— WATCH: Video of councillors debating the issue.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council councillors tonight were split over the reasons for voting 26-13 against quickly restarting all of the council’s Active Schools Travel project after other councillors recently forced a deferral.
Many of the councillors argued that while they would prefer to proceed, that the council collectively have given a commitment to hold further consultation. Others argued that both safe travel for children and climate action cannot wait.
The vote at the council’s monthly meeting was been triggered by a section 140 notice issued by Cllr Shay Brennan (FF) and Cllr Séafra Ó Faoláin (Green Party), and seconded by Cllr Martha Fanning (Labour) who wanted the council to press ahead with the project.
That motion was in response to another 140 motion that efficiently attempted to try to block the Deangreange Road cycle path as proposed as part of the Active Schools project. That was proposed by Cllr Marie Baker (FG) and Cllr Mary Hanafin (FF). It was seconded by Cllr Maurice Dockrell (FG), Cllr Michael Clark (FF), Cllr Jim Gildea (FG), and Cllr Mary Fayne (FG).
There are local campaigns both for and against the planned six-month trial making around 900 metres of Deansgrange Road one-way to provide a two-way cycle route.
In a reply to the latest motion, council management has said that they will now bring forward a report on the future public consultation in December rather than in January.
Two of the three of the Active School Travel routes proposed first proposed and consulted on last year used Deansgrange Road (see map below). The council suspended the full project after the first 140 motion, but have now said that they will continue quicker with the unaffected Sea to Mountan route, which is expected to re-start next month.
Kevin Baker, chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “The council management recommended councillors vote against the motion. There was strong support from councillors from almost all parties. There was also strong dissent from many councillors. It wasn’t a black and white issue. The council management recommended councillors vote against the motion.”
He added: “One of the most notable contributions was from Blackrock Cllr Kate Feeney who has been a consistent supporter of the two-way cycle track on Deansgrange Road. She voted against the motion. The key reason being the council has already committed to more public consultation.”
Cllr Shay Brennan said: “Active Schools Travel programme remains suspended tonight after DLR Cllrs voted down a motion to restart it by 13 to 26. Devastating news for all that will have to wait another school year for their safe and connected infrastructure.”