Galway TD uses Dáil debate on road safety to complain there wasn’t enough consultation on Dublin cycle path

— Cycle path is part of cycle routes aimed at connecting residential areas to schools.

A Sinn Féin TD for Galway West/South Mayo has claimed in the Dáil that there was “very little or no public consultation” on the Deansgrange cycle route after the route went through three major iterations.

The most recent proposal for the Deansgrange cycle route project — which has just been reopened to two-way traffic — was agreed on by a clear majority of councillors, with 24 voting for it, 13 against it, and three abstaining.

The project was voted on after a statutory Part 8 process, including public consultation. Although some councillors opposing the project claimed that the changes to the project were substantial enough to warrant a fresh process, council officials strongly refuted this, stating that the scope of the changes fell well within the legal bounds of the process.

Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell made the comments in a road safety debate in the Dáil after she was canvasing the day before in the Deansgrange area with her party’s local election candidate Callie Nic Rállaigh.

Nic Rállaigh had objected to the cycle route because it used an existing shared path in Deansgrange Cemetery — an option which was tabled after opposition to making Deansgrange Road one way to fit in a cycle path as part of a route connecting residential areas to schools.

The cycle route, which is now being built and includes removing on-street parking across from the graveyard, was developed as a response to heated opposition to the route using the existing paths in the graveyard.

At one point in her contribution to the Dáil debate yesterday, Farrell said: “I was just driving along because I was kind of driving within the cycle lane”. When she was driving on the road it was still a construction site and yet to be opened to two-way at that stage.

In the Dáil debate, she said: “One of the real issues we see across the west — and I am thinking of Connemara, obviously, because I know it best, but I do know it is an issue across the west — is the state of the roads and how difficult and dangerous it is that they are in such bad condition. People are constantly saying that their tyres and suspension are going and that a whole range of other things constantly goes because of the state of the roads,”

“And the impact that has because, obviously, it is incredibly dangerous. We see that in the LIS [local improvement] scheme, for example, there is a waiting list at this very moment in time because people are trying to access funding for their different roads. They simply cannot get it because there is not the funding available. Therefore, when we are looking at this, we also need to look at the state of the roads for safety reasons. I really believe that is a key issue in the west,” the rural TD said.

On Deansgrange, Deputy Farrell said: “Of course, it is not just a key issue in the west; it is a key issue everywhere. That is the area I know best, however. I do spend some time driving around Dublin as well. I might not know it as well as Galway, but it is an area that I do know. Even last night, I was in an area called Deansgrange for the first time, I was with Callie Nic Rállaigh and we were just going around meeting and talking to people. And the key issue that came up at all the doors with everybody we were speaking to was the issue of the particular road there and the dangers that poses on Deansgrange Road.”

She added: “The dangers were quite evident to me even when I was just driving along because I was kind of driving within the cycle lane and the dangers that are there. And I think people really need to know what exactly is going to happen to that. There was very little or no public consultation on that. And I think with something as basic infrastructure as roads, we need to make sure the communities, the local people, do know what is happening.”


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