North Down cyclists celebrate Bike Week with Dublin Lord Mayor

Photo of cyclists with Mayor Montague (Cllr James McKerrow, Mayor Montague,
former Mayoress Eunice McKerrow, Campaign Co-ordinator
Mary Lappin, Cllr Andrew Muir and
Sustrans Ranger Jackie Mitchell)
Cycling enthusiasts from across North Down headed to Dublin on Saturday 23 June 2012 to celebrate Bike Week with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Andrew Montague. Mayor Montague has championed cycling initiatives across the city since his election and is widely credited as a man behind the successful Dublin Bikes hire scheme.

A number of cyclists from North Down’s Bicycle friendly Borough campaign attended a formal reception at The Mansion House along with former Mayor of North Down Cllr James McKerrow and Sustrans Ranger Cllr Andrew Muir.

Whilst some let the train take the strain others used peddle power from Bangor to Dublin as part of the Co-operation Ireland Maracycle.

Commenting on the event, campaign co-ordinator Mary Lappin stated “With Dublin now known as a Cycle friendly City we were delighted to accept the invitation to meet the Lord Mayor. During our visit we were able to find out how Dublin has been able to deliver so many changes to make cycling more attractive. From bike racks outside the Mansion House to the Dublin Bikes Scheme and many new cycle paths The Lord Mayor has delivered real change which we hope to replicate in North Down.”

North Down cyclists at Mansion House, Dublin (Cllr James McKerrow,
Cllr Andrew Muir,  former Mayoress Eunice McKerrow, Sustrans Ranger Jackie Mitchell
plus Campaign Co-ordinator Mary Lappin)
Commenting on the event Cllr James McKerrow remarked “I was impressed by how quickly Dublin has embraced the growing cycle infrastructure in the City.  It is low cost with big benefits in ease of movement and health outcomes.  We need to study this with some seriousness”

Local bicycle shop owner Paul Smith from Bikeworks Bangor cycled from Bangor to Dublin and commented “I was very impressed with the secure cycle parking provided within a ground floor multi story carpark by Dublin City Council and hope this can also be provided in Northern Ireland”.

Bicycle friendly Borough
Campaign Co-ordinator Mary
Lappin with Mayor Montague 
One of the most useful lessons I learnt from our visit is the need to highlight the enormous benefits cycling delivers and the relatively small cost of bicycle friendly initiatives compared to other transport solutions. We look forward to building upon the engagement with Mayor Montague to learn how North Down can lead the way as North Down’s premier Bicycle friendly Borough. Remaining challenges such as need to upgrade remaining sections of the North Down Coastal Path shall be overcome!