What legal changes are needed to enable Cycling For All infrastructure and culture in Ireland?

Over the weekend a new Government was voted on in the Dail which confirms the Programme for Government which is set to bring Ireland to Dutch level of cycling funding, so, we need to ask what’s next for Cyclingforall.ie and, right now, we’re asking you:

What road traffic law or other legal changes are needed to enable Cycling For All infrastructure and culture?

Some changes might just need updates to the Traffic Signs Manual, others will need ministerial order directing authorities to act, and changes to written law can vary from secondary legislation which the relevant minister can sign off in their self, or primary legislation which needs to go through parliament. There might also be planning issues that need legal fixes?

In a recent article, this website covered how the Germany government introduced cycling-friendly legal changes, that might be a starting point, but we’re waiting to hear from you…. please comment with your suggestions below…

Here’s a draft list of suggestions:

  • Simplified zebra crossings (ie without the need for beacons on cycle paths)
  • Contra-flow without lanes.
  • Directional bicycle traffic lights and filter lanes.
  • “Elephant feet” — Dutch-style markings used to show where cycle lane / path crosses a road. Being adopted in the UK.
  • “Shark’s teeth” yield markings — note: not impossible to implement but might be tricky as similar to an inverted version of the existing ramp marking used here (and in the UK).
  • Rules around roadwork signs changed to avoid blocking footpath or cycle tracks — signs should be attached to existing polls, posts or trees where it doesn’t interfere with road users and requirements for works ‘ends’ signs should be relaxed. Greater priority on keeping footpaths or cycle paths open over general traffic lanes.
  • Direction of cycle lanes within two-way cycle paths. Mandate in guidance that all two-way cycle paths must be designed so that cyclists travel on the left side of the path (ie as per the normal rules of driving or cycling on the left). Two-way cycle paths in Limerick etc which have been designed in the oppsite way are reported as being confusing to users and other road users. This is not compatible with sustainable safety. Local authorities who have designed two-way cycle paths with cyclists traveling on the right should be fixed as soon as possable.  
  • List will be updated…


  1. Enforcement enforcement enforcement, including issuing hefty fines for infringements. Without this first step, there is absolutely no point in making more laws that won’t be enforced.

  2. Shark tooth sign.
    Left turn on red via yield sign
    Contra flow on single Lane one way streets.
    Presumed liability

  3. Clamp all vehicles parking in cycleways and put road cones around them to allow cyclists to safely pass, car drivers will get the message when they find they are inconvenienced by cars in cycleways.

  4. Deterrent for motorists stopped in cycle lanes – it is a huge problem in rural areas – I cycle every day and see multiple motorists each day stopped in cycle lanes on their phones with the result that I have to cycle out in 100kph traffic to get around the obstacle – maybe even penalty points should apply

  5. We in Cyclist.ie have regularly tabled the TFL report here at meetings with Transport officials – http://content.tfl.gov.uk/international-cycling-infrastructure-best-practice-study.pdf – as an example of what could/should be done! It is wise. It is wide ranging. And it provides a neat summary at the end. Highly recommended.
    We are now hopeful that our new Minister Eamon Ryan will spearhead some of these developments, including any necessary legal changes.

  6. strict liability on motorists in conflicts/collissions. I agree with more enforcement – but you asked about new laws…
    Also a lot more speed restrictions and a proper review by LAs of all speed limits – for all users not just motorists

  7. Enable cyclists to cross at pedestrian crossings, giving way to pedestrians.
    Information campaign to balance the extreme views about cyclists.

  8. Allow cyclists turn left on red if way is clear, allow cyclists to depart prior to vehicular traffic at lights- possibly with pedestrians or at start or finish of pedestrian sequence. Enforced 30KMH speed limits in all built up areas alone would go a long way towards safe cycling. Stop the high viz and helmet campaign, it’s doing us no favours.


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