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Monday, March 20, 2023

Questions raised about benefit of sending delegation from Wexford County Council to Amsterdam

Plans to send a delegation from Wexford County Council to the Netherlands to take part in an ‘Active Travel Study Tour’ were criticised by Councillor Diarmuid Devereux, who encouraged fellow members to consider the optics of such trips.

he trip, which will be funded by  the National Transport Authority (NTA), is aimed at informing the county’s active travel plans going forward. It will take place from May 21 to 24 and it is yet to be decided who will attend.

“We’re being asked to nominate someone to cycle around Amsterdam for four or five days to come back and give us a report on bicycle lanes,” said Councillor Devereux at the February Council meeting, pointing to the fact that only a few months ago, they made the decision to increase property tax.

“And then we go and tell the public – and it doesn’t matter where this money comes from – we turn around and tell them we’re increasing the number of people going to Savannah. There will be only a few of us left on the lorry on St Patrick’s Day. Not long after that, we are going to send a delegation to cycle around Amsterdam.

Do people actually understand how this sounds to ordinary people out on the street?”

Cllr Devereux queried whether the Council would be sending the engineer on the trip, saying that “that’s who should be going”.

This point was echoed by Cllr Anthony Donohoe, who said he wouldn’t send a building contractor to research potatoes in Australia.

“It’s the local engineer that’s going to be dealing with where they go in. I think we need to send the right expertise.”

This was supported by Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, who said that engineers and those who will be dealing with the technical aspects of the new cycle lanes should be the ones going on the trip.

Chairperson Councillor Donal Kenny said that he agreed that the engineers would be “best equipped to deal with the cyclists”.

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