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Cycling & Census 2022

  • 27-05-2021 10:42pm
    Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭

    I was thinking recently about how the % of people cycling might have increased by a few % and what impact that might have on future infrastructure planning as spending and planning is based off the census figures.

    It occurred to me that even if there was a 5-8% bump in the numbers regularly cycling, it might not drive that much additional positive change based on how things have gone in the past and how changes to infrastructure have been received during covid.

    However there is one thing that I think may force the hands of local authorities and govt into increasing the quality and quantity of safe cycling infrastructure and that is the growth of cycle buses.

    For those not aware, a cycle bus is a collection of parents and kids cycling in the morning to the local primary schools with a set route and schedule. It started in 2018 in Galway city with one parent/teacher doing it with his own and the kids & parents in his school and it has grown exponentially over the last 2-3 years where there are now 5 I think in Galway alone, several in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Kerry too I believe.

    One of the great things that have come out of these is kids who were escorted for a year have basically graduated after they gained the skills and confidence to cycle on their own. In addition these kids often motivate their mates to cycle too due to a variety of reasons.

    As a result the amount of bikes in schools being served by cycle buses has exploded while the amount in the buses themselves has remained more or less constant.

    Another example is school streets, where they close off a school area to through traffic, essentially pedestrianizing it for a few hours a day. The current % of children cycling to primary school is less than 3%. A school streets program for one primary school in Galway has brought that to near 13% for that school or greater than 4 times the national avg, in one year, for one school.

    So, in areas where cycle buses are in operation the %'s will be a lot higher and to a lesser extent, the same will apply for the few areas that are part of the govt funded school streets program.

    To sum up, I think (hope) that the growth of cycle buses will push these %'s higher all over the place over the next year so that come census, the figures will show that there are hundreds of kids mixing with motor traffic and that the onus is on the govt & councils to ensure they can get to and from schools safely.

    But alas, who knows if they will take this seriously or just plod along until x number of kids are killed and it takes mass protests to get something done.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,634 ✭✭✭✭zell12

    They already have similar
    Question 17 - How do you usually travel to work, school or college?
    Question 18 - What time do you usually leave home to go to work, school or college?
    Question 19 - What distance is your journey from home to work, school or college and how long does it usually take?
    The replies to questions 17, 18 and 19 in conjunction with the address where people work will provide valuable information on commuting patterns for planning public transport infrastructure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    That's what I am referring to. The answers to those questions are going to see several % points of a shift

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    Here's an example of what I was referring to.

    The school in Galway had 79 students cycling today, and 66 last Friday

    The current census figures put the rate of primary students cycling to school, nationwide at 3%.

    This school, with 509 students (DoE data) had a percentage of between 13-15.5%

    Thats 4-5 times the national rate

    There are currently 7.4k primary school kids in Galway city spread across 23 schools. As of earlier this month, there are now cycle buses serving 10 of these schools.

    My guess is by this time next year there will only be 4-5 without cycle buses.

    Imagine the % of primary school kids cycling in Galway then. Will make it next to impossible for GCC, NTA, TII, Dept of Transport/Education, RSA etc to ignore and hopefully force their hands into implementing a fully segregated, protected bike network in Galway.

    Other places are getting on board with this too, with I think, 5-6 cycle buses in Dublin too

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    Another cycle bus started up this week, this time in Fingal

    Maybe it'll grow to be as large as the Limerick one

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    A further push to get more kids cycling

    The more of this the better. Hopefully we will see this + cycle buses translate into far higher numbers in the census which will force a change in attitudes from local councils wrt safe cycling infrastructure

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,605 ✭✭✭what_traffic

    DaCor wrote: »
    The more of this the better. Hopefully we will see this + cycle buses translate into far higher numbers in the census which will force a change in attitudes from local councils wrt safe cycling infrastructure

    Not sure, am hoping the same. We now have a Central Gov throwing money at the Council's who don't have the skill sets or staff to actually do the work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    The impact a cycle bus has had in a short period of time.

    Note, its not 112 bikes that use the cycle bus, but rather previous years students graduating to cycling on their own

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,220 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    I find that all the more impressive because I think Galway really is a hateful place to cycle and given it's size, it really shouldn't be

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,709 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    Exactly, it is already, for the most part, a 15 min city at its current size.

    To be honest, it wouldn't take a lot to fully kit it out with a proper network of protected lanes. Now thats a trial I'd pay to see happen

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,605 ✭✭✭what_traffic

    Considering the suburban location of this School its impressive alright. The School is on the Rahoon/Clybaun border, but most of the students who attend are from Clybaun/Knocknacarra and Cappagh Road. A lot of the housing in this area was built around car led planning (last 30 yrs) rather than for people who walk or cycle,

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