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Brian Adam
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D12 Bike Bus sets the wheels in motion for a healthier and greener commute to school.

The D12 Bike Bus is setting the wheels in motion for a more sustainable commute, for parents and children, through South Dublin to Riverview Educate Together N.S. The D12 Bike Bus is a voluntary initiative made up of parents, adult volunteers and children, who wanted to have a greener start to the day by reducing their dependence on the car for the journey to school. The bus operates along an identified route with stops along the way to collect children and their parents. The parents and volunteer marshals, from Dublin Cycling Campaign, act as a barrier between the children and traffic. Marshals are used to controlling certain crossings and politely ask drivers to yield for the bike bus – the children’s safety is paramount.

The Galway Cycle Bus was the inspiration behind the setting up of the D12 Bike Bus and after many weeks trialling different routes and refining down the timetable the parents, and children, are ready to officially launch the first Bike Bus within the South Dublin County Council jurisdiction. The aim of the launch is to celebrate their hard work to date; to help raise awareness of their presence on the road and to encourage other parents, or cycling volunteers, to get involved and support the D12 Bike Bus or set up their own Bike Bus

The Bike Bus commences at Iveagh Gardens and travels along Crumlin Road, Bunting Road, Walkinstown Roundabout, St. Peter’s Road, Mountdown Road and onto Limekiln Road where it terminates at Riverview Educate Together N.S. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes and features 6 stops along the way. The bus currently operates every Friday, but there are plans to extend this and to extend the number of routes as interest and the school population grows. If readers reside within the Dublin 12 area and are interested in volunteering for the D12 Bike Bus they can reach out to the school or on twitter: @D12BikeBus

Mayor Vicki Casserly, South Dublin County Council, participated on the D12 Bike Bus as part of the launch and said: ‘I must commend the D12 Bike Bus on such a positive initiative for the parents and pupils at Riverview Educate Together N.S. South Dublin County Council fully supports the development of lifelong cycling skills and the opportunity to gain some valuable exercise on the journey to school.’

Aodhán King (D12 Bike Bus Leader) said: ‘9 children typically ride the Bike Bus each week. That’s about 6 families, so 6 less cars on the road. It also means the accompanying parents can usually cycle onwards to their workplace, thereby enabling further cycled journeys. In terms of safety as well, in the absence of segregated cycleways, the bike bus provides a safe and protected way for our children to get to school.’

Roisin Kelly (D12 Bike Bus Leader) said: ‘Another important factor to the group of parents who set up the D12 Bike Bus is that we want our children to have more outdoor activities. The children are generally driven from activity to activity and don’t walk and cycle enough. The Bike Bus builds a fun, healthy activity into their day and everyone benefits.’

Bike Bus to Riverview  ETNS
Bike Bus to Riverview ETNS

‘We want to promote our Bike Bus so that other road users in Dublin 12 are aware of us on the road in the mornings and to make a call for adult cycling volunteers. If you are an experienced cyclist and could meet us on the Crumlin Road at 7:45 am and cycle with us until 8:20 am, when we reach our destination, maybe you’d consider volunteering.’

Margaret Burke, Principal, Riverview E.T.N.S. said: ‘I was delighted when I heard that a group of parents were going to set up a Bike Bus to our school. I take part myself, with my own children and partner and they tell us how much they are looking forward to it each week. Our son even included in his ‘News’ copybook a story and picture about his ride to school.’

‘From the perspective of the Principal, I can see how cycling gives the children confidence, important exercise and benefits their day at school. They are more energised and stimulated when they arrive and in good form, after their exercise and fresh air. It also provides them with a sense of camaraderie with the other children from the school, as they cycle together, ringing their bells and looking out for each other.’

Ally Menary, Road Safety Officer, South Dublin County Council also participated on the launch and said: ‘the D12 Bike Bus is such a positive initiative in the promotion of safe cycling on the journey to school and shows great leadership from the parents involved. I’d encourage all road users to respect the rules of the road and be mindful of the new law on the dangerous overtaking of cyclists which may lead to a €120 fine and three penalty points.’

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