Latest Laois News: Audit points to inadequate Portarlington cycling infrastructure
Deficiencies in Portarlington Cycling Infrastructure highlighted in recent audit
Audit of busy Portarlington route shows inadequate infrastructure for cyclists
Urgent works are needed in Portarlington to improve cycling infrastructure, according to local Green Party representative John Holland. He has conducted a cycling audit using the Cycle Route Assessment Checklist designed by Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network. The route audited covers a busy 2km route from Portarlington Railway Station to Market Square and is included as a planned cycling route in the Draft Portarlington Regeneration Strategy.
Mr. Holland is urging other cyclists in Portarlington to use the same audit tool (see link; CRAC: Cycle Route Assessment CHECKLIST | Cyclist.ie – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network) to assess the same or different routes from the perspective of users of all ages and abilities and to send the survey results to him or directly to Laois County Council Roads Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
He is also calling on Laois County Council to carry out detailed surveys of all busy town centre roads and streets to assess options for cycling infrastructure and is also calling on the Council to carry out the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan called for in the Draft Portarlington Regeneration Strategy 2030.
“I have carried out a detailed survey of a busy 2km planned cycling route using the Cycle Route Assessment Checklist. We need to show Laois County Council that work on this route is urgently needed and this survey can be an effective way of evidencing local support for better cycling infrastructure. It is an easy survey to complete, you simply decide on a route to survey, read the survey questions in advance, cycle the route keeping in mind the survey questions and fill out the survey when you complete the route”. Images of the route can be added if this can be done safely and these can be useful, especially of any particular pinch-points or dangerous areas.
Mr. Holland further stated that “using the audit tool allowed me to assess the overall quality of cycling infrastructure on this busy route and I would urge other cyclists to use the same tool and send the results to me or to Laois County Council Roads Department. The results of my audit are far from positive and highlight the shocking disregard for cyclists in Portarlington from a planning and investment perspective. Traffic in Portarlington is worsening all the time and we urgently need to reduce transport emissions so we need to see a proactive approach from the Council in this area to really prioritise sustainable modes of transport”.
Considering the information in the audit, Minister Pippa Hackett said “the audit shows that the vast majority of this particular route contains no cycle lanes and no cycling infrastructure of any kind, and I have written to Laois County Council stating that this route needs to be prioritised. Improving Active Travel infrastructure is a heavily funded Programme for Government commitment and I would encourage individuals and communities to utilise this audit tool to gather data about cycle routes in their area which can go a long way in assisting with positive change in local mobility policy”.
The Cyclist.ie tool is designed to enable citizens to provide feedback and concerns to local authorities on existing/new/proposed cycle routes. Public space is a valuable but limited resource and is maximised when co-designed by the community. Getting as much community feedback as possible is crucial in ensuring that any cycling infrastructure installed is suitable for all users, especially the most vulnerable road users.