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Unfinished Dublin-style junction has resulted in injuries for cyclists in Tullamore

An unfinished Dublin-style junction has resulted in injuries for cyclists in Tullamore, according to a report in the Offaly Express newspaper. The cycle tracks have now been closed until work is finished according to the newspaper.

Irish cycle campaigners have said that the experimental ‘Dublin-style’ junction design, which was developed in Ireland, should be avoided. They have outlined two main alternatives instead: Dutch-style protected junctions or the UK-developed Cyclops junctions. At some locations, Dutch-style walking and cycling priority roundabouts may also be an option.

The Dublin-style junction is Tullamore can be seen on Street View with images taken in October 2022 — it is located at the junction of Collins Lane and Ballin Rí. An image on offalyexpress.ie shows that traffic lights have since been installed but are not yet in operation.

IMAGE: Cycling campaigners created the above image showing the difference between the Dublin-style and Dutch-style junctions (Image: Limerick Cycle Design).

The Offaly Express reported that Cllr Ken Smollen said there had been a number of bicycle-only collisions at the junction where cyclists hit the path and fell off their bicycles. Cllr Smollen requested plastic bollards between the road and cycle lane to delineate the edge of the cycle track.

John Connelly, Senior Executive Engineer, was reported as saying that while the junction is almost complete, there is still a need for more road markings, and the traffic lights are not operational. He said: “It’s the design and we have to try to get it right. It is at the transition stage.”

Cathaoirleach of Tullamore Municipal District, Cllr Neil Feighery called the design a “groundbreaking junction”.

On Facebook, in reply to the newspaper article, Cllr Sean O Brien said: “I will keep insisting that this new junction on Collins Lane is completed and made safe for pedestrians and cyclists. This is a busy junction and many children use it to access local schools. The cycleways that are incorporated into this junction form part of the overall system in Tullamore and it is important that it is completely safe.”

ALSO READ: Ireland needs to stop reinventing the wheel on cycling infrastructure — the design of protected junctions would be a good start

Video of Dublin-style junction in operation on Ballybucher Lane, Dublin:

(In this video I mention I had a green light as well as the motorists — this is not the case, the traffic light sequence is that motorists have amber lights when turning)

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