A NEW group called the Rural Cycling Collective is working to make rural communities cycle-friendly for all ages and abilities.
The group, with a strong West Cork voice, has just launched its manifesto which, among other things, calls for an environment to be created in our towns, villages, and rural roads where cyclists are expected and respected.
The collective, plans to foster collaboration amongst cycling groups across Ireland and to jointly lobby local authorities and public representatives for the changes which will entice more people to choose the bicycle for everyday activities. They will also work towards a cycle-friendly Ireland by collaborating with all stakeholders, organising regular events, fun-cycles and campaign actions.
Its manifesto also calls for a map of connected cycle routes to be created throughout local authority areas, to create safe cycle routes to school and car-free zones at school gates and to lower speed limits to make roads and streets safer and more accessible for everyone.
Launching the manifesto with events in Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bandon, and speaking on behalf of the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival, Allison Roberts said: ‘We are launching the Rural Cycling Collective to highlight the needs of areas outside of major cities. We are campaigning for fair distribution of transport funding to regional parts of the country to make cycling for all ages and abilities a reality.’
Katie Mann from Cycle Sense added: ‘We can be a voice for areas of Ireland that have not realised the potential of cycling for everyday activities, cycling to school for children and students, to work, to the post office for your pension or even to buy a litre of milk. We need to change how we develop our towns, villages and rural roads and we need our collective voice to be heard.’
Local cycling events include one at The Bridge in Skibbereen every Thursday for the next three weeks at 2.30pm where Cycle Sense will host cycles to Lough Hyne or Tragumna alternatively. Contact Katie 087 758 9716. In Bandon, each Sunday at 11am, there is a family cycle along the Quay Road, meeting outside the Old Still Pub, hosted by Bike Friendly Bandon. Contact Lucy 087 970 1674.