Dublin chief set to speak at The Cycling Scotland Conference
As thousands of Irish fans congregate in Glasgow for the Euro 2016 qualifier, one Dubliner visiting the city has a different agenda – to help keep the momentum going to get more people in Scotland cycling. Councillor Andrew Montague from Dublin City Council is today presenting at The Cycling Scotland Conference taking place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, in Glasgow.
Cycling in Glasgow has risen by 207% since 2007 and is further buoyed by new infrastructure and the recent launch of the NextBike Public Bike Hire scheme. Councillor Montague’s speech will focus on the whole of Scotland learning from the Irish experience to maintain momentum.
As the architect of the Irish capital’s cycling forum, Montague has overseen wide-ranging initiatives to sustain a cycling boom in the city. After decades of decline, the number of people cycling in Dublin has doubled since the forum was set up. Councillor Montague proposed and championed Dublin’s public bike hire scheme through the council, he introduced 30kph (20mph) speed limits in the city centre and he has been involved in many other sustainable travel initiatives.
Cllr Andrew Montague said: “Glasgow is doing so much right at the moment to promote cycling. The city will face challenges and resistance to change but the city needs to have the confidence and the commitment to follow through with its plans and support people who cycle. I’m confident we will see Glasgow emerge as a great cycling city. To keep up this momentum, there are three key things that Glasgow, and the rest of Scotland, can do for cycling: Provide high quality segregated cycling lanes on the routes that people want to cycle; provide cycle training in schools; and support the new bike share programme in Glasgow and implement bike share in other parts of Scotland.”
As the host city of The Cycling Scotland Conference, Glasgow has seen a step change in its cycling culture in recent years. In June 2014, the launch of Glasgow NextBike Public Bike Hire, the first of its kind in one of Scotland’s cities, saw over 400 bikes become available for hire in what will eventually become 31 locations around the city. NextBike Glasgow saw over 20,000 hires in the first 9 weeks of operation. The city has also earnt widespread praise for its work in delivering the Connect2 scheme at the Anderston Footbridge over the M8 – the completion of the landmark Bridge to Nowhere. The £1.3m initiative now connects Kelvingrove Park with Central Station using a two way segregated cycle lane. This route links Kelvingrove Park, the residential Anderston community, local schools and leisure facilities and is designed for all ages and abilities as well as providing a new commuter route from the West End into the city centre.
Keith Irving, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland said: “Dublin was recently ranked as the 9th most bicycle friendly city in the world. Cllr Montague has provided the dynamic force behind the increase in people cycling in Dublin and his experiences will be of great interest to the 200 delegates attending the Cycling Scotland Conference. There is progress across Scotland on making cycling the obvious and practical option for people of all ages and abilities – from 20mph in Edinburgh to 100% of primary schools delivering on-road Bikeability Scotland training in East Renfrewshire. With continued focus, commitment and investment we will hopefully very soon see a Scottish city alongside Dublin as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world.”
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Glasgow set to learn from Celtic Connections as cycling in the city freewheels past 200% milestone
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