herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

'Protect vulnerable cyclists', pleads dad of woman killed on bike

Donna Fox was killed in Dublin city as she cycled to work
Donna Fox was killed in Dublin city as she cycled to work
Transport Minister Shane Ross

The father of Donna Fox, who was killed as she cycled to work, has called for more to be done to protect cyclists ahead of a protest in the city today.

Donna (26) was killed on September 6 at the junction between Seville Place and Guild Street in the north inner city as she cycled to work.

She was the ninth cyclist to die on Irish roads this year.

Her heartbroken father Peter has said he supported the protest organised by the Dublin Cycling Campaign in collaboration with Cyclist.ie.

Advantages

The campaigners have called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to look at the economic advantages of supporting cycling and to give cyclists a fair share of the spend of public funds being used for the country's road networks.

They are also calling for an improvement in cycle tracks across the country.

Cyclists from all over the country will gather at the Dublin Bikes stand on Merrion Square West in Dublin today at 5.30pm for a cycle to protest outside the Department of Transport offices on Leeson Lane.

Mike McKillen of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said it was time everyone who used a bike - for transport or leisure - started to work for more funding.

"This comes at a time when we have had nine cyclist fatalities this year already, the most recent of which was the tragic death of Donna Fox," he said.

Peter Fox, who drives a taxi and used to drive a van, said there was a responsibility for all road users to obey the rules of the road, but he stressed that the standard of cycle lanes in the country was not sufficient.

"We have lines painted on roads with a symbol of a bike painted on one side. That's not a cycle lane," he told the Herald.

"We need dedicated lanes that cars and trucks cannot cut in on.

"More people would cycle, and cyclists would be prepared to do longer journeys, if there were more dedicated lanes."

"At the moment, these painted lanes on the edge of roads are being used by local authorities to say they have however many kilometres of cycle lanes, but it is a falsehood," Mr Fox added.

Tight

"Cars and trucks are getting bigger but our roads aren't, and I see places where trucks have to go onto the opposite side of the road when they are taking corners because the junctions are so tight.

"Cyclists are vulnerable in those situations," he said.

Mr Fox said his family, and Donna's partner Anne Marie, were heartbroken since her death. "She was the linchpin in the family - the one that kept us all together. We are lost without her," he said.

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