Andrew Montague, ex-Lord Mayor of Dublin, gave an excellent opening presentation at the Cycling Scotland Conference at the Velodrome in Glasgow on Friday 14 November. He spoke about the cycle hire scheme in Dublin, which has gone from success to success and the factors relevant in making the scheme a success included:
- Andrew stuck to his guns, even in the face of strident criticism from a radio chat show host, who features on several slides, holding his hands up in horror. This compares favourably with Councillor Alistair Watson of Glasgow City Council, Executive Member for Sustainability and Transport, who said recently that he still feels the pain from introducing bus lanes in the city 11 years ago!
- Reduced speed limits.
- HGVs diverted away from the city centre; a tunnel was constructed from the port to facilitate this.
- No requirement for helmets; take-up in Dublin far exceeded that in Melbourne, Australia, a similar sized city, where helmets are compulsory.
- Price; charges are relatively low.
- Target market: Dubliners not tourists.
- Hire stations relatively close together.
Glasgow and other Scottish cities could learn from this; it was a shame our leading councillors were not there.