The first bike library in Ireland has been established at Educate Together National School in Harold’s Cross.
The scheme, which will allow parents to avail of free cargo and regular bikes, that could normally be prohibitively expensive, has been co-ordinated and run by UCD’s Professor Francesco Pilla, of the school of Architecture, Planning and environmental policy.
Speaking to Momentum magazine, Prof. Pilla said that the scheme was “about giving a choice to parents when they are travelling to school with their kids, a choice to use a bike rather than a car.”
Taking inspiration from similar schemes in EU countries, as well as the UK, the scheme will aim to reduce the amount of cars on Irish roads, while at the same time encouraging healthy and active lifestyles. It is hoped that by making the school commute more amenable to cycle traffic, the usage of cars around schools can be reduced.
According to RTE, recent research has shown that increased car usage on Irish roads, or even the maintenance of current levels of usage, will have severe adverse effects on the environment.
The study, reported on by RTE, shows that business as usual will see transport-related emissions of Carbon Dioxide rise by 9% by 2030. In the longer run, if no changes are made to Irish transport habits, a 17% rise can be expected by 2050.
Such figures present enormous challenges for policymakers, as they attempt to achieve Ireland’s increasingly forlorn hopes of meeting previously pledged climate goals and ambitions.
The bike library initiative aims to promote a community-based environmentalism that can promote real change in the lives of commuters. The scheme is welcomed by the European Union, and is funded by the European Commission and the Science Foundation Ireland.
According to a press release, the first bikes to be loaned under the scheme have already been ordered by parents at Harold’s Cross Educate Together.