Latest Laois News: Local TD calls for Bike to Work scheme expansion as Barrow Blueway opens
Ryan calls for expansion of Bike to Work Scheme
Sinn Féin TD for South Kildare, Patricia Ryan, has called for the expansion of the bike to work scheme. Speaking at her new constituency office in Athy, Patricia said:
“The programme for government commits to expanding the bike to work scheme and I’m calling for that to be done sooner rather than later. I asked a Parliamentary question of the Minister for Transport to see if he would expand the scheme to include students and carers.
We have the Barrow Blueway being built at the moment and I have spoken to people who intend to use it to commute to their jobs and to school when it is completed. We must do all we can to encourage those that can, to leave the car behind, even for some of their journeys. I would like to see the scheme expanded to include students and carers in particular. We have tax credits to pay for college courses, so why not for a sustainable transport option?
The Minister replied that his department is in the process of preparing a new Sustainable Mobility Policy following public consultation last year. The issue of widening the eligibility of the Bike to Work scheme will be explored as part of this policy document. The Minister also referred to a three-year pilot initiative for the provision of high quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes for those on low incomes and/or those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged. The scheme has now closed and was the best kept secret, I had never heard of it and anyone I’ve spoken to hadn’t either. I have submitted a follow up question to ask how many applications were received. If we are serious about changing behaviours that will help the environment we need to ensure that schemes like this are given a longer lead time and are publicised better.”