A planned revamp of Drogheda’s urban dual carriageway leaves people cycling exposed according to the project’s draft drawings, and does not have enough traffic calming according to local campaigners.
People cycling are left exposed in long left-turning lanes, at junctions, and at parking bays. Extra-wide traffic lanes are also favoured over providing the standard width for cycle paths and no buffer space is provided despite it being highly favoured by the new Cycle Design Manual.
At St Dominic’s Bridge, which is for walking and cycling only, there’s only a cycling connection in one direction, with no method for people cycling to access the other side of the road or to cross the road to the bridge as part of the Drogheda Active Travel Phase 2 plan.
At other junctions along the route, which runs between George’s Street and the train station, there is no protected space for people cycling to turn left or right. In most cases, there is ample space for protected turning areas
The Drogheda Cycling Group is urging Louth County Council to “seize the opportunity presented by the proposed” redesign of the road to “make Drogheda a safer place for all road users.” The group made a submission on early-stage public consultation which ended on Friday.
It said that its submission welcomed the proposals but called for the council to improve the design including using island-style bus stops, raised pedestrian crossings and other measures to calm traffic in the area.
Noel Hogan, chairperson of Drogheda Cycling Group, said: “These proposals if properly and promptly implemented will help make active travel a real alternative to the private car for short trips around Drogheda such as the morning school run. It is vitally important that no stone is left unturned to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users”.
“We have asked the council to consider developing traffic calming measures alongside their cycle lane proposals to improve safety for all road users,” he said.
The improvements the group is looking for is for the council to include raised pedestrian crossings at busy junctions, use island-style bus stops, include traffic calming measures at the entrance to Scotch Hall’s multi-storey car park, and protective measures to prevent motorists from mounting the cycle paths.
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The group also want the slip road on John Street to include traffic lights to “prevent dangerous ‘rat running’ which is currently causing cars turning onto Mary’s bridge to get “stuck” in the yellow box and delaying traffic.”
Hogan added: “In this time of heightened concern about road traffic injuries and deaths, Louth County Council has a great opportunity to lead by example and put safety front and centre in Drogheda. To do so will greatly benefit all road users – cyclists, pedestrians and the vast majority of motorists who drive with care”.