Call to remove cycle lanes within traffic lanes in Dublin suburb

A local TD has asked South Dublin County Council to remove “confusing” cycle lanes marked within general traffic lanes on Mayberry Road, Dublin 24. The layout is similar to how cycle lanes used to be marked within narrow bus lanes — many of which have been removed partly because they were viewed to encourage close overtaking by motorists.

There are now typically three general traffic lanes on Mayberry Road, including right hand turning lanes. The size of both kerb-side lanes vary but, for most of the road, cars cannot fit within the lanes and avoid the cycle lanes.

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The road — which was widened, resurfaced and remarked in the last year — is a link road between the Greenhills Road and Belgard Road in the Kilnamanagh area of Tallaght.

IMAGE: Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe beside the new lane markings.
“The ultimate nightmare for any road user is uncertainty, confusion, and a road signage layout that doesn’t make sense, but that is what is facing drivers on the Mayberry Road in the Kilnamanagh area of Tallaght,” said Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe (Sinn Féin).

“The new road markings for cars and cyclists have become a talking point with many expressing a real and genuine fear over the possible implications of the new road markings. It’s clear that the width of the road markings for cars and buses is way off and this is distracting to drivers. It is impossible for a large vehicle to stay within the current markings. I fear it will create a number of insurance problems if an accident should occur on that stretch of road,” said Crowe, in a statement posted on his website late last month.

He said: “As someone who regularly travels along the Mayberry Road, passing the Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre and towards the Greenhills Road, the challenge on the road is obvious. I am amazed and somewhat surprised that someone from South Dublin County Council authorised and actually signed off on this particular road signage job.”

Crowe added: “I am calling on South Dublin County Council to carry out a review and remove these markings that are clearly substandard, not fit for purpose, and creating a traffic hazard for road users.”

The lanes are visible in recent Google Maps satellite imagery updates:

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  1. Seán Crowe is right. There are several places in Dublin that create a dangerous situation between drivers and cyclists. I Bike Dublin has advised cyclists before to consider taking the primary position if there is insufficient space for a car to overtake in the rest of the ‘shared’ lane. These advisory lanes are pointless.

  2. It’s why calls for the mandatory production of Road Safety Audit reports for all road/traffic schemes where cyclists will be a design user.
    These audits should be conducted by external consultants and published in public for all to see. Ideally on Road Authority web-sites.
    This should be a condition for any public funding of schemes.

  3. I’m amazed that what Mike suggests isn’t already standard practice. ????

    This type of shambollocks is why so few people cycle overall. Design roads to intimidate non-car users and you get only cars.

    Fuckwittery of the highest standards. :(

  4. I agree that this things are ridiculous and should be removed. Even more so because I assume the councils include these things in their total km of cycle lane when they are patting themselves on the back about how much they do for sustainable transport.

    I do think the position Sean Crowe seems to be coming from is a bit repulsive though. Those poor motorists, confused by these markings. If they hit someone there might be some confusion with their insurance, like maybe someone would think the cyclist was entitled to be on the road. Not that cyclists might be fooled in to thinking that they can use the cycle lane without worrying about cars coming up behind them in it.

    Mayberry road is plenty wide enough for cars and bicycles to coexist without conflict between them. The problem is that there are turning lanes so that people in cars who are turning won’t slow down other people in cars who want to go straight. The space which cyclists would naturally use was taken away to allow this. Now Sean Crowe is bemoaning the fate of the poor motorist. I have little sympathy.

  5. Sorry but I think the faith being placed in road safety audits is entirely misplaced. Most large road schemes will already have road safety audits and they will be available in planning files. This includes schemes with demonstrably flawed cycle facilities such as the Doughiska road in Galway or the recent Parkmore design rejected by An Bord Pleanala for failure to comply with design guidance. Those conducting road safety audits will often be from the same pool of engineers that are producing these designs. In some cases the consultant engineering company producing a flawed design on one scheme will be doing the road safety audit on somebody else’s flawed design on the next scheme. In most cases those doing road safety audits will be reliant on local authority roads engineers as their main customers. These local authority roads engineers operate outside of any effective supervision from the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport who funds them. It is a system designed to evade proper audit not to provide it.

  6. Just to clarify what I mean by “supervision”. The Department of Transport does not accept that it is its role to supervise the manner in which local authority engineers spend the funds they give them. Further there is evidence that the central civil.servants have not read and/or do not understand the National Cycle Policy Framework that is suppsed to inform such spending. Add to this the evidence that some of them are simply hostile to cycling as indicated by the mandatory use arguments. In this institutional environment local authority engineers are effectively self certifying. Its an equivalent situation to the builders who were self certifying with regard to compliance with fire safety requirements.

  7. So now lets put this all together

    1. We have a pool of local authority roads engineers who are not subject to meaningful supervision by the funding agency.
    2. The available pool of consultant engineer design “experts” are dependent on these same people for their livelihoods.
    3. In most cases the same local authority roads engineers will have dedicated their professional lives to trying to find ways to grow motoring and make motoring as convenient and attractive as possible – regardless of any associated negative impacts for other transport modes. Promoting motoring is their reason for existing. (This last observation also applies to some of the consultant engineer “experts”)

    So now what do we think will actually happen if the funding agency above turns around and says “spend 10% of your budget on cycling”?


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