As part of the Government's new National Cycle Policy Framework, the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, has announced a public consultation process on new guidelines for cycle design in Ireland.
The new guidelines will supersede the existing manual - which dates from 1997 - and will reflect international best practice. The draft guidelines have been developed by a steering group comprising representatives of local authorities, transport agencies and other related organisations and co-ordinated by the Dublin Transportation Office.
For the purposes of technical rigour, the draft has been reviewed and assessed by a group of international experts in cycle design.
Minister Dempsey said - "The National Cycle Policy Framework, which I launched in April this year, calls for a radical new approach to provision for cycling, so that a culture of cycling can be created in Ireland. The new guidelines will be a critical element in the delivery of this objective and in the promotion of a new way of thinking about how we use our streets."
The draft guidelines go beyond simply setting out design parameters for cycle routes. They also address the need to provide adequately for cyclists in sharing road space and the broader aim of ensuring appropriate (and lower) traffic speeds to encourage larger numbers of cyclists.
The Minister continued - "The guidelines are not cast in stone at this stage. Even when the final version is published in the new year, the guidelines will be dynamic - to be updated electronically as is needed."
The Minister said, in conclusion, that details of the draft are available from the National Transport Authority (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he urged the public to submit their comments to the National Transport Authority by Friday 8 January 2010.