Fianna Fail councillor was “delighted” with cycle lanes in 2020 but now denies she was told about them before project started

A Fianna Fail councillor has said this week that cycle tracks were installed on Hyde Road in Limerick City after the “Green Party flashed the money” and claimed that council officials had “not once did they mention cycle lanes” before the prolect started. However, in a Facebook post in 2020, which was posted before the work began on the route, she said she was “delighted” with the traffic calming project and listed “segregated cycleways on both sides” as part of the scheme.

The cycle tracks installed on Hyde Road also fit the bill as traffic calming measures, which CIIr Catherine Slattery had been campaigning for.

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The councillor works closely with Willie O’Dea, a Fianna Fail TD in the city who has also taken a stance against cycle routes. Campaigners and councillors who support cycling provision in the city believe it’s a strategy the two politicians are taking to gather votes from people against active travel projects.

Renewed complaint about cycle routes from Cllr Slattery is how the local newspaper, the Limerick Post, reported on a report which showed that 76% of Limerick residents “support building more cycle paths physically separated from traffic and pedestrians, even when this would mean less room for other road traffic.”

The report was funded by the National Transport Authority, but the surveys were conducted by independent polling company Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A). B&A conducted face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of at least 1,100 respondents aged 16 and above in each of the city’s metropolitan areas.

Cllr Seán Hartigan (Green Party), in a tweet on Thursday last, said: “Couldn’t make it up, 2020 Cllr Slattery takes credit for cycle lanes on Hyde Road, 2024 says they are ’a total waste of money’ and the super-powered Greens with big green bags of money, snuck them in overnight when no one was looking.

He added that you’d “need a good memory for this kind of carry-on.”

In a Facebook post in 2020, CIIr Slattery said: “After talks with myself and my colleague CIIr Sarah Kiely with Limerick City and County Council I am delighted to announce that the Council have committed to put traffic calming measures in place on Hyde Road to reduce speed in the area that will potentially save lives.”

“Works will include reducing the width of the road, segregated cycleways on both sides, straggling the road/green area and a rationalisation and narrowing of the many side junctions,” she said.

CIIr Slattery added: “We are delighted with the news as Hyde Road has a very strong connection for both of us and we had to take action and work together for the people we represent.”

However, while she welcomed the project and outlined how it included cycle lanes before construction started in 2020, fast-forward to this week, and CIIr Slattery claims that cycle lanes were only added “once that scheme started.”

According to an article in the Limerick Post newspaper this week, CIIr Catherine Slattery claimed: “The council went through what was going to be done there, raised tabletops, narrowing of the roads, but not once did they mention cycle lanes.”

“But what happened then is once that scheme started, to my knowledge, the Green Party flashed the money for cycle lanes, and cycle lanes were stuck in there without any proper consultation to the residents,” she told the Post.

In December 2023, Cllr Sarah Kiely (Fine Gael) said: “[Council officils] Dan Slavin and John O’Callaghan were so considerate to all residents in the area. This has transformed Hyde Road aesthetically and slowed traffic as well as providing walking and cycling infrastructure.”

This week, CIIr Slattery also took issue with the Childers Road cycle route, which she has objected to on several occasions.

In an echo of previous comments, Limerick Post reports this week that she claimed: “I pass up and down Childres Road a couple of times a day, I’d say twice a week you’d see someone biking it” and claimed there was “traffic chaos” in the morning because of the cycle path.

A member of the public replying to Cllr Hartigan’s tweet, Mike McLoughlin, said: “I’m sick of her straight-up lies on how much the lanes are used. [She] must be travelling at weird hours, because I see multiple bikes in there every time I pass. Zero explanation either in how these separated lanes cause ‘traffic chaos’.”


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3 comments

  1. Now what does that remind us of? (BIG HINT: re the recent referendum). No, surely not – it is surely highly unusual for such politicians to say one thing one day and the completely opposite the next-isn’t it?

    Reply
  2. There appears to be a reactionary wave of anti government, anti immigration, and generally anti anything that can be associated with “wokeness” flooding over the country and especially on social media where it’s dominating. And cycling is almost as woke as it gets. I think there will be a lot more national, but even more so, local politicians with the local elections coming up soon looking at how the wind is blowing right now and veering towards more conservative reactions because “most people” will not want or use these facilities. And of course all that money could go to house homeless Irish people. But not immigrants of course.

    Reply

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