle safety.

Neil is originally from Dublin but lives in Montenotte. His sister Donna Fox died three years ago today in a cycling accident in Dublin city.

Neil is now a spokesperson for the Irish Road Victims Association and says cyclists' safety should be just as important as other road users.

"The Council need to have some guts and make Cork city a leader on cycle safety in urban spaces. We have such a beautiful city that is ideal for cycling, we need to invest in cycling, not see it as an extra."

"Cycling infrastructure is not a pipe dream, it's not a pat on the back to keep us happy, it's vital for our city. Children especially should be cycling to and from school, but instead, their parents have too many safety fears [so] they drive them."

Neil also points out how traffic congestion is a major issue in Cork. "We have too many private cars in this city, car dependency is ridiculous. Every year 1700 new cases of asthma are diagnosed due to traffic pollution in Ireland."

"Cycling infrastructure will encourage more of us to get on a bike. It's a healthier, greener and better way to get about the city and its outskirts. Cycling should be the norm," he told The Echo.

Commenting on Cork's current cycling infrastructure, Neil says improvements are needed.

Neil Fox, road safety advocate, with his late sister Donna.
Neil Fox, road safety advocate, with his late sister Donna.

"The badly maintained cycle lanes show the disdain afforded to cyclists in general. The lanes should be respected and maintained like any other road space."

"I think we need better segregation [between the roads and the cycle lanes], but let's get what we already have right first."

"That means ensuring cycle lanes are clearly marked, the paint is maintained, bollards are in place, and the bollards are replaced if they are damaged by cars."

"Parking in bike lanes is a huge hazard, and that is a persistent problem here. It's a miracle there are not more collisions than there are," says Neil.

In terms of solutions, Neil has some ideas. "I believe that cycle lanes should be raised above the normal road, and very clearly marked. Plastic wands... seem a plaster over a bad wound in need of more attention, but I do think they are better than nothing."

"Cork City Council ought to set up funding themselves towards cycling and cycling promotion. Cork can show Dublin the way if they have the vision to."

"We need councillors with backbone, unfettered by voting concerns and focused on the good of the city and it's people."

The advocate also believes cycling could bring some prosperity to Cork. "Personally I think cycling tourism is something that needs to be looked at for Cork. It makes sense economically even."

More in this section

Sponsored Content