Limerick's David Wallace urges city to get cycling

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan TD, was today (Monday, December 8) joined by Cllr Maria Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and Council, Hugh Creegan, Deputy CEO of the National Transport Authority and Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland at the Savoy Hotel on Henry Street to officially launch the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes in Limerick.

Launched today with the help of former Irish and Munster rugby player and Limerick native, David Wallace, the scheme when fully complete, will see 23 stations and 215 bikes located throughout Limerick city. It follows the recent launch of the scheme in Galway with the bikes also going live on the streets of Cork over the coming weeks.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister O’Sullivan said: “I’m delighted to officially launch the Coca‑Cola Zero bikes in Limerick today and would like to congratulate everyone involved in the project. Limerick City is one of three centres in Ireland that is to become Ireland's First Smarter Travel Demonstration Areas. Great progress has been made in this respect and the roll-out of the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes today provides another smarter travel option for the people of Limerick. It’s great to see the fantastic and accessible network of bike stations, covering everywhere from O’Connell Avenue to King John’s Castle. This spread will benefit our city’s visitors as they enjoy the sights of Ireland’s first City of Culture; commuters as they travel between meetings or to their bus stop; and leisure bike users as they enjoy a weekend cycle or a shopping trip around the city.

“The roll-out of the Coca‑Cola Zero Bike scheme will make cycling more convenient and accessible in the city and in turn I hope it will increase the uptake and enjoyment of cycling. I want to urge everyone to get out of their cars and onto bikes as we move into 2015.”

Cllr Maria Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Limerick said: “The roll out of the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes promotes a form of public transport that is healthy, inexpensive, and is central to delivering on the objective of establishing Limerick as a successful Smarter Travel Demonstration City,” she said. “Limerick City and County Council, through Limerick Smarter Travel, has been very active during the last couple of years in terms of getting people to consider alternative, more sustainable travel methods and I think this public bike scheme also makes the city centre a more attractive and comfortable location to visit ensuring an improved quality of life in the city's natural and built environment.”

Former Irish and Munster rugby player and native of Limerick city, David Wallace said, “I am delighted to be part of the launch of the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes in Limerick. It’s great to see the plans come to life and today see people cycling to their destinations across the city. These bikes will be great resource for the city, helping people to get more active and offering another option for their commute. If you register before the end of the year the yearly subscription of the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes is only €5 – I registered this morning and I would encourage others to log on and subscribe today.”

Hugh Creegan, Deputy CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “We are delighted to be in Limerick this morning, launching this exciting and dynamic bike scheme in the city. The public bikes scheme has proved extremely popular over the past 5 years in Dublin (and over the past fortnight in Galway), and we are confident that people living in, working in and visiting Limerick will really enjoy this new option that is now available to them for getting around the city. From Mary Immaculate College to King John’s Castle, from O’Callaghan Strand to Newtown Mahon, we’ve located the Coca‑Cola Zero bike stations conveniently throughout the city to ensure the best possible experience for tourists, commuters and leisure users alike. We are grateful to the local authorities for all their assistance and support in the development of the infrastructure on the ground.”

In May of this year the Rothar Nua consortium was awarded the contract for the provision of public bike schemes in the cities of Limerick, Cork and Galway by the National Transport Authority, with capital funding of €5.1 million for these schemes being provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Coca‑Cola’s partnership for the regional schemes made the roll out possible with an almost €3 million investment over the next five years.

Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “It’s great to see the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes live on the streets of Limerick today. We launched the Coca‑Cola Zero bikes in Galway a fortnight ago and we’ve seen great enthusiasm for them so far. I’m sure the scheme will be just as popular here in Limerick. We hope that our investment in Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes will make cycling more accessible to the people of Limerick, Galway and Cork, helping to create a culture of cycling and encouraging more active lifestyles.”

To register today for an annual subscription to Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes of just €5 log onto www.bikeshare.ie.

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Media contact:

Sara Morris, National Transport Authority, 0863858431

Note to Editor:

The people of Limerick are being invited to sign up for Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes at www.bikeshare.ie to receive an annual subscription for €5. This special offer extends to the end of 2014. When a bike user registers for an annual subscription they will receive a Welcome Pack in the post containing details of how to use the scheme and a subscription card.

For Customer Care, please dial 0818 44 44 77. This can be used for customers seeking assistance or further information on the scheme. Additionally, an App (Bikeshare.ie) is now available for download for iPhones and Androids from the App Store and Google Play stores.

Photography

Photography will be issued by Press 22 and is available upon request from:

Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-3797291/ssullivan@q4pr.ie

Or/

Colin Taylor, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-7832502/colin@q4pr.ie