Yet-to-be built Dublin cycle route causing traffic congestion says Small Firms Association

— Association’s comments follow Ryanair boss saying cyclists should be shot
— SFA chairman says “I don’t see any cyclists paying motor tax”

Dublin City Council’s planned segregated Liffey Cycle Route is already causing congestion the chairman for the Small Firms Association claimed on the Last Word on Today FM this evening. This might be a surprise to the city council, and anybody who tries to cycle on the route, as the project is still at pre-construction planning.

He made his comments in an item on the show covering the news that outspoken Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told a conference today that “We should take the cyclists out and shoot them”. According to news reports in the Irish Independent and The Irish Times, it was part of O’Leary’s response to another speaker who covered some of Dublin’s plans to increase the number of people cycling in the city.

On the Last Word, AJ Noonan, chairman of the Small Firms Association and managing director of Rhonellen Developments said: “Of course there should be investment in cycle lanes, but not to the detriment for motorists or the determinant of commerce.”

When presenter Matt Cooper challenged him on why the country should not invest in cycle lanes, Noonan replied: “Because to create these cycle lanes other lanes will have to be shut down. Look at along the quays there [in Dublin], I think they lost a lane to cyclists, it has caused… when you’re coming up there it can be very challenging.”

The Small Firms Association chairman added: “Of course it’s great to cycle but I don’t see any cyclists paying motor tax, they don’t pay for petrol tax — motorists do that. All we’d be concerned about is that something would be done to the detriment of people who use cars.”

Cooper then interjected: “Cyclists may actually have cars as well and may pay motor tax… and they are citizens of this state who pay other taxes so aren’t they entitled to use road space and share the road space as much as any motorist?”

Noonan then agreed that cyclists may also own cars and pay tax, but he added: “I’m just making the point that it’s not to the detriment of one group or the other. I’m concerned, along with Mr O’Leary, that Dublin City Council seem to have an affection for cycling and cycle lane to the detriment of the ordinary motorist.”

He said O’Leary’s comments that cyclists should be “taken out and shot” were “very foolish”, but he said he was suggesting that it can’t be “all for the cyclist — there has to be an element for fair play for the ordinary motorist as well.”

Commenting at the time on Twitter, Cllr Paddy Smyth ‏said, “If your guest is looking for a fair share of space on the roads, we have a long way to go before we have parity between cars and bikes.” And he asked: “Name one city in Europe that is reversing their decades long investment in cycle infrastructure?”

Small Firms Association claims to represent 8,000 businesses around Ireland. Its ‘national council’ members include senior representatives of Glenisk, National Recycling, CA Compliance, Aalto Bio Reagents, Wire Ropes, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, 3rd i IT and Business Services, Martin Services, Poplar Linens Trading, and Shellcove.

The comment on the Liffey Cycle Route today follows news last week that the most iconic section of the project could be at risk after what was described to us as “severe” lobbying.

It’s not the first time that somebody opposing the Liffey Cycle Route thought that the route was already built — last year, Sunday Independent columnist Emer O’Kelly wrote that the city manager had “defended the now-infamous introduction of double cycle lanes on the north quays, which reduce motor traffic to a single lane, causing traffic jams throughout the day, rather than just at rush hour, as formerly”.

MORE: Michael O’Leary’s View Of Cyclists: They Should Be Shot (Today FM)

8 Comments

  1. “I don’t see any cyclists paying motor tax” – possibly because you aren’t allowed cycle around the motor tax office. :)

  2. Cyclists don’t pay motor-tax?

    Goddamn, they’re out of control. If we don’t put a lid on this now, next thing you’ll hear is that they don’t pay deep-sea drilling tax or that they don’t have insurance to cover the possibility that they might spontaneously combust and kill any babies that might be in the vicinity.

    Where will it all end? Sweet Jebus, won’t someone think of the children.

  3. So Mr. Noonan wishes everyone would spend more on cars, petrol, etc, rather than have more money to spend at SFA businesses? Or is the SFA mostly garages and fuel merchants?

  4. Stephen McManus May 4, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    All those cars passing by the front of shops are far less likely to stop for business than cyclists – figure out who has a parking problem? Wake SFA, you are stuck in the 20th century.

  5. Yet another person who thinks that “ordinary motorists” being pandered to in almost every way is NOT GOOD ENOUGH! They need to be pandered to in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. He has no problem with cyclists, so long as they don’t take up any space on the roads, or take away any parking spaces, or get in the way of people walking from their parked car in to his members shops or businesses. In other words the only problem he has with cyclists is their existence.

    It is difficult to understand how someone can look at the cars and buses choking the quays every morning and evening and think that the problem is cyclists. Incredibly it appears that plenty of people can. How is that?

    Anyway, I thought the 30kph limit destroyed the quays and brought about the traffic apocalypse already?

  6. Mike McKillen May 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    The SFA Head obviously doesn’t understand climate-change and the role played by motorised trips in making it worse.
    I own and drive a car so I resent his comments about all cyclists getting a free-ride.
    Our roads and streets are shared public spaces. They are not ‘owned’ by drivers.
    I want to see congestion-charging in our towns and cities to bring about modal-shift to less polluting modes of transport.

  7. Sorry this whole “Will somebody think of the motorist” is laughable, they have over 90% of all roads more if you consider the fact that they use bike lanes when it suits them

  8. I and loads of other cyclists pay motor tax as we also own cars. Regardless, it doesn’t cover all motor-associated costs anyway.

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