— Public, councillors, businesses want two-way route says report.
— Council to mix cycling and buses to allow segregate types of buses.
A planned “Bus Rapid Transit” route via North Strand Road is the main blocker to planning a fully segregated cycle route between the S2S in Clontarf and Dublin city centre, IrishCycle.com has established from multiple sources.
The National Transport Authority’s recently launched Bus Connects project promises that: “On each of the Core Bus Network corridors [upgrades], we will provide high quality cycling facilities, segregated from the bus lanes and general traffic lanes as far as is practicable.”
But some cycling advocates fear that the Bus Connects project will mirror the work of the Quality Bus Corridor Office, which was viewed as getting cyclists out of the way of buses regardless of the quality.
The Quality Bus Corridor Office — which was merged into the National Transport Authority (NTA) — was responsible for a large percentage of Dublin’s older cycle routes along main bus routes, since accepted as low quality in a number of official documents.
Last month Dublin City Council issued local area councillors with two new briefing documents covering the Clontarf to city centre cycle route.
One of the documents makes it clear that councillors, the general public, business groups and cycling groups all have a preference for a two-way cycle path on one side of the route between Connolly Station at Amiens St and the start of the S2S Dublin Bay cycle route at Clonfarf. The route goes via North Strand Road and Fairview.
However, despite the wide-ranging support to have a continuous two-way cycle path from the seafront to the city centre, the Dublin City Council is pushing ahead with a plan for stop-start segregation and aims to seek local area councillor approval this month and Part 8 approval at the full council meeting in July.
The second document, in Q&A format, was issued to councillors when a consultation submissions had yet to be fully reviewed and the document repeated claims challenged by several submissions.
One of the key claims repeated in the Q&A briefing is that commuter cyclists won’t use a two-way cycle path, this is stated with little or nothing to back up such a claim. High volumes of commuter cyclists use the recently built two-way cycle paths in London, the bulk of cyclists use the two-way cycle path alone the Grand Canal in Dublin, and two-way cycle paths are common in the Netherlands.
The report also claims that a two-way path would cause more conflicts when the council’s stop-start one-way segregation design has a larger amount of conflicts than is possible to have with a fully segregated two-way cycle path.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “The Environment and Transportation Department provided an update to the North Central Area Committee on observations made during the Statutory Public Consultation Process. The Q&A dealt with 20 of the items raised in order to inform the elected representatives of the main concerns. This update was also circulated to members of the Central Area Committee.”
We also asked why an untested BRT design, which mixes cycling with general buses to allow for segregation between BRT and general buses, is being used. The council spokesman said: “It is the objective of Dublin City Council to develop quality, affordable and accessible mobility infrastructure that caters for future growth. The City Centre Transport Study identifies the need for BRT schemes and the Clongriffin to Tallaght BRT is identified in the NTA’s Bus Rapid Transit Core Network Report. The proposed cycle route is funded by the NTA.”
This is the clearest public statement to date that the BRT route is main factor in blocking a fully-segregated two-way cycle path along the route. Multiple sources have also indicated to IrishCycle.com that the BRT aim of having standard buses segregated from rapid buses is the main stumbling block going against a fully segregated cycle route.
The NTA have yet to respond to questions from IrishCycle.com sent last Wednesday. We will follow up on this story when they do.
MORE: Submission on Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route with signatures of 1,493 people
MORE: Videos of two-way cycle paths used on two major London routes: