Sinn Féin and independent councillors claim cycle lanes are making roads more dangerous

— “There’s a little bit of hysteria — no one is forcing you out of your car,” says Solidarity Cllr.

A Sinn Féin councillor and an independent councillor in South Dublin have claimed that cycle lanes are making roads more dangerous.

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Last week, councillors briefly debated the Castletymon Road South Part 8 Active Travel Scheme at the Tallaght area committee meeting of South Dublin County Council.

Some local councillors have mainly been complaining about projects that are under construction or which were being built a short time ago. These complaints have been brought up while new routes are the topic at meetings.

The Castletymon Road South project is now currently at public consultation, which is to run until April 10th.

The drawings and reports outline how the project is a continuation of the Castletymon Road project (see video in the tweet below). It is planned to include cycle paths of various widths, including between 1.5-2 metres wide, a short section of a shared path to avoid removing extra parking spaces, and a protected junction at the junction with Main Road.

If the project is approved by councillors, the project is expected to be under construction by Q4 2024 and finished in Q3 2025.

Cllr Patrick Holohan (independent) said: “The real situation out there at the moment is these cycle schemes are causing crashes and causing a lot of confusion out there.” As reported last month, it claimed another cycle route amounted to “extremism”.

He also claimed that the projects were increasing emissions without expanding on what he was referring to or providing any evidence of such when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have recommended promoting cycling as a form of climate action.

On a far more positive note, Cllr Holohan then added a lot of the plan for the Castletymon Road South scheme “makes a lot of sense”.

Cllr Teresa Costello (Fianna Fáil), as with the last meeting, complained about the use of Section 38 for active travel projects but welcomed that this scheme is being progressed via Part 8.

Under the Roads Acts, Section 38 covers projects within the boundary of roads, while Part 8 of the Planning Acts is needed for projects going outside the boundary of roads — the latter requires formal approval from councillors, while Section 38 does not, but in councillors’ general approval is usually sought.

She asked how many parking spaces were to be removed. An official said that there are 12 spaces, and there will be nine spaces, a reduction of three spaces.

Cllr Vanessa Mulhall (Green Party) said: “I really think we need to stop concentrating on how a car gets around the place and think about how everyone else gets around — as the pictures show here, there’s spaces for cyclists, people to walk and people to drive.”

She said that traffic calming measures are important for safety.

Cllr Louise Dunne (Sinn Féin) said: “I’m for active travel and more cycle routes, but not at the cost of the majority of people. And no disrespect to Cllr Mulhall and her politics, but we’re not all privileged to go out in the morning and just go out on a bike.”

She complained about the “cost to people who have to use cars”, the lack of “proper public transport”, and how the ongoing construction of cycle routes in the area is coming up at the doors while councillors are canvassing.

Cllr Dunne said: “We’re coming up to an election now, and we’re all out at the doors; I can hear people’s frustrations. At nearly every household I go to, it’s about these cycle lanes, their frustrations, the lack of consultation and the impact it’s having on ordinary people in the community.”

“And it is becoming more dangerous. For example, buses coming off Killinarden Hill down onto Firhouse Road, even trying to do the turn there… I’ve seen it, them [the bus drivers] trying to take those corners; it’s absolutely crazy, it’s mental,” said Cllr Dunne. “Then you have the quad users and the scramblers using them; they are having a free-for-all on these cycle lanes — we might as well be building for them.”

But she then added that she was happy to support the Part 8 process proceeding to public consultation and was looking forward to the conversation around it.

Cllr Leah Whelan (Solidarity) said: “If we really do want to tackle the climate crisis, we have to make radical changes in our own lives. I’m not saying somebody who has family or kids with additional needs that need that type of transport, they should. We need to ensure we are creating the space for all people.”

She said she does not drive or cycle, and her experience is that, at the moment, electric scooters and bikes are on footpaths, which is dangerous.

Cllr Whelan said: “We do need to make sure there is safety, but I think, at times in this chamber, there’s a little bit of hysteria — no one is forcing you out of your car. We are just ensuring people who are travelling by foot, traveling by bike and travelling by car all have equal access to the road.”

Cllr Kieran Mahon (Solidarity) said, of all of the cycle tracks, the proposal on the Castletymon Road did not seem to be controversial to him. He said that he could not see any reason to oppose it and would view it as positive.

The video of the meeting can be watched back at sdcc.public-i.tv, while the public consultation information can be found at consult.sdublincoco.ie.


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1 comments

  1. Sounds more like the comedic Ballymagash county council to me. Very disappointed with the Sinn Fein Cllr. She clearly doesn’t want the cyclist vote in all that canvassing.
    So now I am to be considered “privileged” to be out at 7am on my bicycle for the last four months in freezing cold, damp, dark, mucky slushy, windy conditions placing my life on the line every inch of the way attempting to predict the utterly criminally reckless driving of the poor drivers in their sheltered, heated, insulated vehicles.

    Reply

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