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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Iran ? New Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Sat Sep 18, 2021 17:13 | amarynth
Peter Koenig and PressTV On 17 September 2021 Iran has become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). It is an extraordinary achievement and new beginning for US

offsite link Russia Responded to an American Strategic Ruse With the S-500 (Sonar 2050) Sat Sep 18, 2021 06:28 | Leo V.
Translated and subtitled by Leo. The government’s trials of the S-500 Promitey have entered its final stage and will be completed this year. The system became an answer to the

offsite link Saker message to the community: we need your help. Fri Sep 17, 2021 17:26 | The Saker
Dear friends I wish we lived in a perfect world, populated by perfect people, and nobody would ever have to worry about or, even less so, ask for financial help

offsite link (Neo)Liberalism and its Discontents Fri Sep 17, 2021 16:24 | amarynth
by Francis Lee for the Saker Blog FROM CLASSICAL LIBERALISM TO NEO-LIBERALISM The contemporary neo-liberal coalition consisting politically of a centre-left, centre, and centre-right ? what we might call the

offsite link Iran?s Raisi gave Resistance ?presidential? treatment at swear-in: Hezbollah?s No. 2 Fri Sep 17, 2021 15:06 | amarynth
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The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Minister Catherine Martin: Not fit to serve

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Public Inquiry >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link After Vaccine Passports Were ?Scrapped?, Government Refuses To Rule Out Passes for Pubs Thu Sep 16, 2021 15:32 | Michael Curzon
The Health Secretary has confirmed that vaccine passports could be introduced for pubs later this year if "something happens", but remains coy about what exactly "something" means.
The post After Vaccine Passports Were ?Scrapped?, Government Refuses To Rule Out Passes for Pubs appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Ethical Bankruptcy of Vaccinating 12-15 Year-Olds Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:53 | Toby Young
We're publishing an original piece on the Daily Sceptic today by a senior pharmaceutical company executive setting out the ethical case against vaccinating healthy 12-15 year-olds.
The post The Ethical Bankruptcy of Vaccinating 12-15 Year-Olds appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Headteachers Told To Call Police if People Protest Against Vaccination of Healthy Teenagers Outside ... Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:05 | Michael Curzon
Headteachers have been told to call the police if parents concerned about the vaccination of their healthy teenager children against Covid ('anti-vaxxers', as the media puts it) protest outside school gates.
The post Headteachers Told To Call Police if People Protest Against Vaccination of Healthy Teenagers Outside School Gates appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Wed Sep 15, 2021 23:59 | Michael Curzon
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Pfizer Set to Seek Approval for Its Covid Vaccine in U.S. Babies This Winter Wed Sep 15, 2021 19:30 | Michael Curzon
Pfizer is planning to seek approval for its Covid vaccine in babies as young as six months in the U.S. this winter and is also set to seek approval for its jab in 5-11 year olds in America and across Europe.
The post Pfizer Set to Seek Approval for Its Covid Vaccine in U.S. Babies This Winter appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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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