Tipperary Cycle Lane Waste Of Taxpayers Money

The monetary long term value of a proposed cycle lane, to be developed as a joint project between Limerick County Council and North Tipperary County Council, along the old R445, and due to start in early October (To finish by the end of the year,) must surely and immediately be called into question by those still sane in our community.

Dublin's rough surface cycle paths crying out for maintenance

This proposed planned route will run from the Stereame Roundabout on the R445 via the Carrigatoher Junction in Birdhill, through to the Carrowkeel Junction on the east side of Limerick city and from there to the Annacotty Roundabout, immediately west of the Mulcair River.

The funding for this proposed project has been secured as part of a €4million Department of Transport plan, to create cycle lanes on our national potholed roads, and has been much criticised, even by cyclists as “Poor use of public money.”

Firstly, it seems that no past lessons have been learned by our present government and the nonsense rule of ‘Use money or lose it,’ still remains and continues to dominate the wise decision making process. Under this rule of ‘Using money or losing it,’ as is the case with this project, the usual decision is always use it, regardless of the fact that it makes no sound productive or financial sense.

Many travel groups have suggested that this money could be better spent on more worthwhile projects such as road realignments, potholes, removal of present traffic hazards or on the forgotten town pedestrian footpaths, the latter which presently cry out for repairs here in Thurles.

Many also see this €4million Department of Transport plan, recently hailed by Minister for State, Mr Alan Kelly, as the answer to unemployment in North Tipperary, as being nothing more than a ‘Lets be seen to create jobs scheme,’ that simply ignores the cyclists’ real needs for a safer interaction between motorised vehicles and bicycle riders on our public roads. While this project will create some work for those already employed, it’s benefit to the presently unemployed will be minuscule if any and certainly short lived.

Yes, cycling numbers in Dublin have increased, but are still a long way short of the previous Government’s dream targets, foreseeing 10% of trips to work by bike, being undertaken by the year 2020. Soon, more of the public purse will be spent in the Dublin area, on increased bike parking, segregated cycle lanes, lowering speed limits for motorised traffic and mandatory laws introduced, forcing employers to provide better facilities for cyclists with the introduction of showers and lockers in the work place. It is not unreasonable to foresee a road tax on bicycles now being introduced, after all who would have foreseen a tax on one of mankind’s basic human rights, I refer of course to the limed, chlorinated, Escherichia Coli ridden infected water, currently pumped to many householders in the land.

Before anymore taxpayers money is spent on cycle projects, a mandatory helmet law, under the Health and Safety Act, should be immediately introduced. In Dublin there are presently no helmet laws and while some people using the present bike hire service do wear helmets, most do not.  While Dublin City Council congratulate themselves and boast of their success with their bike hire scheme, note; No city in the world with helmet laws has ever achieved, within an asses roar, the same success as Dublin.

Fact: When mandatory bicycle helmet laws were enacted in Australia, slightly more than one third of bare-headed adult cyclists ceased to ride their bicycles frequently. In the UK between 1994 and 1996, in areas where cyclist counts dropped, wearing rates increased and where the number of cyclists increased, helmet wearing rates fell.

A preliminary breakdown of how €880,000 of taxpayers money is planned to be spent in North Tipperary on this cycling project, is shown hereunder:-

(A) Removal of existing road markings €440,000. (B) New signage estimated at €80,000. (C) Survey work €90,000. (D) Civil Works, including ‘Vibra Lines’, (Latter which make cars vibrate when they drive over them)  €220,000. No money has been set aside for future maintenance and there is no strategic plan which will subject this project to regular road sweeping and the removal of piled up snow during winter months.

Surely if people wanted cycle paths to ride their bicycles to work, why would not have opted to buy second cars, certainly cycle lanes did not influence their decision, so stop the unnecessary waste. Try bringing your 3 children to school in the morning on a bicycle. We can no longer afford to fund the dreams of public servants and the little researched, vote catching announcements by government ministers, which purport job creation. First give the majority road user, which is the over taxed motorists, value for his road tax, petrol tax, car purchase tax, parking tax, NCT etc.  By giving motorists a better quality potholed driving surface on secondary roads, this will also give greater and safer conditions to regular cyclists.

Do other Tipperary readers have views on this matter? Do please raise your voices by commenting here, after all this is your money and not the personal gift of politicians, as they would have you believe.


5 comments to Tipperary Cycle Lane Waste Of Taxpayers Money

  • Chris

    Tbh I would have loved if we did this in the boom-time so then we could say “We told you Minister nobody would use it” but to do this at a time when funding for most roads in the county has been cut is madness. That money could go towards fixing the potholes on the r498 or the slum’s of houses the NORTH TIPPERARY council rents out to people (note* Thurles and Templemore councils though limited in funding actually try care for their tennants and to rent them decent houses). I knew one guy in Bouladuff who sadly passed away, renting a house of North Tipp Co Co, he only got central heating put in his house after he was diagnosed with cancer. That’s a disgrace but it’s typical Ireland and we waste money on stupid Spires e-voting Machines and Western Rail corridors (fares are so high on the Dublin/Cork line to fund the losses on un-viable lines like Nenagh-Limerick etc because government subsidies only go so far). They spend the money on their visions not on peoples needs.

  • Chris, A Question: Since March last and with the sudden death of the Green party, have you ever spotted a TD, (especially from Fianna Fail who promoted this ‘hire a bike system,’) going to work in Dail Eireann any morning on a Bicycle?
    My reason for asking this question is simply that I am curious to know where the TD actually sits. I assume the TD’s driver / police escort would be peddling the bike, but does the TD sit on the crossbar, on the handlebars or on the carrier? Any information regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Is there anyone else out there even who could satisfy my curiosity?
    Or maybe TD’s do not practise what they preach – surely not. I wonder what is the current mileage expenses rate for TD’s who cycle to the Dail?

  • Chris

    When is it going to stop though George all this stupid spending on things that will never be used and poor value for money. If they want to stop as many cars blowing smoke, give Thurles the bypass cause people waste alot of fuel in these regularly occurring traffic jams in the town. Tbh i think all this global warming co2 emission’s are going to burn up the earth use solar panels lifestyle is being pushed on us not to save the earth but to raise money, either way the planet will get warmer and warmer naturally, what melted the ice sure global warming. i believe it’s a myth anyway. We don’t even pollute that much compared to countries like India China the UK etc sure and yet we are the first country to introduce carbon taxes on coal oil etc at a time when we are in receivership sponging off the ECB and IMF just to pay our bills. I can only remember Liberty Square looking like a town square when i was 4 back in 1993 and even then it was crammed with cars.

  • Tom

    As a cyclist, I see more need for a cycle lane through the towns especially Thurles, where doors swing open from parked cars, forcing cyclists either onto the middle of the road in front of traffic travelling behind or into the the person exiting the car. Cycling in Thurles is a precarious journey and I know it is only a matter of time before I get hit! And while I’m here, the pot holes on the kerbside of the road force cyclists into the middle of the road and while I’m here… why are wheels round?

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