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Bike scheme hits million-trip milestone

One million cycle trips have been made on Dublin city's bike scheme, making it one of the most successful in the world, it emerged today.

The one millionth biker took to the saddle at 7.25pm on Saturday night -- 11 months and one day after the scheme was introduced -- as an AA poll rated cyclists' behaviour the worst among road users in Dublin.

Councillor Andrew Montague, who first proposed the scheme to council chiefs, said dublinbikes had become one of the best around the globe.

"In Melbourne their bike scheme is averaging less than 70 trips per day, while in Dublin it is over 5,000 trips using the same number of bikes," said Mr Montague.

"In Paris 3,000 bikes were stolen in the first year, in Dublin we had two stolen and both were recovered.

"In London annual membership costs over €50, while it is only €10 in Dublin."

Cllr Montague said the Dublin Bike Scheme also highlights how safe it is to cycle in the capital.

"After one million trips, there hasn't been a single serious accident," added the Labour party representative.

"We need to build on this success and spread the scheme across the city."

Meanwhile, an AA Poll on Irish drivers rated cyclists' behaviour the worst in Dublin -- with 38pc believing it had worsened over the past 10 years while only 25.6pc stated it had improved.



Complaints

The AA's Conor Faughnan said results were disappointing at a time when cycling was being promoted, but have to be seen in context.

"Cycling numbers are up, which is a very good thing, and that means that more cyclists are visible on the streets -- so it is not much of a surprise that there are more complaints," said Mr Faughnan.

"Most of our towns and cities still do not cater well enough for cyclists in terms of cycle lanes and facilities, and in fairness many of the comments from AA Panel members made this point."

The same poll of 894 drivers showed just 10.5pc of motorists cycle regularly, with 2.7pc of those on a daily basis. In Dublin 12.7pc of motorists are regular cyclists and 4.1pc cycle on a daily basis.

hnews@herald.ie