Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) has been in conversation with a number of stakeholders on the promotion of an improved ‘cycling culture’ in Kilkenny City; primarily- but with a focus on rural towns and other selected areas of the county also. The initial stakeholders comprised Kilkenny County Council (KCC), Kilkenny Sports and Recreation Partnership (KRSP), Cartoon Saloon. Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce (K-Chamber). The challenge for us is to promote cycling for young people and in particular girls in Kilkenny. The numbers of young people cycling to school in Kilkenny has dropped drastically since the 1990s. “young women were also dealing with social issues such as peer pressure harassment on the roads from drivers and young men; and a general perception of cycling as being uncool”.
We wish to work with partners across Europe who have been successful in working with young people to explore the barriers to cycling in their age group. Our idea is to cooperate together to develop training, education and awareness programme to promote cycling among young people in particular.
Initially the project will focus on the barriers and will explore gender gaps in cycling through conversations with young Irish people. The project will delve into the motivators for cycling with this age group; freedom of movement, independence, low-cost mobility, environmentally friendly transport, active environments and connections with place. Engagement and training opportunities will empower the young people to generate solutions.