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Gardai only issue 10 fines per week for parking in cycle lanes nationwide

Only 10 fines were handed out across Ireland by Gardai to motorists parking in cycle lanes according to figures released to a TD.

Wicklow TD Steven Matthews (Green Party) said the statistics are “hugely disappointing” to him as both as a cyclist and as a public representative but that “they aren’t entirely surprising”.

Deputy Matthews said: “The issue of parking in cycling lanes is something that I have raised long before I became a TD. The figures I have obtained from 2020 onwards show that we are looking at 10 fines per week nationally for parking in a cycle lane so far this year. I think it is fair to say that if you tried, you could find 10 offences on any main street, on any given day. The fact that so few fines are being issued is incredibly frustrating.”

Matthews said in a press release this afternoon that the data was released to him following his engagement with senior representatives from the Gardai at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport recently.

The data was released as campaigners told the Oireachtas Justice Committee this afternoon that parking in cycle lanes is “not a victimless crime”.

Other data provided to the TD includes:

  • Collision incidents involving cyclists – 1,574 (2020); 1,669 (2021); 1,071 (2022*)
  • Cyclists hospitalised – 584 (2020); 638 (2021); 354 (2022*) **
  • FCN for blocking cycle lane – 539 (2020); 350 (2021); 344 (2022*)
    * = up to 28/08/22
    ** = hospitalisation date is per Garda figures which are recognised as under-reporting of issue

“The fact that we have had more cyclists hospitalised following accidents with vehicles than we have had fines issued for parking in cycle lanes is a clear indication that we not only have a behavioural issue but also an issue with enforcement. I will be raising these very concerning statistics with Gardaí at a local level, but it is clear that this failure to address what is potentially a very serious road infringement goes way beyond any individual station,” said Matthews.

He added: “I am seeking an urgent shift in emphasis from An Garda Síochána in their enforcement of cycling lanes and any other measure that offers greater protection to cyclists on our roads. I am more than happy to work at a local and national level in support of this, but any rhetoric or road safety campaign needs to be matched with action in terms of consistently issuing fines for anybody blocking a cycle lane, even briefly. The excuse of ‘I’ll only be a minute’ can’t cut it anymore.”

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5 comments

  1. I am convinced that traffic violations will never receive sufficient priority from AGS. Things have gone out of control. We need a new force, dedicated to traffic.
    We also need the judicial system to understand the importance of them treating the road violence and disregard of the rules with the required severity. As it stands, the rules of the road are widely advisory and wishful, but lacking any teeth at all.

    Reply
  2. I phoned 999 to report a line of cars that 100% blocked a cycle lane for over 100 yards outside a school. The Guard on 999 insisted I had to phone the local station but wouldn’t give me the number. I got it elsewhere and phoned. The local Garda station said it was an issue for the council. Initially I argued that this was wrong then I just gave up. Next time I cycled outside the cycle lane and was subject to beeping cars. It wouldn’t have surprised meif I was arrested by the same Guards for cycling in the car lane. Cant win.

    Reply
    • Simply put, you were lied to by the 999 operator and the Garda.

      I was reporting illegal parking in an area in Fingal and FCC Operations said “Illegal and dangerous parking is a road safety risk, and is enforceable by both Fingal Parking Wardens and An Garda Síochána at any time.”
      Of course the problem is that neither of them enforce it “at any time”

      Reply
      • Perfectrly put by both Damien, Charlie and Stephen!
        None of these bodies with the power to issue enforcement notices have any intention of inflaming motordom by such action. Discretionary policing of cycle tracks is embedded in the regulatory system where it is taken to an art-form.

        Reply
  3. Today I saw
    1) a woman drive onto the contraflow cycle lane at Maretimo Villas because she didn’t want to wait 2 minutes behind a construction vehicle that was finishing loading. One of the construction workers waved her onto the contraflow (bollarded) cycle lane. Three bollards on that lane are already broken. The main lane going the other direction is bike priority but I have been shouted at, beeped at and almost rammed off the lane by motorists who don’t like the fact that on-street parking has made the road too narrow for cyclists and motorists to share alongside each other if travelling northwards.
    2) a young man drive into George’s lane (one way for cars, with a contraflow for bikes) and park in the contraflow cycle lane. He put his lights on hazard and sauntered out. By the time we had walked up to the park he still had not come out of wherever he was going to, meaning the car was blocking the contraflow lane for at least 7 minutes.
    You couldn’t make it up. But I had no energy to report either of those situations and be ignored.

    Reply

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