High Court case on Strand Road cycle route set for two days in June

IMAGE: An artist's impression of the planned cycle path.

A High Court case challenging the legal mechanism which Dublin City Council plan to use for a 6 month trial of a cycle route on Strand Road in Dublin has been set for June 24.

Dublin City’s Lord Mayor Hazel Chu yesterday tweeted: “Strand Road court hearing is set for 24th of June for two days. If the trial had commenced as planned it would, have by the date of the court case, given 3 months of safe segregated cycling for all ages during this lockdown.”

Late this afternoon, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “The case was merely in for mention in April and was not due to be heard then. Dublin City Council have worked very hard to assemble all the required information to make an application for the earliest possible hearing date under very tight timelines.”

They added: “The City Council made this application in the High Court yesterday and successfully obtained a full hearing date on the 24th of June, 2021. It is a matter for the court to decide on the hearing date and this is outside the control of the City Council.”

It was reported — including by this website — that High Court was expected to hear the judicial review proceedings in the case on April 27. But this date was not for the full hearing.

As previously reported, the High Court case is being brought by Peter Carvill, representing the Serpentine Avenue, Tritonville and Claremont Roads (STC) group, and Cllr Mannix Flynn, who is a councillor in a neighbouring area and is a serial objector to cycle routes. A 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.

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.

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.

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