Dublin’s largest cycling campaign, the Dublin Cycle Campaign has issued a statement tonight saying that it shares “deep concerns” about the graveyard detour planned for the Deansgrange Cycle Route using a graveyard.
The campaign pointed out that the original consultation on the project had over 6,000 submissions and 63% of which supported the original plan to reallocate space by making Deansgrange Road one-way for motorists.
Another group, the Deansgrange Cycle Route group, formed by local residents who favour the cycle route, said that they also supported the original route but a they are looking for urgent action to make the road safe.
The graveyard section of the route was proposed as a compromise in December last year to avoid disrupting cars when councillors disagreed with the original proposal.
But families who have children and other relatives buried in the graveyard have started a campaign against the use of the burial grounds.
They have been featured in radio, online and newspaper coverage in the last few week weeks, and a petition against the use of Deansgrange Cemetery for the cycle route has now hit 2,950 signees — significantly more than the petition against making the road one-way for motorists, which reached 1,257 signatures.
It’s understood that some councillors who previously supported the graveyard detour of the cycle route are reflecting on their position — at least one is said to have told members of the public they will no longer support the graveyard section of the route.
Public consultation for the project is ongoing and open until October 27 at dlrcoco.citizenspace.com.
Ellen Cullen, the chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “Dublin Cycling Campaign shares the deep concerns in relation to a proposed cycle route through Deansgrange graveyard. Dublin Cycling Campaign supported the original preferred route proposed by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, which was a high-quality route forming part of a best-in-class network.”
Cullen said: “Councillors rejected [the original] plan despite this overwhelming public support. The resulting chosen route through Deansgrange graveyard is the unfortunate outcome of maintaining the status quo as regards the allocation of road space to motorised vehicles, despite the costs to the locality.”
“Nevertheless, since this chosen route has now since progressed, the Campaign’s position is that it should proceed and be implemented to meet the long overdue demand for safety for cycling to schools and workplaces in the area,” she said.
Cullen said: “Dublin Cycling Campaign’s view is that the Council should engage fully with those who have concerns with the chosen route through the graveyard, and address those concerns, while still maintaining a safe solution for locals and for children cycling to school.”
A spokesperson for the Deansgrange Cycle Route group, formed by local residents who favour the cycle route, said they welcomed the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s statement but that urgent action was needed to make the road safer.
The group said: “”We welcome the statement from Dublin Cycling Campaign which reflects our own feelings. As a group of local residents we much preferred the original proposal for a one way system. Unfortunately, due to a lack of political will and legal threats from local stakeholders that proposal was not advanced.”
They said: “This current proposal is the only viable option available after the Council researched and analysed eight possible route options. Deansgrange Road is extremely dangerous and safe cycling infrastructure needs to be provided urgently to allow local families to get to and from schools and activities safely. Every day that Councillors fail to act on this serious safety issue they fail our children and other vulnerable road users.”
As the consultation only closes at the end of this month, a report on it as part of the Part 8 process is likely to come before councillors by December.
Existing views and photomontages of what’s proposed: