Cycling is becoming more and more popular in Ireland and Dublin in particular, and there have been many initiatives in recent years to promote cycling amongst the Irish. Prime example is the introduction of the Coca Cola Zero dublinbikes in Dublin, an initiative that has grown significantly since its introduction. Between 2004 and 2014, the use of bicycles in Ireland has doubled and the bike safety has increased. Yet, there is ample room for improvement in Ireland. In 2014, only 3% of the Irish mentioned the bicycle as their most used manner of transport, as opposed to 36% in the Netherlands. The National Transport Agency (NTA), the organization entrusted with public transport in Ireland, intends to increase this number to 10% at the national level, which requires a level of 25% in the larger cities. The NTA focuses mainly on improving the circumstances for cycling in city centres, creating and improving cycling routes for leisure, expanding the dublinbikes system, providing fit-for- purpose bicycle sheds, promoting cycling amongst children in particular and enhancing bike safety.
In addition, Ireland applies a Cycling to Work Scheme, a tax incentive scheme aimed at encouraging employees to cycle to and from work. Under this scheme, the employee ‘sacrifices’ some of his or her salary for an agreed length of time while the employer pays for a new bicycle and equipment.
As the Netherlands Embassy in Dublin, we are proud to see that the bike is gaining ground in Ireland. Since cycling is the quintessentially Dutch way of transport, we have been and continue to be actively involved in various cycling events all over Dublin.
A selection of cycling events in Ireland over the past year:
Phoenix Park Bike Week Festival;
National Bike Week Ireland, including Lunchtime City Cycle, Bike Week Photo Competition, ME AND MY BIKE Selfie Competition, Road Safety Authority Interactive Shuttle, Cargo Bike Championships, Bicycle Film Festival, Wheel to Reel;
Cycling Ireland Bike Fest, marking the start of National Bike Week;
Green-Schools National COW Day (Cycle on Wednesday);
Cork Cycling Festival;
Gravitation – Boards, Bikes, Blades, Beats;
The Dutch Cycling Storm!
BeSPOKE – Limerick’s Cycling Festival, including The BeSPOKE Bicycle Exhibition Day