Decision to cut cycle to work scheme for education staff regressive
Labour Party Senator, Rebecca Moynihan, has said the decision by the Department of Education and Skills to close applications for the Cycle to Work scheme for teachers, SNAs, clerical staff and other staff on the Department’s payroll is shortsighted.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The decision by the Department of Education and Skills to close off applications for the Cycle to Work scheme is an incredibly shortsighted one.
“Now more than ever people are realising the value of sustainable transport and the decision to cut off this scheme for staff within our education system is a regressive step.
“The scheme is not usually shut when schools close for the summer, so what is the justification for suspending this scheme now because of Covid?
“The Labour Party will be seeking assurances from the Minister for Education and Skills that this decision will be reversed. We also need to be assured that other sectors of our public service don’t use this decision as a precedent to close the scheme.
“We should be using this time to encourage people to cycle – get to know their routes to and from work and also allow people to build up confidence in their cycling ability. Schemes like the Cycle to Work have been a great incentive over the years.
“Many people who would have been apprehensive about cycling before, particularly Dubliners, are taking up cycling now that they see the improvements that are being made to our roads and significant changes to cycleways.
“We know that public transport numbers are going to be limited over the coming months and we cannot be in a situation in the next six months where there is bumper to bumper traffic because sustainable transport options aren’t available to people.
“When schools and colleges are hopefully back in September we should be encouraging people to travel to work by bike or foot. We need to ensure that schemes that encourage people to take up cycling are available to the staff who work in our schools.”