I propose to take Questions Nos. 260 and 261 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that at present I have no plans to introduce a scheme for accreditation of bicycle mechanics.
I am acutely aware, however, of the importance of cyclist safety and my Department continues to work with and fund key stakeholders to address how road users behave on our roads in order to promote a safe and respectful approach from all users sharing the public road space.
The Road Safety Authority - which operates under the aegis of my Department - does important work in getting safety messages across. The RSA’s ‘Cycle Smart, Cycle Safe’ campaign directly addressed safety issues for cyclists, including cycling equipment check, Rules of the Road, sharing the road and proper signalling procedures. The RSA continually addresses road safety issues for all road users - including raising awareness of how other road users should interact safely with cyclists - and it actively engages with a variety of key stakeholders across a wide range of media.
My Department also funds Cycle Right and the Green Schools Travel programmes, which help provide quality cycle training for children, to help ensure the safety of cyclists into the future by providing instruction on the safe operation of bicycles in urban areas.