Dublin councils have provided the National Transport Authority with details of restrictive barriers on walking and cycling routes, with one saying that it is proactively removing the barriers but sometimes faces strong opposition from residents.
Earlier this year we reported on how the NTA — as well as TII in rural areas — wrote to councils directing the removal of barriers on cycle routes after transport Minister Eamon Ryan wrote to the transport authorities regarding barriers which do not allow for “universal access” or “free-flow of cycling”.
IrishCycle.com understands that there are differences of opinion among different authorities and councils if what Minister Ryan wrote should be viewed as a request or ministerial order.
The details provided to the NTA by Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council are outlined below and were released under Freedom of Information legislation. Maps were referenced in the Fingal County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council communications to the NTA but were not included in the FOI response, IrishCycle.com is seeking a copy of these maps from the NTA.
Dublin City Council correspondence to the NTA — which included little other than the below list — restricts the response to greenways, While these routes may account for a large number of non-compliant access points, there may be others in the city council’s area.
South Dublin County Council’s Active Travel unit said it wanted to check with their colleagues Public Realm department, which oversees parks, regarding barriers in parks as to “whether they are on active travel NTA funded routes or not”.
Conor Geraghty, head of the Active Travel unit at Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said that national guidance on the issue of barrier removal would be helpful.
“There has be a significant effort to remove these barriers and my colleagues in Traffic and Parks have been doing the heavy lifting,” he said. “In general, once they are identified we move to try and remove them.”
In the correspondence released under Freedom of Information legislation, Geraghty said: Those remaining may be in areas where there was significant local opposition to their removal. In particular there is a barrier under the rail line in Bayview that both Parks and Active Travel tried on a number of occasions to remove. Residents standing in front of machines as well as representations from local Councillors resulted in this barrier remaining for the moment.”
He said: “The correspondence issued notes that kissing gates should be removed. I would be confident that there are very few of these (if any) remaining in dlr. Generally staggered barriers were provided rather than kissing gates. When the guidance is issued it should help us clarify exactly what would be considered non compliant and what could be permitted into the future.”
Geraghty added that DLRCC “would be happy to provide feedback on the various situations that we have encountered and some solutions we provided that eased local concerns but also allowed the free movement of cyclists and ensured universal access.”
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As well as sending a map to the NTA, Fingal Council Council said to the NTA that it would be better placed to find all of the non-compliant access points if it held a public consultation to seek suggestions on the issue.
Sinéad Murphy, a senior engineer, at the Active Travel Unit in Fingal said: “As I understand it, we feel it would be useful to validate the information by way of public consultation of some sort and/or further engagement. I’m told that a Cllr recently brought a number of additional access constraints to our attention that we weren’t aware of.”
She said that another issue of access which is common in parts of Fingal is the walls around housing estates in Dublin 15 and Swords, but noted that this was even more of a complicated and emotive issue.
In an email to the NTA, Michael McAdam, an acting senior engineer for South Dublin County Council, said: “As briefly mentioned yesterday, we have carried out an initial audit of NTA funded active schemes to check where access controls might have been installed post construction. The numbers of schemes where kissing gates or un-approved access controls are relatively low.”
He listed the following:
- 2 no. Kissing gates installed on previously NTA funded and complete sections of the Dodder Greenway (Firhouse Road and Oldbawn Road)
- 1 no. Kissing gate installed on non-NTA funded link into Dodder Valley Park at Oldbawn Road. (Note: 1 no. Kissing gate on the link from the Dodder Greenway to the N81 underpass, has been removed).
- 1 set of pedestrian guard railings at the western end of the N81 Jobstown junction scheme
- There is a series of gates along the Grand Canal route and on each of the links to get onto the route.
- There is a number along the route through Griffeen park in Lucan, each of the links along it also have kissing gates. (this will be addressed, when we carry out the works on the Canal Loop).
And he added: “We have entered into discussions with out colleagues in SDCC Public Realm, who manage the parks in the county. Further meetings will be arranged to discuss access controls to the parks whether they are on active travel NTA funded routes or not.”
South Dublin also requested if it could contribute to the working group that will be assessing future access control standards.
Dublin City Council
River Tolka Greenway
- Finglas Road, west side, entrance to Tolka Valley Park adjacent to Tolka Vale apartments.
- Ratoath Road, east side, entrance to Tolka Valley Park near junction with Scribblestown Lane.
- Ratoath Road, west side, entrance to Cardiffsbridge Park near junction with Scribblestown Lane.
- River Road, north side, near junction with Ratoath Road.
- River Road, south side, near junction with Ratoath Road.
- River Road, north side, near junction with Rathborne Drive.
- River Road, north side, near junction with Rathborne Way.
- River Road, north side, near junction with Ashtown Road.
Royal Canal Greenway
- Northern towpath, west side of Binn’s Bridge.
- Southern towpath, adjacent to the 2nd Lock.
- Southern towpath, to the rear of 27 Saint Ignatius Road.
- Southern towpath, adjacent to the 4th Lock.
- Southern towpath (Royal Canal Bank), adjacent to Dakota Court apartments.
- Northern towpath, east side of Cross Guns Bridge.
- Northern towpath, east side of Dublin-Sligo railway underpass.
- Northern towpath (laneway to Moyle Road), adjacent to the 7th Lock.
- Northern towpath, east side of Broome Bridge.
- Northern towpath, west side of Broome Bridge.
- Northern towpath, east side of Reilly’s Bridge.
- Northern towpath, east side of The Tallow apartments.
Grand Canal Greenway
- Saint James’ Linear Park, west side of Rialto Bridge.
- Northern towpath (Devoy Road), west side of Suir Road.
- Northern towpath, outside 1A Devoy Road.
- Northern towpath, east side of Goldenbridge Terrace.
- Northern towpath, 2no. at the southern end of Connolly Avenue.
- Northern towpath, lane to west side of Thornton Heights apartments.
- Northern towpath, east side of Saint Vincent Street West.
- Southern towpath, west side of Blackhorse Bridge.
- Southern towpath, east side of Kylemore Road.
- Southern towpath, west side of Kylemore Road.
- Southern towpath, east side of Killeen Road.
- Southern towpath, west side of Killeen Road.
- The following access points are completed:
- Eamonn Ceannt Park, entrance at Stannaway Road.
- Eamonn Ceannt Park, entrance at Clogher Road.