Sandymount cycle route trial suspended as Judge grants stay on works

IMAGE: Change such as proposals to change two-way roads to one-way (as proposed in Sandymount in Dublin) might seem radical, but the evidence shows these result in car traffic reduction.

— Trial cycle route likely delayed at least another two months.

A High Court judge has granted a stay — a temporary legal block — on all works related to Dublin City Council’s Strand Road cycle path trial in Sandymount.

The High Court is expected to hear the judicial review proceedings in the case on April 27.

Kevin Baker, chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “Unfortunately we’re going to see yet further delays to the Strand Road COVID Mobility Route. All construction must stop because of this High Court order. IMHO the case against the project is weak. It’s just meant to further delay and frustrate the project into oblivion.”

The case is being brought by Peter Carvill, according to Breakingnews.ie who is representing the Serpentine Avenue, Tritonville and Claremont Roads (STC) group, and Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent), who is a councillor in the neighbouring area and is a serial objector to cycle routes.

Cllr Mannix Flynn and STC claim that the council are going beyond its powers by not applying for planning permission for the cycle route trial and by not catering out an environmental assessment. It was recently stressed in the High Court that this was especially needed because Dublin Bay is a protected area.

The objectors environmental concerns follow objecting groups previously suggesting a host of alternative options which would have seen work closer to the coast line.

Cities across the world have implemented quick-build segregated cycle paths to give people who need to travel in the pandemic an alternative to enclosed buses and trains, but according to The Irish Times, consultants on behalf of Cllr Flynn have compared the cycle path to “the existing system where cyclists travel on the opposite side of the road to each other as part of general traffic”.

The Irish Times reports that a submission by Farry Town Planning Ltd on behalf of Cllr Flynn states: “This would in our opinion facilitate the transmission of air-borne droplets to a greater degree than exists under the present layout. We believe that this proposal would increase transmission rates.”

On the issue of planning permission, the council and the National Transport Authority rely on the the Road Traffic Act 1994 (Section 38) as amended by the Public Transportation Regulation Act, 2009 (Section 46).

The legislation allows for wide-ranging changes to existing roads and streets, including fully closing off streets to motorists.

Public Transportation Regulation Act, 2009 expands the meaning of traffic calming in Road Traffic Act 1994 to include the ability to “restrict or control the speed or movement of, or which prevent, restrict or control access to a public road or roads by, mechanically propelled vehicles (whether generally or of a particular class) and measures which facilitate the safe use of public roads by different classes of traffic (including pedestrians and cyclists).”

The primary legislation, enacted by the Dail, goes onto added that this “includes for the purposes of the above the provision of traffic signs, road markings, bollards, posts, poles, chicanes, rumble areas, raised, lowered or modified road surfaces, ramps, speed cushions, speed tables or other similar works or devices, islands or central reservations, roundabouts, modified junctions, works to reduce or modify the width of the roadway and landscaping, planting or other similar works.”

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.

7 Comments

  1. What a shame. When will the full hearing go on? I would hope and expect the council to push for the earliest possible decision as the delay will cost money as contractors are stood down but probably entitled to loss of earnings.

  2. Contractors are working on site today! Have they been informed?

  3. @Paul — article has been updated with the expected date for the full hearing.

    @Colm — if they have not been, I’m sure they will be soon. It’s only breaking news and the contractors would be allowed to make safe anything they had already started.

  4. “Dublin is not Amsterdam.. ” Such short sighted nonsense.

  5. All because a few dozen people want to be able to get to their driveway form both sides. The backward mentality in Dublin does not seize to amaze me.

  6. This is not even Mannix Flynns constituency.

  7. John Anderson March 2, 2021 at 8:12 am

    If the judgement doesn’t go in favour of the objectors I hope the judge awards costs to DCC. Why should the council i.e the tax payer pick up the tab.

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