Gardai take action over cars for sale on cycle lane

Gardai from the Dublin Metropolitan Region traffic division have taken action over the long-term problem of cars left on the cycle lane on Conyngham Road in Dublin.

The broken-lined cycle lane, which runs westbound across from the wall of the Phoenix Park, offers little legal protection against motorists parking on it. However, as regular users of the road will know, motorists often also break the clearway rule which is in operation from 8am to 10am and from 4pm to 7pm.

But enforcement of the clearway was not the means of tackling the cars on the roadway today. The official Garda Traffic account said: “7 vehicles impounded today offences contrary to S.71 Roads Act 1993, parking vehicles on public road for purposes of sale.”

However, around the corner in the Phoenix Park, the cycle lane continues to be used by gardai attending the courts building on Parkgate Street:

The #FreeTheCycleLanes hashtag on Twitter has been used to highlight photographs of a mix of legal and illegal parking in cycle lanes since June 2015. But when users include @gardatraffic in tweets which include car number plates, the Gardai account asks people “please do not post displaying reg numbers” because of “data protection issues”.

Irish road users might be looking on at amazement at what happens with some UK police forces:

The @Trafficcwmp account belongs to West Midlands Police, which — along with other police forces — are prosecuting bad driving based video footage from people cycling:


  1. Good to see some action by the Gards here, but I have to suspect (as you allude to) that they did it because of vehicles were for sale, rather than they were blocking a cycle lane. Also, the Gards don’t just ask you not to tag them when you post car reg numbers. I was blocked by them without any prior warning. I guess they feel that if they can ignore the problem, then the problem doesn’t exist.

  2. From West Midlands Traffic Police blog:

    – third party footage prosecutions have now become the “norm” for ourselves. The numbers of close pass due care offences we receive have dropped by about 50% since the #GiveSpaceBeSafe initiative took effect on our regions roads,

    – what is certain is that to succeed it must run alongside a good easy to use and successful 3rd party reporting scheme. We believe we have achieved this to the point where offenders are starting to realise there doesn’t need to be a police officer present and witnessing for their offending to be detected and punished

    – third party video prosecutions, protecting all road users not just cyclists

    – this stream of third party offence detection and prosecution really will have a large part to play in the future of road safety, after all we can’t be everywhere at once to deal with offending on our roads,
    – we have literally stopped counting how many road users we have prosecuted now using 3rd party footage, it’s just normal policing and will pay a large part in future efforts to make our regions road network safer for all.

    Why are the RSA not pushing for third party offense detection instead of continually harping on about hi-viz and helmets?

  3. I would love to see somethingbdone about cars parking in mandatory cycle lanes. Taxis use the one outside Pearse Station as a rank, as well as delivery lorries. One on Stephens Green is always dangerously blocked is you come around the corner and there is a car parked in blind spot. Havent seen a Garda on foot in months, and drivers behave accordingly.

  4. To be fair, the Gardai are probably doing us a favour by parking in that Phoenix Park bike lane. It’s in such a poor state it’s virtually unrideable anyway. At least if they’re parked in it no-one can abuse riders for not using it.

  5. Shea, that was the first thing I thought of when I read the headline. I hope they send a message that this is unacceptable. I would dearly love to see the southbound Naas road cycle lane stop being a showroom for the three car sales businesses that seem confused about it’s purpose.

    Citizen Wolf, I think when a business systematically blocks cycle lanes all day, using them as a showroom for their cars and an extension of their business, it is a more serious issue that when an individual does it for a limited time. Ideally nobody would block a cycle lane but it is easier to target businesses that do it systematically and, for me, more satisfying to see them stopped. Unfortunately I think the most likely result is that they will go to a body like Dublin Town and they will lean on the council and the guards will be quietly told to not do anything about these offenders, no doubt their time would be better spent cracking down on real crimes like cyclists not wearing helmets or high-viz.

  6. **on real crimes like cyclists not wearing helmets or high-viz** Unfortunately I think that is indeed how many people think. Especially with hate-mongers like George Hook spreading utter nonsense across the airwaves. People like him, presenters of programs like Top Gear, and idiots working for the Daily Mail have real and negative effects on society. It may seem hyperbolic, but in my mind what they do are like crimes against humanity. The effects of vehicle pollution alone kill thousands in Ireland every year. Those who promote this type of car-dependent society, and worse, who actively attack alternative modes of transport, are irresponsible at best, and dangerous criminals at worst.

  7. Finally the Garda (AGS) acts against egregious breach of regulations in respect of placing cars for sale in a clearway/mandatory-use cycle track.
    As others have pointed out, this is not the only car dealer premises doing it. The net needs to be cast wider.
    But the scandal of #freethecyclelanes non-detection/enforcement still remains nationwide.
    The new Code of Ethics of AGS demands fair implementation of the law.

    “It will gain and maintain this trust by
    acting, and being seen to act within the
    law and by applying the law fairly
    towards others. For anyone working in
    the Garda Síochána this is the starting
    point for all other commitments”.


    That cohort of drivers who believe that they can flout the law on fly-parking in mandatory-use cycle tracks needs to be challenged. By decision of the Oireachtas, these facilities were designed as a road safety measure for people who chose to cycle. That’s the bottom line!

    Discretionary policing has no role in keeping these tracks free for cyclist to use.


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