— More permanent solution dependent on wider plans announced last week, but at least one councillor is already “stirring pot”, “looking for the anti-cycling vote”.
Two councillors in Waterford City are looking for action after around 70 bollards were illegally removed from a protected cycle lane on Manor Street in the city.
In March, IrishCycle.com reported how a cyclist in the cycle lane was knocked off their bicycle by a motorist — at the time 15 bollards were missing inbound and 14 outbound. The vandalism and theft of the bollards has continued since with almost all missing by last week.
More substantial or, at least, more secure bollards are planned in the short term, but stronger segregation might depend on wider active travel plans which are already starting to be opposed.
On Thursday last, Cllr Frank Quinlan (FG) said: “The Senior Director of Roads was there yesterday and he said they were looking at the bigger screw to secure, I’m not an engineer so I really don’t know what the solution is, but these are not working.”
He said: “We are travelling to Holland for a few days next week to look at their infrastructure and hopefully bring back ideas to use and suggest.”
He posted the below video clip to Twitter last week and said: “Where bollards were recently installed to keep cyclists safe and segregated from the busy traffic, unfortunately, 70 bollards are missing within a few months. They are very flimsy, easily broken and held in by one screw.”
Cllr Cristíona Kiely (Green Party) said the installation of the cycle lanes was welcomed as cycling the street was known as the “Nightmare on Manor Street” before that so she said that “at least the cycle lanes went in”, but it was hopped that stronger segregation and not flimsy bollards would follow.
She said: “The bollards went down and obviously they are flimsy and they are being removed deliberately, but I don’t know who’s removing them. The bottom line is that they are being taken.”
Cllr Kiely said that stronger segregation is now planned as part of plans for new active travel routes in Waterford, but expects this will be delayed by opposition to the plans.
“There’s five new plans, three of them from the Cork Road artery into the city. These are three separate projects, and, with one of those, the segregation will finally take place on Manor Street,” she said.
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Cllr Kiely added: “Waterford is no different to lots of other places where there are bits of cycle lanes that go nowhere. Segregation is coming with the new active travel plans which were announced the other day. Unfortunately what’s also going to come with those is lots of objections and at least one councillor has started stirring that pot. At least one councillor will be looking for the anti-cycling vote.”
Cllr Quinlin posted the following video to Twitter: