Green Party councillors on Dublin City Council have welcomed plans to hire 55 new staff to advance cycling and walking projects in the city.
The new roles are funded for the coming five years under a new national funding scheme for sustainable mobility, announced by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at the end of January.
The staff include engineers, programme directors, communications staff, and technical advisors. They will work to advance more projects simultaneously and be used to tap into national walking and cycling funding, which now stands at over €360m a year.
The city’s Green councillors said the new posts could be “transformative” for active travel in the city.
Green councillor and group leader, Michael Pidgeon said:
“Ten years ago I stood outside civic offices, campaigning for the council to hire just one cycling officer. A decade on and we’re looking at hiring over fifty staff for active travel. This is the kind of practical change you see when you put Greens in local and national government.
“There is now a huge amount of cycling and walking funding available – we just need the staff locally to design and spend it. This could be transformative for the city.”
Green Councillor and Dublin Bicycle Mayor Donna Cooney said:
“Cycling infrastructure is the biggest want and need by citizens of Dublin in requests received from the public to the COVID mobility team. Really excellent projects have been delayed in the city due to lack of staff.
“We requested this from Minister Eamon Ryan in September 2020 so we can use our share of one million euro a day to truly reset Dublin as a cycling capital after COVID.”
Green Councillor Janet Horner said:
“This is a big opportunity to transform our city for the better – for everyone! It’s a significant scaling up of our ambitions.
“The move towards sustainable mobilities isn’t just about reducing emissions – it’s also about improving our air quality, public health, efficiency of transport and ensuring that the city is safe and accessible for all.”
Green Councillor Claire Byrne said:
“Having more staff for these projects also allows more specialisation, meaning higher quality walking and cycling designs for Dubliners. It will also free up other staff to work on other traffic issues, so it’s a win-win.
“We look forward to seeing a revised national cycle design manual, to ensure any new infrastructure works for all – regardless of age or ability.”
Notes: The announcement of national funding from 22 January 2021 is here: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/4fc46-ministers-to-fund-up-to-248-new-posts-to-expand-walking-and-cycling-facilities-nationwide/