27 Sept 2022

Portarlington parents of schoolchildren demand safer cycle routes

Portarlington parents demand safer cycle routes

A new survey undertaken by parents of Portarlington school children highlighting the need for safer cycling routes in the Laois Offaly town.

Two primary schools in Portarlington sent out a short survey to parents on behalf of the PBA Sustainability Energy Community (‘PBA SEC’) to gather data on attitudes towards their children walking and cycling to school.

The PBA SEC is a community group set up by the Portarlington Business Association with a vision to build on the potential of Portarlington as a sustainable, thriving and energy efficient community and focusing on cross-community engagement to improve quality of life, reduce energy costs and safe-guard our cultural and natural heritage.

The PBA SEC says 319 respondents in total. The responses showed:

  • 79.3% of the school going children live within walking distance of their primary school
  • 93.1% of the children have access to a bicycle;
    70.85% of the children travel to school by car or bus daily, while 21.63% walk and 7.21%
    cycle to school;
  • 99.68% of the parents said they were aware of the health benefits for their children of walking or cycling to school;
  • 94.04% of the parents felt, however, that the routes were not safe enough for their children
    to cycle to school;
  • 99.06% of the parents said they would like to see safer and more segregated cycleways
    around Portarlington;
  • 89.66% of the parents said they would consider allowing their children to cycle to school if
    there were safer routes to and lock up facilities available in the schools.

"A big thanks to all the parents who took the time to complete thesurvey," said PRO Caroline Whitelegg.

"The results clearly show that there is a poor uptake in cycling to school and an overwhelming support for infrastructure to allow safe active travel to school. If correct measures are put in place, the cycleways would be used and help to reduce traffic during peak hours around the town and also promote a healthier community," she continued.

"The group will be contacting Laois and Offaly County Councils and councillors on both sides to see that adequate measures are implemented in Portarlington," said Ms Whitelegg.

The Portarlington Business Association is a not-for-profit organisation set up by business people in the town to advance community and economic development, including urban and rural regeneration.

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