Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Mary Upton

Question:

278 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the steps he has taken to encourage members of staff in his Department to cycle to work; if his Department provides showering facilities; if his Department will supply cycle helmets to ensure safe cycling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15261/02]

Dublin-based office staff in my Department are encouraged to cycle to work through the provision of secure bicycle parks and shower facilities. The use of bicycles by staff located in decentralised offices, though desirable in some cases, would not always be a practicable proposition, given the distance in many cases between their homes and places of work. Field staff use cars as part of their official duties. I have no proposals to supply cycle helmets to staff.

The issue of cycling to work will arise in the context of my Department's application for certification to the ISO 14001, the international stan dard for environmental management systems, which is nearing completion. An environmental management programme setting out a range of objectives, including the development of a grounds management plan for the Custom House – the Department's headquarters – is being finalised. This plan will include provisions for the development of better facilities for bicycles and associated equipment.