Councillors agree on two-way cycle path outside Deansgrange Cemetery

A two-way cycle path on the road outside of Deansgrange Cemetery has been agreed to by councillors at a meeting of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council this evening.

The Part 8 planning process, with amendments, has been agreed by a clear majority of councillors.

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The two-way cycle path will now not go via Deansgrange Cemetery as had been planned, but rather continue past the graveyard along the road. Two-way traffic will also be maintained but there will be a loss of car parking outside and opposite the graveyard. To make up for this, some new parking spaces will be provided within the graveyard.

Ahead of the meeting, Deansgrange Cycle Route group, a local group of residents who have campaigned for the cycle route, said: “After 2.5 years of saying what plans they are opposed to, it is time for our Councillors to decide which option they support in order to protect our children and other vulnerable road users.”

After the vote, the group said: “YESSSSS! Councillors have voted for a two way segregated cycle lane on Deansgrange Road alongside two way traffic. Still getting our heads around some detail e.g. re parking. Incredible efforts behind the scenes from @kruddock @DaveQSocDemsDLR @marthafanning @KateFeeneyFF.”

Conor Geraghty, senior engineer at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council outlined an alteration of the plan to keep the two-way cycle route out of Deansgrange Cemetery and on-road by removing car parking spaces.

He said that they would hope to be on-site in the summer and construction would take 6-8 months.

The Part 8 proposals were altered to remove changes planned in the graveyard, including public lighting and the lowering of boundary walls. The removal of the parking outside graveyard and installing of a two-way cycle path could be done via Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act he said.

A motion proposed by Cllr Maurice Dockrell (FG) and Cllr Marie Baker (FG) proposed a review of the bylaws of the cemeteries in DLR to be reviewed. Cllr Dockrell contested that the bylaws of the cemeteries only allow for opening times of 10am to 4.30pm, and no dogs except guide dogs in the graveyards.

He said that longer opening hours should be looked at for summer time but ahead of any review, the law should be followed. While some councillors disagreed with his points, councillors agreed with the motion to review the bylaws as a separate process to the Part 8 process.

Cllr Dockrell and Cllr Baker previously welcomed the route via the cemetery — the two radically changing their position after there was a large-scale backlash to the suggestion of the cycle route using the graveyard.

Cllr Melisa Halpin (People Before Profit) put a motion for further, comprehensive public consultation before the on-road option, including removing car parking, is proceeded with.

Frank Curran, CEO of the council, said that the Part 8 process allowed councillors to amend projects without further public consultation, otherwise there would be no end to the process.

There was extensive debate about the meaning and effect of Cllr Halpin’s motion which was rejected by 36 votes against and just two votes for it.

A motion in the names of Kate Ruddock (Green Party), Martha Fanning (Labour) and Kate Feeney (Fianna Fáil), and seconded by Tom Kivlehan (Green Party), said: “This Council calls on the Chief Executive not to put any section of the Park to Park Safe Route to School cycle way through Deansgrange Cemetery, and instead amends the Part 8 application to include constructing a segregated double cycle way along the length of Deansgrange Road.”

This was approved, with 24 for, 13 against and 3 abstained.

A motion in the name of Cllr Dave Quinn (SocDems) and seconded by Cllr Anne Colgan (independent) said: “That this Council recognises, in light of the Active Travel routes proposed in this Part 8, the need to review the subsequent traffic flow changes in Deansgrange village, particularly along Deansgrange Road. The Council asks the Executive to carry out this review 12 months after the opening of the Active Travel routes along Deansgrange Road and that this review should include the junction design options at Kill Lane/Deansgrange Road, as well as the possible option to make use of laneway off Clonkeen Road’s ESB sub-station as an entry point into Clonkeen Park amongst other possible improvement to the public realm and landscaping in Deansgrange Village.”

After the previous motion on a review of traffic flow was approved, this was passed without a vote.

An other motion in the name of Cllr Dave Quinn (SocDems) and seconded by Cllr Anne Colgan (independent) said: “That this Council agrees to provide car parking within Deansgrange cemetery to accommodate users of the cemetery who will lose the opportunity to park on Deansgrange Road because of the proposed two-way segregated cycle track. The spaces are to be provided in the area indicated in red in the map below and should include disabled parking facilities.”

Cllr Dockrell and Cllr Halpin claimed that it would need a separate Part 8 process but this was contradicted by officials — both Curran and Geraghty — who said that the area, inside the graveyard gate, would be far below the threshold for a new Part 8.

Cllr Michael Clark (Fianna Fail) said that the motion for car parking was the “linchpin” to the compromise voted to allow residents and graveyard visitors to be able to park.

Cllr Quinn said that the motion aims to address the need for parking of residents and visitors.

On the vote for the parking area, 30 councillors voted in favour, 8 against and two abstained.

A motion by Cllr Justin Moylan and seconded by Cllr Michael Clark said: “To amend the part 8 proposal such that the proposed new pedestrian entrance located at the southern end of the cemetery beside the new apartment complex includes a gate to be operated in accordance with the cemetery bye laws.” This was agreed by councillors.

Cllr Mary Hanafin, An Cathaoirleach, said thanked all of those involved, including officials and members of the public. She said that nobody set out to hurt anybody.

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