— Cycling group urges members of the public to make submissions before deadline today.
Planners must improve bicycle access, storage and conveyance with the MetroLink project the Dublin Cycling Campaign has said.
The rail route is to run from Charlemont Luas stop to Swords, with stops in central location such as St Stephens Green, Tara Street and O’Connell Street. It will also serve Dublin Airport, DCU and Ballymun, and a new interchange station with two Irish Rail routes in Glasnevin.
In its submission, the Dublin Cycling Campaign states that it continues to be supportive of the MetroLink and that it welcomed improvements in the latest designs, but said that it hopes that unaddressed issues would be fixed before Transport Infrastructure Ireland make the Railway Order application to An Bord Pleanala.
The issues it wants resolved includes bicycles parking, bicycles on off-peak metro vehicles, access to stations along the Swords Bypass, contra-flow on new and existing streets around Tara Street Station, severance issues around Lissenhall station, cycling and walking provision on the planned M50 overbridge, traffic management, and an alternative route for the Royal Canal Greenway durn construction.
Kevin Baker of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “As we highlighted in our submission to the EPR, enabling people to arrive by bike increases the local catchment
of stations. This in turn improves MetroLink’s business case.”
In the campaign’s submission, he wrote: “One of the key principles of good cycling and public transport integration is reduce transfer distance. Reducing the distance between bike parking and the platforms enables an attractive transfer. This is similar to interchange between public transport modes.”
“The MetroLink report indicates that bike parking will be provided ‘where feasible’. All stations require adequate bike parking to meet various local and national policies.”
The campaign said that the National Cycle Policy Framework requires any future Irish metro system to allow the carriage of bicycles on off-peak metro vehicles and counter-flow on-peak metro vehicles. Transport authorities have been dismissive of this in the past citing safety concerns despite examples around the world of metro systems carrying bicycles.
On road safety around the construction of the project, Baker said: “The construction phase will bring a large numbers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) into urban areas. HGVs pose an outsized risk to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The management of these HGVs will be an important part of the construction management plan for MetroLink.”
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He added: “TII/NTA need to set high standards for HGV vehicles that work on the MetroLink project. TII and NTA have a responsibility to protect vulnerable road users. The CrossRail project in the UK set a good example. It required high standards for all HGVs. They required sensors, underrun guards and other measures to improve safety of vulnerable road users.”
At Tara Street station the campaign are worried about planned one-way streets. Baker said: “The MetroLink team need to consider the design of the new road network around the Tara Street station. The drawings show Luke Street, New Luke Street, Poolbeg Street, Townsend Street and Tara Street all as one-way streets. This will make access to the station difficult for people on bikes.”
He said: “The MetroLink team could make access to these stations by bike easier by adding contraflow cycle lanes to these one-way streets. This would increase permeability of the area for people on bikes. It would also connect the Tara Street station to the Liffey Cycle Route. It would also align with objective MTO13 of the Dublin City Development Plan to provide contraflow cycling on one-way streets.”
There is also a worry that the Grand Canal Greenway might be cut off at a new Glasnevin interchange station.
Baker said: “If TII must close the Royal Canal Greenway during construction then TII must provide a suitable alternative on the south bank of the canal. This will allow pedestrians and cyclists to bypass the construction area. This will require a bridge over the Royal Canal for pedestrians and cyclists.”
The campaign also said that at Lissenhall that it appears that the MetroLink tracks will cut through existing or planned walking and cycle routes in the area and that this needs to be addressed.