Dublin’s emergency services do not back a councillor’s claims that a cycle track in Templeogue hinders their access.
South Dublin County Council last year installed flexible plastic bollards on a painted cycle tracks on Wellington Lane — the bollards can easily be run over by emergency vehicles. Buses on regular Dublin Bus services have also continued to be able to manage to use the road since last year.
Cllr Pamela Kearns (Labour) told this website yesterday that the cycle track is “dangerous and does not provide ease of access for emergency vehicle”, but, when contacted, the emergency services did not back the councillor’s claims.
She said: “I am awaiting the report from the emergency services and will get back to you when they explain their rational.”
Cllr Kearns added: “I do have a personal observation from a local Guard and he shares my concerns however, I will wait to hear what the organisation feels.”
The claimed involvement of a Garda, in a personal capacity, comes just a week after on-going controversy in Co Cork started over a similar situation. A submission to a greenway public consultation in Cork was marked as being from the Gardai, but was disowned by the force as not an official submission.
The Cork-focused newspaper website, Echolive.ie, reported at the weekend that “enquiries are ongoing to determine the facts around the submission”.
Last week, Cllr Kearns told Dublin-based local newspaper, The Echo, that the layout on Wellington Lane in Dublin is “an accident waiting to happen”, is poses “a serious health and safety risk”, and is “too narrow, and very, very dangerous”.
Echoing others who oppose cycling infrastructure, Cllr Kearns said: “I support the concept of cycle tracks, and I’m 100 per cent in support of people who use their bikes.”
South Dublin Council Council said that the traffic lanes are 3 metres wide, which should more than accommodate emergency vehicles. The council said that the Dublin Fire Brigade and HSE did not have an issue with the layout.
When contacted by this website, Dublin Fire Brigade said: “Dublin Fire Brigade’s drivers are trained to the Road Safety Authority’s Emergency Services Driving Standard (ESDS) level 3 syllabus . This training prepares the drivers for a wide range of road conditions and scenarios that they may encounter whilst responding to an emergency.”
He said: “Driving in an urban environment provides challenges which emergency services drivers are experienced in navigating and tactical driving allows for space to be created by other road users to allow emergency vehicles to pass safely and efficiently.”
The spokesperson added: “The RSA have produced a leaflet called ‘Sharing the road with emergency services vehicles’ which we would encourage all road users to be familiar with.”
The Garda press office said: “An Garda Siochana does not comment on statements made by third parties. This is a matter for the local council.”
Asked if the local Garda station or division have any issue with the bollards installed on the Wellington Lane cycle track as implemented by South Dublin County Council, the spokesperson said: “As previously advised, this would be a matter for the relevant Council.”
— Damien Byrne (@db2909) July 24, 2020