Over the last number of years, the ECF have witnessed a notable boom in cycling throughout Europe. From pop-up cycle lanes to innovative traffic-calming measures and new bicycle-friendly changes in European societies have helped to improve mobility patterns by encouraging more people to choose cycling as a regular mode of transport and leisure.
Building infrastructure that caters for more cycling induces a number of significant benefits, ranging from economic boosts, to fewer road deaths, to improved health. To celebrate this, the Cycling Infrastructure Award honours the best example of cycling infrastructure that has been implemented in Europe in recent years.
Councillor Mary Hanafin, An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said:
Throughout Europe, many local authorities have delivered world class cycling infrastructure and to have our project recognised at a European level is a fantastic achievement. We are honoured to receive the first award in this category and hope to continue developing the dlr Cycle Network.
The delivery of this project would not have been possible without the support of our Elected Members, the National Transport Authority, Department of Transport and the residents of dlr.
The CMR is an innovative cycling and public realm project, which delivered a 4.5km route along the Dún Laoghaire coastline and within this route, a 3.6km two-way fully segregated cycleway was provided. It was delivered in less than eight weeks as a response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The route recorded 2 million cycling and walking trips in its first year.
The route also recorded a more equal gender split of people cycling (35% of all cyclists were women), which is much higher than the national average. A higher number of children and teenager cycling was also recorded, with parents reporting that they would leave their children cycling on their own on the new route. This promoted independence in younger people but also reduced reliance of vehicles.
Linking together all the coastal villages, the Coastal Mobility Route also enabled the introduction of further Active Travel and placemaking measures in those villages e.g. Blackrock. As a result of its positive impact, there are 16% more bikes than vehicles in Blackrock. In Dún Laoghaire, a 38% increase in footfall was recorded by the businesses.