Week’s events: Safety at work, fines for cyclists and Cork Airport

3rd July, 2015

I attended a road safety conference this week, which was organised by the European Transport Safety Council. It looked at how to ensure work environments are safe for employees, if, for example, they have to drive as part of their job. The PRAISE (Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees) seminar offers a valuable platform for all those involved to feed into the best approach to take when seeking to tackle and eliminate risks to employees at work.


While there, I announced a number of road traffic offences for cyclists that I am bringing into the Fixed Charge Notice or fines system. There are seven in total and thy represent the offences (of which there are 36 in total) best suited to encouraging good cycling practice. They include breaking a red light, cycling in a pedestrian area and cycling without due consideration. The penalty will be €40 and will come into effect from the end of the month. Fines will be issued by An Garda Siochana in the same was as is the case for motorists and allow for a more immediate way of encouraging compliance with the rules of the road. This is being done with a view to promoting safer cycling and discouraging dangerous cycling habits.


I also announced an initiative from the National Transport Authority, which will see children who are Leap card holders availing of free travel for two weeks across July (6th-19th) on leap supported services, such as Dublin Bus, Luas, DART some Bus Éireann services. This will hopefully encourage greater take-up of the Leap card, which saves commuters as much as 20% on fares, while also offering a financial reprieve for parents during the summer months.


The new service announced this week by CityJet from Cork to London City Airport was great news. Cork Airport has seen a fall in passenger numbers which has been an understandable cause for concern locally. The airport has excellent passenger facilities and provides award winning customer services. Much work has been done in recent times by the daa and Cork Airport management to stabilise passenger numbers and return Cork Airport to growth.  Since becoming Minister, I have met with all the stakeholders in relation to the Airport and engaged extensively with Government bodies on the matter. I will be travelling to Cork on Monday for the launch of another exciting development there, which I am confident people will use in a bid to support their airport and enhance connectivity to the region.


In the Dail this week I took the Public Transport Bill 2015, which is a Bill that is technical in nature, to second stage. I also addressed the Seanad on plans to grow tourism up until 2025.


I called in on the people of Claremont earlier in week, who were concerned, as we all are, about developments in taking place in Greece. A key local issue for the neighbourhood is the status of the mobile phone mast which is located near many homes.