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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Roger Waters ? ?The Bravery of Being Out of Range? Sat Apr 17, 2021 21:39 | The Saker
Roger Waters, a “one man peace movement”, released this superb video just a few hours ago.  This man is truly a musical genius and one of the greatest people of

offsite link Russian amphibious options and how to debunk a Ukie lie (OPEN THREAD #13) Sat Apr 17, 2021 19:23 | The Saker
You probably have heard that Russian moved almost the entire Caspian Flotilla to the Black Sea, including quite a few amphibious assault ships.  What you might not know is that

offsite link So Who Wants a Hot War? Sat Apr 17, 2021 17:27 | amarynth
by Pepe Escobar and cross-posted with Strategic Culture Foundation It?s not by accident that the Hegemon is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash Eurasian integration by

offsite link Russian official statements about counter-actions to US sanctions Fri Apr 16, 2021 23:58 | The Saker
16 April 202119:28 Foreign Ministry statement on measures in response to hostile US actions The latest attack by the Biden administration against our country cannot go unanswered. It seems Washington

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/04/16 ? Open Thread Fri Apr 16, 2021 22:00 | Herb Swanson
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The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
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offsite link Mainstream media: Failing to speak truth to power

offsite link David Quinn’s selective tolerance Anthony

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

Lockdown Sceptics

Stay Sceptical. Control the Hysteria. Save Lives.

offsite link Deaths Linked to Covid Vaccines are 30 Times More Common than with Other Vaccines ? Is the Safety Re... Sun Apr 18, 2021 15:27 | Will Jones
Is the Yellow Card vaccine reporting system fit for purpose? HART's Dr Ros Jones argues no, pointing to the 30-fold increase in vaccine linked deaths in the U.S in the past 3 months since Covid vaccination began.
The post Deaths Linked to Covid Vaccines are 30 Times More Common than with Other Vaccines ? Is the Safety Reporting System Fit for Purpose? appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Toby Green?s New Book is the Perfect Cure For the Covid Lobotomy Sun Apr 18, 2021 15:16 | Toby Young
We're publishing a short piece today by Sinιad Murphy in which she praises a new book called The Covid Consensus that asks why the lockdown policy has commanded such support from people on the left and right of politics.
The post Toby Green?s New Book is the Perfect Cure For the Covid Lobotomy appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link International Travel Restrictions Likely to Be In Place For Some Time, Says Nicola Sturgeon Sun Apr 18, 2021 13:15 | Michael Curzon
Nicola Sturgeon has warned that restrictions on international travel should not be lifted too soon because of the "big risk" of importing Covid variants into the UK.
The post International Travel Restrictions Likely to Be In Place For Some Time, Says Nicola Sturgeon appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link SAGE Modelling From May Last Year Said Approach Recommended in Great Barrington Declaration Was Leas... Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:48 | Toby Young
Glen Bishop has analysed a paper produced by one of the SAGE modelling teams and discovered an interesting fact: it tacitly endorsed the approach recommended in the Great Barrington Declaration.
The post SAGE Modelling From May Last Year Said Approach Recommended in Great Barrington Declaration Was Least Bad Alternative to Lockdown appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Too Early to Tell If Hospitality Can Reopen On May 17th, Says Minister Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:21 | Michael Curzon
It is still "too early to say" whether the reopening of indoor hospitality can take place on May 17th because of the risk of Covid variants, according to the Environment Minister.
The post Too Early to Tell If Hospitality Can Reopen On May 17th, Says Minister appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

No quality control linked to Minister Ryan handing out €240m in walking and cycling funding

category national | public consultation / irish social forum | press release author Thursday February 11, 2021 17:19author by cyclist Report this post to the editors

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has allocated €240m to walking and cycling projects, including to low-quality projects which are already designed, and new projects to be designed using old design standards.

This is in stark contrast to the UK where cycling route design guidance was updated before the extra funding was announced and before it was allocated. Funding was linked to higher-standards.

While the cycling infrastructure in the UK is far from perfect, the quality of projects in London and elsewhere has started to far surpass the quality of street changes built in Ireland. The higher standard infrastructure in the UK includes Dutch-style designs which the National Transport Authority has resisted implementing.
Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill Cycle Route
Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill Cycle Route

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has allocated €240m to walking and cycling projects, including to low-quality projects which are already designed, and new projects to be designed using old design standards.

This is in stark contrast to the UK where cycling route design guidance was updated before the extra funding was announced and before it was allocated. Funding was linked to higher-standards.

While the cycling infrastructure in the UK is far from perfect, the quality of projects in London and elsewhere has started to far surpass the quality of street changes built in Ireland. The higher standard infrastructure in the UK includes Dutch-style designs which the National Transport Authority has resisted implementing.

The National Transport Authority said that the local authorities included in the announcement today the four Dublin councils, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow; Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Galway City Council and Waterford City and County Council. It said that more funding for "rural" towns and villages will be made in the coming weeks.

The projects highlighted included the Dodder Greenway in South Dublin County Council -- the council only last year installed restrictive kiss gates another section of this greenway and, when the route was being planned, council officials rejected a call from one councillor for better segregation between walking and cycling despite ample space along most of the route and it being designated as a primary commuter cycle route.

Another project highlighted is the Bury's Bridge (Dunkettle) to Carrigtwohill Cycle Route by Cork County Council which is interurban walking and cycle route which mixes walking and cycling on what is shown in a video by the council as little more than a footpath.

The outline of projects includes funding for building long-planned projects, building new projects, and the design of future projects. A list of projects published by the authority does not outline what stage each project is at. The allocation by local authority is as follows:

  • Dublin City Council €49,875,000
  • South Dublin County Council €20,705,000
  • Fingal County Council €14,870,000
  • Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council €34,145,000
  • Meath County Council €12,885,000
  • Kildare County Council €7,730,000
  • Wicklow County Council €7,616,000
  • Cork City Council €29,606,000
  • Cork County Council €15,781,943
  • Limerick City and County Council €17,372,500
  • Galway City Council €11,865,000
  • Waterford City and County Council €13,886,500
  • Campuses, Hospitals and Educational Institutions €3,720,000

A statement by the National Transport Authority today said: "The NTA will be tasked with overseeing and supporting the development of the high-quality mobility infrastructure across all projects. The state agency will also ensure that projects are accessible, age-friendly and maximise comfort to people of all ages and abilities." However, this seems to be the case of press releases including terms like "all ages and abilities" and "high-quality" without detailing any way that such will happen.

National Transport Authority -- which was tasked with allocating the funding to councils -- has long resisted the best international practice of Dutch-like standards for cycling.

The National Transport Authority's own BusConnects project often fails to even follow its own National Cycle Manual. As IrishCycle.com reported in December the BusConnects project fails to even meet the basic cycle track width requirements in the National Cycle Manual -- meaning the National Transport Authority own flagship project has been planned around sub-standard cycling provision.

It is also widely viewed that elements of BusConnects fails to follow the Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, which is mandtory for road changes. The Authority is planning footpath narrowing and road widening in a number of locations including the north Docklands and Phibsborough.

After IrishCycle.com requested comment today, the Department of Transport referred back to a statement it gave on February 5, it relation to a future article covering how Minister Eamon Ryan endorsed sub-standard infrastructure.

In that statement, the Department referred to the establishment of the National Transport Authority Cycle Design Office, which was set uo under former Minister Shane Ross.

It then pointed to the new fund for walking and cycling in towns and villages, but did not give any details on how higher standards would be ensured on such project funding. According to the announcement today, this town and village funding is now expected to be allocated with an incredibly quick turn around time within two months of when some councillors in local authorities were first briefed about the funding, leaving little time for quality control.

The Department said: "In January Minister Ryan announced funding will be provided to local authorities across the country to establish dedicated active travel units. This is a potentially transformative intervention as many stakeholders have recognised the lack of adequate, dedicated resources in local authorities was inhibiting the development and roll-out of high-quality active travel infrastructure" -- this too was covered by IrishCycle.com, but there was no detail on how the words high-quality would translate into high-quality infrastructure on the ground.

The Department added: "Finally funding provided by the Department will support the review of the National Cycle Manual, which is due to commence shortly and is expected to be completed by the summer. Finalisation of this revised and improved NCM will be accompanied by an extensive training programme by the NTA to ensure the NCM’s principles of high-quality and accessible design are embedded in the work of local authorities and other relevant stakeholder."

But, today, did not outline how a review of the National Cycle Manual could apply to projects which are going to be tendered for to be built or designed before the manual review is completed. In the UK, new guidance was issued quickly by its Department of Transport before funding allocation.

The original drafting of the National Cycle Manual took years and is viewed by most cycling campaigners in Ireland to be defective in allowing councils to pick from the lowest quality options and state that the project complies with the manual.

Dermot O'Gara, a spokesperson for the National Transport Authorly said: “All the schemes and projects are governed by NTA cycle design guidance.”

Related Link: https://irishcycle.com/2021/02/11/no-quality-control-linked-to-minister-ryan-handing-out-e240m-in-walking-and-cycling-funding/
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