Liffey Cycle Route delayed again; Dublin Town business group objects

— Dublin Town objects to cycle route along the Liffey quays

A decision on the Liffey Cycle Route at the Dublin City transport committee was postponed this morning as Dublin City Council are now looking to see if an environmental impact study is needed for the project.

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An outline of the reaction to the full route was outlined in our live reporting this morning: Live updates: Liffey Cycle Route at the Dublin City traffic committee.

Richard Guiney of Dublin Town (BID), which is designed to represent all city centre businesses, said that there is growing concerns from the business community about access for drivers into and around the city centre. He says that businesses want a full picture of the restrictions on car movements.

Guiney said that there would be more congestion and traffic would be crossing the Luas tracks more and this would be a safety issue because frustrated motorists would break red lights, which he says he would not condone.

He said that the larger retailers are particularly concerned and that an environmental impact study is needed. Guiney said: “At the moment I don’t think we can support the project”.

Cllr Ray Mac Adam (FG) spoke against the project and claimed that there would be a negative effect on residents of adjoining areas. He says it should not be separated from the other transport projects in the city centre.

However, Cllr Paddy Smyth (FG) said that Cllr Mac Adam should look at the project as a congestion reducing one. He says the experience in other cities is that the anticipated extra traffic congestion never materialises after similar projects.

He said that streets, which are already car parks in the morning rush hour, will remain so or possibly get less congested as more people will have the option of cycling.

Cllr Smyth said that listening to some commentators in the media you would think that the economy of the city centre was based on people driving into the city centre and buying flat screen TVs. He says it’s not, but they will still be able to drive in and have access to car parks.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Independent) said the route is going to be “appalling” and “it simply won’t work” and that trucks need to access the markets behind the Four Courts. He says he has to “reject” it. Flynn said : “It will kill the city economy. Cyclists don’t keep the economy going.”

Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party) said that with Luas Cross City there will be less private traffic and that will help. He said the project design is a practical solution and a positive one.

Cllr Paul Hand (Independent) said a pinch point selection between Blackhall Place and Church Street, where cars are proposed to be diverted off the quays, “will cause problems” but that more people will cycle. Cllr Hand said the route is a hugely important project which the city desperately needs. “I have an objective mind, it will cause problems but needs to go ahead.”

He says the bus lane on this section could be timed to allow residents to use it after peak times.

Derek Peppard of the Dublin Cycling Campaign says, “We have a choice, do something or do nothing.” He says it’s not “a perfect solution” but is “better than doing nothing”.

City council official, Brendan O’Brien said that they are not looking for approval to go to Part 8 today and at the next committee meeting in February the council will tell councillors if Part 8 will be used for the project or if they will have to go to An Bord Pleanála with an environmental impact study. Environmental screening is underway.

The removal of trees on Bachelors Walk is not desirable but required said O’Brien. The project will include the removal of 14 of the 19 trees on the quay along here. Trees near the Four Courts will not be affected as previously expected.


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  1. Yeah apparently, according to Richard Guiney, cyclists don’t spend as much as motorists and so we aren’t entitled to not being hit by cars.

    Looks like it’s time to organise a boycott of the businesses who belong to Dublin Town etc. Let’s show them how powerful our euros can be for their businesses.

  2. The way Mannix Flynn was talking, you’d swear that the cycle route would cause Armageddon and the Rapture itself. He had nothing but negative comments, completely disregarded the fact that hundreds if not thousands of cyclists daily risk their lives commuting on the quays the way it is and that the congestion issue won’t get addressed or even fixed or go away by allowing more and more cars to enter the city. He couldn’t see the connection between cycling and improvement of the transportation infrastructure in the area. (DUH!) He had the audacity to even call allocating of infrastructure to cyclists here and improving the commute of the aforementioned thousands of cyclist as a mere “leisure route.”

    I found it completely infuriating and almost laughable that his concern for air quality in the area was only ever really addressed when he was opposing proposals to remove some traffic congestion and replace it with a viable and cleaner mode of transport which would benefit far more than it would impede or inconvenience. Was as he paid to bemoan everything about this project?! Gombeen…

  3. Mannix Flynn is a dinosaur. He was never going to be anything but extremely negative with regard to this project and has never shown anything but contempt for cyclists and cycling. The problem is that while he and parking / shopping lobby groups like Dublin Town seem to be in the minority, they tend to get their way in these instances, often because they mobilize public opinion by circulating dubious information to shop owners and local residents and organizing public events to organize resistance.
    Meanwhile MacAdams is implying that this is a class issue, or trying to turn it into one; middle-class yuppies on their fancy bikes taking away local resources, when in fact those residents stand to gain considerably, especially since many of those to whom he is referring may not even have cars.
    The truth is that the days of this resistance are numbered because there is no other option in the long term, but these people will fight change to the bitter end.

  4. an EIS in a segregated cycle path?

    yes, we confirm that on building the cycle path the environment will benefit. seriously that’s the most ridiculous delay tactic I have heard of

  5. Had a look to find out who is behind Dublin Town – here’s a list of their board members taken from their 2015 annual report:
    Ray Hernan Chairman
    Noel Flynn Treasurer (FFA Chartered Accountants)
    Ross McMahon Company Secretary (David McMahon Solicitors)
    Paul Barry McDonalds Restaurant
    Philip Bergin Penneys
    Alan Campbell The Bankers
    Col Campbell Bewleys
    Ciaran Cuffe Dublin City Council
    Greg Devitt Stephens Green Centre
    Mannix Flynn Dublin City Council
    Rose Kenny Dublin City Council
    Lorcan Lynch The Flowing Tide
    Derek McDonnell Jervis Shopping Centre
    Lorcan O’Connor Carrolls Irish Gifts
    Vincent O’Gorman The Westbury Hotel
    Stephen Sealey Brown Thomas
    Ciaran Tuite Ilac Centre
    Clare Tynan Le Bon Crubeen
    Jack Nolan Assistant Commissioner with Responsibility for Dublin
    is an observer on the board.

  6. interesting that Mannix Flynn is on the list. was he at the meeting representing himself or Dublin Town? is that not a conflict of interest that gives them two voices instead of one?

  7. Mannix Flynn’s intrest in air quality probably stems from his experience of the Dockrells fire.I lived near it at the time and it was rather smoky.

  8. Dublin Town supposedly represents every business in the city, but I find it very hard to believe that every one is against this. Not that I don’t believe that directors of big shops don’t prioritise their own ability to drive in over the people that work and shop in their premises.

    The off handed comment that anything that frustrates motorists would lead to them breaking red lights and endangering other people was a bit sinister. Not that they condone that of course.

  9. It occurred to me that cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen probably aren’t a desolate wasteland where the handful of remaining businesses are protected by razor wire and pedestrians scuttle fearfully out of sight of their cycling overlords. Who knows? Maybe they are? I think it would be interesting for cycling advocacy in general for someone to produce a report about how cycling infrastructure affects the economy (by which Flynn means the shops I assume).

    I know there are already reports (bah, reports! what can they prove! Nothing!) showing that cyclists spend plenty of money but I’m more interested in something that shows how many retailers and workplaces there are in a city where cycling is a significant part of the transport infrastructure. Are there Brown Thomas’ in Amsterdam? Are they struggling and wishing that some space would be taken away from those damn cyclists so that some cars could make it to the shop or would they find that a very peculiar assertion.

  10. There’s De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam and it is owned by the same people as Brown Thomas.

    Advocates in Amsterdam have told me De Bijenkorf were also at least partly responsible for holding Amsterdam back from making streets more people-friendly, I think 30 years ago or more and since. On the positive side: Retailers in Amsterdam have collectively, at least, changed their views and are supporting their city’s plans.

  11. @Hivemindex I think an explanation for Dublin Town being dominated by big retailers and car park operators is that many of the members are small shops and businesses with only the owner to attend at meetings. The big guys have the staff to go to meetings and set the agenda, fund consultants and write reports, etc!

  12. I’ve got it. Why don’t we let cars go down the bus lanes at the pinch point quays and they move back to their own lane. Its only 2 quays???

  13. @Decis: because for those two quays — and often the quays before and some of the quays after — the cars often just sit there while buses are moving. If you mix the two the buses also just sit there.


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