Vision for cycling for “all ages and abilities” removed from Dublin plan

— Reference to National Cycle Policy also removed from plan

Dublin City’s draft development plan for 2016-2022 — which is open to public consultation until Friday — does not contain a key “vision for cycling” which was in the previous plan.'s reader-funded journalism won't survive without your help. With over 762,000 views so-far this year, it's not just "avid cyclists" who read this website, but, if you want it to keep going, more support is needed from readers like you. Now, back to the article...

The 2011-2017 plan stated: “The vision for cycling is to make Dublin a city where people of all ages and abilities have the confidence, incentive and facilities to cycle so that by 2017, 25-30% of all new commutes within the city will be by bike.”

The “all ages and abilities” phrase is seen as key to pushing officials to design a cycle network which is attractive to a wide-range of people, including families, children going to school and older people. The term “all ages and abilities” is used elsewhere in the plan, just not relating directly to cycling.

The plan also removes any and all reference to the National Cycle Policy, which is seen by campaigners as the most coherent and most important cycling policy document in the country.

You can make a submission on the plan at until this Friday December 11. Full details of the draft plan, which covers a range of cycling elements, can be found on the same website.

In a statement on Friday, the city council explained: “After 11th Dec 2015, Dublin City Council will compile and review all submissions. The Elected Councillors will consider these submissions and agree changes to the Plan. The Council will before publish an amended Plan, which will in turn be available to view and comment on in 2016.”

The plan — for reasons which are unclear — only uses figures based on Canal cordon count to discuss modal share of different transport types. The Canal cordon count only counts movements across ring made up mainly of the Royal and Grand canals in the city, while the plan is supposed to cover development across the city — including transport movements within and outside the canals which do not cross the cordon. The EU norm in cities like Dublin is to look a wider range of measurements.

In 2011 the national CSO Census found that, among Dublin City residents, 7.6% of commuters mainly cycled. Based on the growth in cycling counted by automatic counters and the Canal cordon, this publication and others (including The Sunday Times) have estimated that the figure should now be above 10%. But as with the Canal data, the Census data also counts just commuter trips and not those for shopping or leisure.

As we reported in October, a move by some city councillors to have the provision of contra-flow cycling on named streets written into the development plan failed by one vote.

There was however majority support to pedestrianise streets west of Grafton Street — an idea which was originally backed by local businesses but shot down after the advice of the Dublin City Council traffic section. Depending on public support, this proposal and others may or may not end up in the final plan.

What the draft plan says:

A number of sections in the draft 2016-2022 plan cover cycling in some way, but the following is a quotation from the main section on cycling in the draft plan: Cycling

Cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport that can improve the health and wellbeing of citizens. The National Cycle Planning Policy Framework 2009-2020 sets out a range of objectives and requires that cycle-friendly principles are incorporated into plans.

In addition, the National Transport Authority’s Cycle Network Plan sets out a series of planned routes in detailed maps. Dublin City Council aims to increase mode share associated with cycling to reach a minimum target of 25%. New infrastructure works will concentrate on improving cycle safety, access, parking and developing and improving the Dublin Cycle Network.

Strategic routes include those along waterways and the coastline, extending into Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. Within the city, the success of the ‘dublinbikes’ scheme has led to its expansion, and the Grand Canal cycleway has provided an attractive off-street environment for cyclists.

(For cycle parking standards, see section 16.39)

It is the Policy of Dublin City Council:

MT7: To improve the city’s environment for walking and cycling through the implementation of improvements to thoroughfares and junctions and also through the development of new and safe routes, including the provision of foot and cycle bridges. Routes within the network will be planned in conjunction with Green Infrastructure Objectives and on foot of (inter alia) the NTA’s Cycle Network Plan for the Greater Dublin Area, and the National Cycle Manual.

MT8: To work with initiatives by relevant agencies and stakeholders such as An Taisce’s ‘Green Schools’ initiative and the NTA’s ‘Smarter Travel’, to promote active travel in schools and communities, recognising the health and social benefi ts of walking and cycling
as well as the environmental benefits.

MT9: To promote Bike and Ride at public transport hubs by providing secure, dry, bike parking facilities.

MT10: To provide 30kph speed limits and traffic calmed areas in each of the neighbourhoods shown in map “A City Neighbourhoods” in chapter 12.

It is an Objective of Dublin City Council: 

MTO7: To promote and facilitate, in co-operation with key agents and stakeholders, the provision of high density cycle parking facilities at appropriate locations, taking into consideration (inter alia) the NTA’s Cycle Network Plan and Dublin City Council’s Public Realm strategy.

MTO8: To develop, within the lifetime of this plan, the Strategic Cycle Network for Dublin city – connecting key city centre destinations to the wider city and the national cycle network, and to implement the NTA’s Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan, to bring forward planning and design of the Santry River Greenway, incorporating strongly integrative social and community development initiatives.

MTO9: To improve existing cycleways and bicycle priority measures throughout the city, and to create guarded cycle lanes, where appropriate and feasible.

MTO10: To review the 30kph speed limit that applies within the city centre (i.e. area between the canals)

MTO11: (i) To monitor the success of the shared bike scheme and to expand it to the entire city. (ii) That developers will agree to fund the provision of a shared bike station near large developments, as community gain.

MTO12: (i) To provide permeability for cyclists by reducing speed limits on all single lane one way streets to 30kph and allowing contraflow cycling, and to provide a segregated contraflow cycle land on all one way streets with two or more lanes. (ii) To provide contra-flow facilities for cyclists on one-way streets where appropriate.

MTO13: To review availability of bicycle parking facilities at neighbourhood centres with a view to addressing any shortfall through provision of Sheffield-type bicycle parking in the immediate vicinity as required.

MTO14: To provide Sheffield Stand type parking near the entrance to all publicly accessible buildings such as schools, hotels, libraries, theatres, churches etc.

Some other key quotes from the draft plan:

Residential Quality Standards – Apartments: Cycle Parking

In the past, there has been an under-provision of secure cycle parking in apartment complexes in Dublin. This has led to bicycles being stored in apartments and on balconies potentially detracting from visual amenity and increasing maintenance costs for communal areas. The quality and quantity of cycle parking provision in apartment developments should encourage residents to adopt cycling as a sustainable mode of transport. All new apartment developments shall provide a minimum of 1 cycle parking space per unit. Generally, cycle parking should comprise of Sheffield stands or similar allowing the frame and wheel to be locked and be located in a secure sheltered cycle compound with adequate lighting and convenient access to the street.

NOTE: There seems to be no requirement for bicycle parking or sheds which would accommodate such in non-apartment housing.

Development standards: Cycle Parking

Secure cycle parking facilities shall be provided in new Public Transport Interchanges, Park and Ride facilities, office blocks, apartment blocks, shopping centres, hospitals, etc., in accordance with the standards set out in Table 16.2. Bicycle Parking Stations should be provided in strategic new Public Transport Interchanges. Where a modal share for cycling is outlined within a Mobility Management Plan for a development, cycle parking should be provided at a level sufficient to support this modal share or as outlined in Table 16.2, whichever is greater.

Secure bicycle racks shall be provided in all cases where bicycle parking is deemed to be necessary by the planning authority. Such racks should be within 25m of a destination for short-term parking (shops) and within 50m for long-term parking (school, college, office). All long-term (more than three hours) cycle racks shall be protected from the weather.

All on-street stands or racks should be capable of performing the basic functions of supporting the bicycle and protecting it against theft or vandalism. Off-street storage/parking facilities should provide adequate shelter, lighting, safety and security, ease of access and egress, and an appropriate level of supervision. As such, publicly accessible cycle parking should be of Sheffield stand type; toaster racks or similar are not acceptable for publicly accessible cycle parking. Where high-density cycle parking is provided in a secure location, stacked cycle parking is acceptable provided it is easily used.

Guidance for selecting the most appropriate type of bicycle parking facility depending on location and user needs is outlined in the National Cycle Manual, ‘Bicycle Parking Facilities’. Dublin City Council will have regard to this document when considering applications where bicycle parking is a requirement.

16.39.1 Multi-Storey Parks and Cycle Facilities
All cycle facilities in multi-storey car parks will be at ground floor level and completely segregated from vehicular traffic. Cyclists should also have designated entry and exit routes at the car park.
Where possible, segregated cycle access should be provided to basement car parks by a segregated cycle ramp or dedicated lift.

16.39.2 Location of Cycle Stands
Cycle parking facilities will be conveniently located, secure, easy to use, adequately lit and well signposted. Weather protected facilities should be considered, where appropriate. In addition, parking should be placed within a populated, well-supervised area, and monitored by CCTV where possible.

In publicly accessible buildings, a proportion of cycle parking should be publicly accessible to visitors. These spaces should be easily identifiable and accessible and should generally be located at ground floor level close to the main entrance of the building.

16.39.3 Security
Cyclists should be able to secure both frame and wheels to the cycle parking stand. Secure cycle compounds should be provided where feasible and, in particular, in large office developments, multi-storey car parks and railway stations.

16.39.4 Shower and Changing Facilities
Suitable shower and changing facilities will be made available in large-scale developments incorporating large amounts of cycle parking. Facilities should be secure, lockable and located in well-lit locations. The following standards shall be adhered to:

  • 1 shower per offi ce development over 100sq.m
    (approximately 5 employees)
  • A minimum of 2 showers for offi ce developments
    over 500sq.m (approximately 25 employees)
  • 1 shower per 1000sq.m thereafter
  • Changing/drying areas, toilets and lockers
    should be provided in association with shower

16.39.5 Lockers
The number of lockers provided should relate to the number of cycle parking spaces. Lockers should be well ventilated, secure and lockable. Lockers that facilitate multiple short-term users are recommended.

16.39.6 Financial Contribution
In exceptional circumstances, where cycle parking cannot be incorporated into the development, the developer will be required to pay a financial contribution in lieu of providing the cycle parking. Where a developer is unable or does not wish to provide the specified number
of cycle parking spaces on site, a financial contribution in lieu will be required towards the cost of providing such spaces off the site, where such a relaxation is deemed appropriate by the planning authority. Such a contribution will be set at €400 for each cycle parking space, or as amended by the Dublin City Council Cycling Strategy.

Table 16.2:

Table 16-2


  1. I don’t see the necessity of showers being provided just because people cycle and indeed I think that promoting this idea that people who use bikes to get to work need to shower when they get there, gives the sense that commuting by bike is a sweaty task and is in the domain of people who like to wear lycra, heart-monitors and such-like.

    Cycling should be regarded as normal as walking. No-one suggests that we promote shower facilities for pedestrians. I cycle to work everyday and have always tried to do so. I take it easy, plan enough time for the journey and don’t need to shower when I get there. My commute is about 17km one-way, and I’m still faster than cars at rush-hour.

    I lived in the Netherlands for a number of years and cycling is an activity all engage in, from kids going to school, business men and women in formal attire and people like me in casual clothes. There was no special showering facilities for cyclists. If places of work had showering facilities, it was nothing to do with cycling.


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