Cork City Council will not allocate specific funds for cycle lanes

Cork City Council will not allocate specific funds for cycle lanes

The Council does not have a separate expenditure code for cycling infrastructure, meaning it is difficult to estimate how much is being spent on developing cycling in Cork City specifically. Pic: Larry Cummins

There will be no money allocated by Cork City Council for developing or maintaining cycle lanes in the city, according to councilors who attended pre-budget meetings.

The Council also does not have a separate expenditure code for cycling infrastructure, meaning it is difficult to estimate how much is being spent on developing cycling in Cork City specifically.

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy said that currently, there are no plans to create a local Council funding pot for cycling infrastructure.

As it stands, any money to develop and maintain Cork city's cycle lanes will come from national government funding.

Cllr McCarthy said that the Council needs a lot more funding in order to invest in cycling properly. "We have no money to expand the Coca Cola bike scheme to Rochestown and Bishopstown."

"Some of the cycle lanes are crumbling but we have no money to maintain them," he added.

"A local pot dedicated to cycling infrastructure should be developed. We need to start building a local development fund for cycling, then people can see the Council are investing."

"The cycle lanes were put down from general road funding. We are dependent on national funding to develop our cycle lanes."

"I also would like to see a dedicated Cork City Council Cycling Officer. We have one currently but they have other responsibilities," he added.

"The Greens brought up the fact there is no separate expenditure code for cycling infrastructure and I would support its introduction," said Cllr McCarthy.

Cllr Dan Boyle of the Green Party said that not having a separate expenditure code for the maintenance of cycle lanes is an issue. "There is no way to measure how much is spent on maintaining cycle lanes. They are just put in with [general road fixing expenses]."

Cllr Boyle said that the Council needs more oversight when it comes to cycle lanes. "Is the damage self-defeating? Are we investing in them properly, how much are they costing, what is causing the damage?"

"Cycle lanes should be seen as a valued part of our infrastructure and should be maintained separately. There is a certain lack of consideration towards cycle lanes, this along with people parking their cars in them," said Cllr Boyle.

"This is equally true at the national level. No money is given to local authorities specifically for the maintenance of cycle lanes, [it comes from general road maintenance funding]."

Conn Donovan, Secretary of Cork Cycling Campaign said that these revelations came as "no surprise" to Cork cyclists. 

"At the moment, if you come across weeds, glass, rubbish, or debris in a cycle lane, you need to ring the Council and somebody takes a message for you. Sometimes it is cleared, sometimes not," Mr Donovan said.

"If the cycle lane is physically damaged, such as near Citygate and on the Kinsale Road, the Roads Department just tend to shrug their shoulders and blame a lack of funding from Dublin." 

"That's all well and good, but when you look at how the Roads department is funded, almost 30% comes from parking income and 47% from rates and the local property tax. So, it's probably more appropriate for the Council to say that we aren't going to spend money generated by the Council from Cork on cycle lane upkeep, and instead, 'we'll point the finger at Dublin for not giving us a dedicated grant'."

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