Dublin has become less bicycle-friendly as many cyclists fear for their safety on the road.
That’s according to Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering expert Dr Robert Egan following the publication of the Global Bicycle Cities Index.
While Dublin City was among the 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in 2011, it has now dropped to 60th place and is the only Irish city in the Index.
Dr Egan told The Hard Shoulder cyclists don’t feel “recognised” by other road users, something considered in the Index.
“Spaces that are dedicated to cycling and where cyclists are supposed to go in are also being disregarded in some people’s eyes,” he said.
“[Cars are often] illegally parked in lanes, but then when a cyclist is on the road, they’re being beeped at, honked, pushed past.
“They’re not being treated like entitled road users.”
Dr Egan said there is also not enough policing focused on cyclists’ safety.
“There’s a lack of policing keeping dedicated cycle spaces clear,” he said.
“There’s a lack of kind of appreciation for how frightening cycling can be when you’re being bullied off the road.
“There’s a fear of being subordinated while cycling by traffic, of being bullied.”
The Global Bicycle Cities Index also considered infrastructure in cities, which Dr Egan said is nowhere near enough for cyclists.
“Infrastructure is very badly networked,” he said. “There can be pockets where you’re on the main road and other parts where you can cycle in the cycling infrastructure.
“You can see in the countries with high levels of cycling have fantastic integration of cycling with public transport.
“One of the aspects of that can be really good cycle parking at rail stations in particular.
“That’s particularly important now in Ireland because of the amount people purchasing bikes through the bike to work scheme.”
You can listen back here: