Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Study Visit from County Kerry

17 October 2023

On the 10th and 11th of October, the Dutch Cycling Embassy (DCE) had the honour of hosting a study visit from County Kerry, Ireland. This visit resembles a broader trend, with various groups from Ireland seeking insights into bicycle culture and infrastructure to foster active mobility in their region. 


Day 1 in Ede and Bennekom  

We kicked off the study visit in Ede, where DCE’s Project Manager, Margot Daris, provided an introduction about the DCE and the historic development of the Netherlands as a ‘cycling nation.’ Sjors van Duren (RoyalHaskoningDHV) then gave a presentation on network design, emphasizing the value of an incremental approach to improving bicycle infrastructure. Following this, Hans Voerknecht (Een Nieuwe Kijk) addressed transport poverty and the importance of ensuring equitable access to mobility. The Irish delegation also shared the challenges they face in promoting active mobility in their county, often encountering resistance to their initiatives. It was discussed that framing their efforts differently could help overcome these obstacles. 


After having lunch in the sun, we hopped on our bicycles for a tour through the urban-rural area of Ede and Bennekom. Sjors van Duren showcased the ongoing development of a ‘keep on going route’ (doorfietsroute) between Ede and Wageningen, illustrating how this process is being executed in phases. We also made a stop in Bennekom, a town with features similar to Irish towns, to demonstrate how town centers can be transformed into more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly spaces by removing car parking in front of shops, simultaneously boosting economic activity.  


Day 2 in Utrecht 

On the second day, we welcomed the delegation at our office in Utrecht. After a brief recap of the previous day, Melissa Bruntlett (Mobycon) started her presentation on the impact of design on mobility choices. She stressed the importance of considering the needs of all individuals when designing streets to foster more inclusive and equitable mobility. She also dedicated a part of her presentation to garnering support for your plans through multi-stakeholder communication—a challenge that the Irish group had expressed their interest in. Dick van Veen (Dickvanveen) followed with a presentation on successful street design. He highlighted the value of implementing traffic calming measures and reducing speeds to 30 km/h in residential areas, as these areas are often part of people’s bicycle networks. He additionally underscored that self-explanatory, intuitive street design enhances traffic safety. 


Following these presentations, we enjoyed a lunch and then set out on a bicycle ride through Utrecht. Given the delegation’s interest in designing school zones, we visited a primary school where classes had just ended. It stood out to them that the majority of children were being picked up by bike or on foot. Also, despite certain flaws in the street design, the traffic flowed safely and smoothly, demonstrating that even small changes can have a large impact.  


After the two-day program the group shared the main takeaways, which they intend to apply to their efforts in promoting cycling back in Ireland. It was a pleasure to host this group, and we can’t wait to see the positive mobility changes that Ireland will undergo in the coming years!  


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