Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (272)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

272. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which it is expected to ensure cyclists and pedestrians take appropriate measures to ensure their safety during road use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15651/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Ensuring the safety of vulnerable road users is an essential priority of my Department and the Road Safety Authority.  As in all areas of road safety, this involves a range of measures, but, ultimately, it is also important that cyclists and pedestrians, like all road-users, take responsibility for their own safety. The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the provision of public and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area and the regional cities. The NTA provides funding to local authorities for a range of schemes to benefit cyclists, including the provision of infrastructure, and other measures to improve safety for commuters under the Sustainable Transport Management Grants Programme. We will continue to encourage cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of travel.

At the same time, we recognise that cyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users.  The current Road Safety Strategy, which runs from 2013 to 2020, contains a number of measures to ensure greater safety in cycling and pedestrian activities.  These include: education to promote use of personal protection equipment and high visibility clothing; developing a standardised road safety cycling proficiency training programme for schools; and evaluating the cost-benefit of reducing VAT on personal protection equipment. My Department and I will work with the RSA and the other appropriate bodies to ensure that these recommendations are implemented.