Dungarvan welcomes Ireland’s first outdoor ‘Learn to Cycle’ track
Ireland’s first and Dungarvan’s newest amenity area was officially opened with the addition of an outdoor ‘Learn to Cycle’ track.
The Learn to Cycle track will allow young children to learn to cycle on a ‘real life’ road structure with lines, signs and pedestrian crossing without the traffic. This latest amenity at Fairlane adds to existing play facilities at the Linear Park, which include slides, swings and climbing frames, along with water fountains with bird feeding points which are a firm favourite with young and old.
With Waterford Greenway close by, the new Learn to Cycle track will also allow for those new cyclists to get some practice before taking to the Greenway proper.
Chair of Dungarvan / Lismore District Cllr. Tom Cronin highlighted how important such civic amenities are to our towns, villages and communities. “People have a new appreciation of the outdoors, and the numbers using such amenities are continuously growing. This new cycle track will give those who are new to cycling a chance to test out their wheels on a purpose-built track. It will be great to see people using this new amenity here at Fairlane Park in a safe and family-friendly environment.”
Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services and Dungarvan Town Manager commented, “This amenity is so accessible within the town centre, and is easily reachable from all surrounding areas. Dungarvan is a ‘Smarter Travel’ town, which means that Waterford City and County Council in promoting the safe use of cycling, this facility will enable children to learn a life skill which will encourage the use of sustainable transport methods and move from over reliance on cars as their only method of transport which will benefit the climate and the environment. Cycling around Dungarvan has never been safer.”
The next phase of the development, a Performance Area is at an advanced stage of construction and is due to be opened in the coming months. When completed the recreation park will include a BMX Pump Track and Skatepark.
Peter Jones, Waterford Sports Partnership also commented, “This is an innovative and exciting venture from Waterford City and County Council, which has engaged with many partners to ensure this unique facility is open to the people of Dungarvan. The facility’s aim is to ensure we have a safe environment for children of all abilities to learn to cycle safely. It will allow us to deliver Cycling Ireland courses including balance bike training, disability cycling, sprocket rocket and Cycle Right in a completely accessible and traffic free environment. The facility will also utilise QR codes to assist parents in coaching their own children.”
Waterford City and County Council’s Road Safety Officer, Jemma Jacob added “We anticipate creches and pre-schools will use the facility to deliver Road Safety Authority programmes such as Simon and Friends and Road Safety Awareness week events. By including a ‘real life’ road structure and two teaching areas, this facility will allow youngsters to learn how to step, stride, glide and turn on balance bikes and put these skills to the test in a mock road situation.”
The overall cost of the cycle track was €50,000 with Waterford City and County Council receiving funding from the Local Government Fund and the Capital Grant Scheme for Play and Recreation administered by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. Works were completed earlier this month by contractors Richard Forristal Ltd.