Cycling Ireland and Cyclist.ie have come together to form a strategic partnership to promote and advocate for the development of cycling on the island of Ireland.
With the numbers of people cycling at an all-time high, this synergy promises to be an exciting new project which will allow both bodies to advocate more effectively for cycling.
Cycling Ireland is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in Ireland, with an aim of promoting cycling as an accessible and enjoyable pursuit, and Cyclist.ie is the umbrella network for the majority of cycle advocacy groups in Ireland, with a vision of cycling becoming normal part of transport and everyday life in Ireland.
The alignment between the two should strengthen the message for cycling in Ireland, and help increase the voice of cycling across the island of Ireland.
While Cycling Ireland has historically focused on the sport of cycling, CEO Geoff Liffey recognises the link between people cycling their bikes for transport and those cycling for recreational purposes.
In the 2014 Strategic Plan published by Cycling Ireland advocacy was identified as one of the six strategic goals of the organisation, as suggested by its members.
The Strategic Plan which is for 2015-2019 aims that “Cycling Ireland will be recognised for its role in the promotion of cycling as a safe and enjoyable recreational and transport activity.”
Liffey believes the relationship between Cycling Ireland and Cyclist.ie will help achieve this goal saying “Cyclist.ie already do great work with promoting cycling for transportation, utility and leisure in Ireland. They played a big part in the National Cycle Policy Framework, and as a member of the European Cyclist’s Federation they are on the pulse of what is happening in other cities in Europe.”
“We are excited to work with Cyclist.ie on working to improve the cycling culture in Ireland. We have almost 30,000 Cycling Ireland members; many of these people are also commuters so the aims and goals of Cyclist.ie also concern our members. This alignment should strengthen our presence as cyclists, as together we can speak louder with a single voice representing cycling in Ireland.”
Colm Ryder, chairperson of Cyclist.ie adds “This strategic union between Cycling Ireland and Cyclist.ie will add a new dimension to lobbying and advocating for cycling development in Ireland, and in harnessing the energy of Cycling Ireland members to push for local recognition of cyclists within the transport infrastructure, and improving conditions for cycling generally.”
“It is an important time in the context of climate change and public health, and the need for society to make bold decisions in favour of sustainable transport and active travel. The different strengths of both organisations will help to make the cycling message stronger and encourage these positive decisions.”
This union is expected to be welcomed by members of both organisations and will go some distance towards creating a better environment to encourage more people to cycle.