Claim of highly popular new cycle route delaying lifeboat access “cannot be substantiated”

— Cycle route blamed while still under construction, other roadworks on-going.
— Council in contact with RNLI on details of access lifeboat station.
— Campaigners say cycle route will save lives by tackling the inactivity crisis.

A reported delay of up to 20 minutes in accessing the Dún Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Station, claimed to be because of a new coastal cycle route, “cannot be substantiated”, a senior official at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has said.

The new cycle route — at least some of which will likely serve as part of the S2S Dublin Bay greenway — has been put in places using temporary materials as a COVID-19 mobility measures.

As this website has previously reported, the route runs from Blackrock to Sandycove, passing Dún Laoghaire harbor between the two areas. The space for the route has been made by making the coastal road one-way for motorists, which makes space for a two-way cycle path.

The new route is 3.6 km long but when combined with an existing cycle route in Blackrock Park and low-volume local streets in Blackrock it forms a 6.6km route which is a mix of segregation, local streets, and paths in the park. In Dún Laoghaire the route also links with the Metals shared greenway which links to Dalkey.

The claim of a delay of up to 20 minutes was made by an anonymous source, reported to be a RNLI volunteer in an article in the Business Post newspaper yesterday (Sunday). 

In response to the article in the Business Post, Robert Burns, director of infrastructure and climate change at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said: “To put everyone’s mind at ease, not an official response from RNLI and the claims set out on response times cannot be substantiated. RNLI is not a ‘Blue Light’ emergency service and so they use their own transport. DLRCC has a position on this and is in consultation with RNLI.”

IrishCycle.com understands that a large volume of criticism of traffic delays in the area recently, which is been blamed on new coastal cycle route, has in fact been caused by the construction works for the cycle route rather than the route itself, and by unrelated road works on the Glasthule Road, which is part of the road which runs parallel with the coastal route. 

As well as the construction works for the cycle route, there’s a stop / go traffic management system linked to on-going remedial works to footpaths in Glasthule Village which according to the council’s website commenced on July 19 and are due to be finished by July 24. After 7pm, road works are also on-going on road resurfacing works in Glasthule Village. These commenced on July 21 and runs until July 24.

The CoCo Markets were also held on Queens Road on July 12. The council has said that this will not be repeated.

As well as overall delays claimed to be because of the cycle route, plastic bollards have also been put in place across the Queen’s Road access point, one of the two access points to the Lifeboat Station. When traveling from the Sandycove direction, the route for motorists to the station is now around 440 metres from the Queen’s Road access point, while going over the bollards is around 100 metres. 

The bollards are of a similar type which used in Dublin City Centre as social distancing measures by closing loading bays and parking to allow for more pedestrian space outside shops. The bollards were at first easily driven over by motorists.

Oisín O’Connor, a spokesperson for the DLR branch of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “The harbour car park is accessible as it always was, apart from the large amount of cars parked in it. Emergency vehicles are allowed to use two way cycle lanes in other countries and it would be great for the council to clarify that they can be used here too.”

“The council have indicated that they’ve been in touch with the RNLI so we shouldn’t put too much heed to anonymous sources claiming undefined, unverified barriers to access,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor added: “This cycle lane will save lives by tackling the inactivity crisis, poor air quality which claims over 1,000 lives per year and help reduce our impact on climate change, which is already costing large numbers of lives of people in the Global South.”

Afloat.ie, a sailing and boating website, last week quoted Stephen Wynne, the lifeboat operations manager at RNLI Dun Laoghaire as stating that they were currently “in consultation with DLRCoCo to find an amicable solution”.

REACTION: IMAGES AND VIDEO OF ROUTE

https://twitter.com/iancairns01/status/1284843808862154752?s=20

https://twitter.com/conndonovan9/status/1284828824614719490?s=20

https://twitter.com/Sulkythesecond/status/1284504117159829504?s=20

https://twitter.com/CitizenW0lf/status/1284471045395812357?s=20

https://twitter.com/unapower/status/1283030236154736640?s=20

https://twitter.com/seamusguidera/status/1282049712607105026?s=20

https://twitter.com/mcclean_siobhan/status/1284886474123554816?s=20

https://twitter.com/__kbaker__/status/1284903573940326400?s=20

 

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely buzzing about this. I live just off the new lanes in the middle of Dun Laoghaire and it’s made a massive positive difference firstly for me and my family directly by making it infinitely easier for my 8 year old to cycle to Blackrock or Dalkey and beyond without fear. I cycle to work in town so running the gauntlet of the final stretch of the old Dun Leary Road with speeding traffic is now a thing of the past.

    Secondly, the overall drop in on-street motor traffic (especially on Sundays when day trippers cars block up Crofton Road), the rise again in bike use simply to get around, go shopping, etc. makes for a much friendlier, happier and far more pleasant town.

    Although the infra that’s been put in is all temporary, with screw-down wooden curbs, magic wands and whatnot, the resurfacing of most of the road has been fast and to a good standard. It seems like most of the work done so far is to get best bang for the buck at this stage, with a view that it’ll be easier to make permanent.

    There’s been a fair bit of hostility online from easily ignored wannabe Twitter trolls, but just talking to others in person, many don’t get that these lanes connect schools and senior colleges and will enable students to cycle to school/college far easier than before. Equally, some drivers simply don’t understand the concept of why parking spaces should be outside the bike lane. Likewise, once more people are able to cycle as a mode of transport, the demand for road space for cars will drop and make it easier for those who do need to drive.

    This is a great amenity, but we need to keep pushing and suggesting other routes to build the network – other than the Metals and Blackrock park, there’s no other segregated lanes in the area right now that connect with this. We need more!

  2. There is a small but active group of Trolls who are posting a variety of lies about these schemes. Get need to be exposed for what they are.

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