No paywall and let's keep it that way. Support reader-funded journalism, subscribe today.

COVID-19: Emergency works to start Monday to make social distancing space on Dublin’s streets

— Long awaited contra-flow cycle track on Nassau Street to be installed.
— Councillors and campaigners in other cities look for action.

Dublin City Council said that from Monday it will start implementing emergency COVID-19 social distancing works at a number of locations including Ranelagh, Rathmines, Stonybatter, Dorset Street and Capel Street.

It follows on from the news on Tuesday that Dublin City Council said they will act on social distancing space after pressure from councillors

An email update from the CEO’s office to councillors said: “Work will begin on Monday, 20 April implementing emergency COVID-19 social distancing measures at a number of locations (i.e. Ranelagh, Rathmines, Stonybatter, Dorset Street and Capel Street).

“The works will involve removing loading bays and parking spaces to provide additional space for pedestrians at locations where there is evidence of footpath congestion,” it said.

It added: “Orcas and bollards will be installed to protect these spaces as well as existing cycle tracks from incursion by vehicles. A counter flow cycle lane will also be installed on Nassau Street.”

The Leinster Street South / Nassau Street contra-flow cycle track was first promised a decade ago, in 2010.

Cllr Michael Pidgeon (Green Party) asked on Twitter: “Let’s get a few good pieces implemented and then build on that! Any other spaces in the city you’d like to see road changes during the pandemic?”

Cllr Ray Mc Adam (FG) said on Facebook: “Happy to report that Dublin City Council will begin works from next Monday (April 20th) to ensure that #socialdistancing measures in #Stoneybatter #DorsetStreet #CapelStreet and other parts of the city can be adhered to. These involve measures for pedestrians and cyclists. Update just received from #CEO.

“Delighted that we have been able to get agreement on these from officials and I thank other political groupings for their support of my efforts,” added Cllr Mc Adam.

Cllr Janet Horner (Green Party) said: “Update from DCC on provisions for social distancing on footpaths and cycle lanes. Some great progress here (a counterflow cycle-lane on Nassau Street = = Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes)Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes). This pandemic has brought new urgency to the need for walking & cycling to be safe & comfortable in the city. More needed!”

Kevin Baker, chairperson Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “We’re happy to see these measures introduced and thank the city council for taking this issue seriously. Motor traffic is greatly reduced at the moment, while demand for space on footpaths and cycle lanes has increased dramatically, so it makes sense to reallocate some road space for use by people who are walking and cycling.”

Baker added: “Our public health officials are telling us that social distancing measures will remain in place, in some form or other, until there is a vaccine for Coronavirus. If this is the case then we will need to increase the space available to pedestrians and cyclists across the city, not just in specific areas. The City Council needs to be proactive on this and not give the virus any opportunity to spread within the community.”

REACTION FROM OTHER CITIES, an umbrella group of most cycling campaigns, said: With Dublin leading the way, how quickly will other cities and towns follow? Great decision from Dublin City Council to reallocate and protect space for people walking and cycling. Well done to Green Party and Fine Gael Dublin cllrs. Over to you, Cork, Limerick, Galway et al.”

In contrast to Dublin, Galway City Council has claimed that it cannot install a temporary cycle track in Salthill despite the need to remove car parking spaces as a social distancing measure.

Galway Cycling Campaign yesterday said: “This is not based on any reasonable reading of Covid-19 restrictions and essential services.”

It added: “Furthermore, what safety audits were carried out to assess if there was any increased risk to people cycling by placing metal crowd-control barriers next to an active traffic lane with relatively high usage by cyclists?” The council has apparently since removed the barriers and replaced them with a large volume of traffic cones.

Cllr Owen Hanley, a Social Democrats councillor for Galway City, said: “Dublin City Council will start introduction social distancing measures from next week. Galway City Council must begin to implement similar measures and I and other Councillors are working on this trying to get this done.”

The Cork Cycling Campaign said: “Dublin and Cork are in the same political, legal, economic, and social environment. City managers in Dublin listen to Cllrs and act accordingly. What will our city managers do? Is personal bias going to affect decision making?”

EDITED: Updated with quote from press release issued by the Dublin Cycling Campaign. is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

September subscription drive update: has reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October), but this is unlikely and so the new target is the end of the year.

If you can help push above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.

*** is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via

Cian Ginty

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.