Council CEO rejects including cycle routes to schools in development plan

— Defined routes to schools ruled as “premature” or not “appropriate” to plan.
— Councillors to have final say but CEO doesn’t want cycling on plan’s maps.
— Objection from council management despite support from developers.

Fingal County Council’s CEO has rejected a number of cycling related development plan motions, despite support from councillors and little or no public opposition.

“It really makes no sense to be saying it’s premature to put reservations [for cycle routes] on the map. The lack of reservations frustrates transport projects, but the presence of a few reservations does not frustrates urban development,” said Cllr David Healy (Green Party).

The motions previously attracted cross-party support but now have to be voted on again by councillors ahead of the council’s development plan meetings tomorrow, Tuesday 14th, and on Thursday 16th. Cllr Healy is urging residents of Fingal to contact councillors and ask them to continue to support the cycling measures in face of opposition from the council management.

He said that the council management’s push to rule that walking and cycling route reservations as not suitable for the development plan is in contrast to road reservations which are included in the plan.

Cllr Healy added: “Reference to routes in the text which aren’t marked on the map and therefore not visible to applicants or planners is contrary to the whole idea of map-based planning. Note that there are no road reservations in the written plan which aren’t marked on the maps.”

In relation to proposed cycling and pedestrian routes between residential areas and schools — including from Abbeville to Kettle’s Lane; Balgriffin to Teagasc Kinsealy, and Portmarnock to Teagasc Kinsealy — there were only four submissions.

One submission was from Cllr Healy supporting the routes and another was from Cllr Jimmy Guerin (independent) who claimed that the routes as well as other public transport routes amounted to “ideological aspirations [which] will have a huge impact on our house building programme as lands which are currently zoned residential will become sterile as no developer will proceed with building houses”, but the last two submissions were from developers of some of the land in question and they wrote in support of the walking and cycling routes.

One of the developers even said they were already planning a cycleway on their land and wanted to be sure the alignments were consistent.

But the response from council management said that it would be “premature at this stage to reserve certain corridors free from development (which may prejudice future proper planning and sustainable development of the area) until such time as route locations and alignments have been finalised”.

This mirrors a situation in the Dublin City Council development plan process where major road projects — including the Eastern Bypass motorway — were included in the development plan but council official argued against the inclusion of defined cycle routes.

Fingal County Council also viewed it as not appropriate to include a map of the National Transport Authority’s Great Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan in the development plan, saying that it “was prepared at a strategic level including indicative routes that require more detailed design on a route by route basis subject to a public consultation process.”

MOTIONS AND RESPONSES FROM COUNCIL CEO:  

3 Comments

  1. FFS, there is already a development plan covering Fingal in existence: the 2013 National Transport Authority Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan and Fingal County Council were involved in its creation:

    Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan: Part 1: Written Report, Page ii:

    “Consultation with the Local Authorities
    The Project Team met with representatives of each of the seven Local Authorities on a number of occasions during the lifetime of the project. The Local Authorities were the primary stakeholders for the project. This group was consulted on an on-going basis throughout the project in order to provide information, confirm proposals and contribute to the development of the future Cycle Network Plan.”

    So what’s wrong with this plan that it cannot be adopted?

  2. Is George Hook on that council?

  3. did the road reservations go through all the steps the CEO is insisting on for the cycle reservations

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