A correction on bus gates and the Voice of Vision Impairment

IrishCycle.com published an article titled “Bus gates on the north and south quays near O’Connell Bridge to be rolled out in August with ongoing consultation with disability groups“, published on April 8th, 2024.

Voice of Vision, a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO), has contacted IrishCycle.com regarding how their position was outlined in the article.

The issue related to how this website interpreted what Cllr Daithí Doolan said at the April month meeting of Dublin City Council. To avoid further confusion and paraphrasing, the full statement is provided below with the main sections in bold:

“First of all, welcome the presentation, and absolutely this the spirit of the presentation, making our streets in our city a safer place for everybody, cyclists, people who are walking through the city and people who want to access our city. I think we need to welcome all progressive steps to achieve that, and I think this plan is a cornerstone for that, but one key concern I have is an email I received today I’m sure everybody received it from the Voice of Vision [Impairment] and I just want to share it with you manager you may well have received it yourself around not allowing so-called blue badge vehicles used use the roads around Bachelors Walk, Aston Quay, Western Row and Pease Street.”

“Was this organisation and other disability organisations engaged with and consulted with rather than having information exchange? And will the current plan as we see it prevent those people in blue badge vehicles from using the roads, and how can we ensure that everybody, including those who use these vehicles, has access to the city centre? How can we ensure that happens? But I don’t want to see this in any way as an attempt to stop or curtail the progress of making Dubin City more accessible and safer for everyone I think it’s it’s very laudable and we’ll certainly hope all parties will support implementation as long into the future.”

The video of the discussion is provided below — it includes the full debate but should start with Cllr Doolan’s contribution.

IrishCycle.com paraphrased the key point in the above as follows:

“Cllr Daithí Doolan (SF) said he did not want to delay the plan but asked questions on the request from the Voice of Vision Impairment, who want blue badge holders to be able to be able to cross bus gates.”

The line “who want blue badge holders to be able to be able to cross bus gates” was based on (1) what the councillor said, and (2) the outline details for a bus gates on Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay.

As mentioned, Voice of Vision Impairment has contacted this website, outlining that this paraphrasing does not reflect the nuance of their position.

Voice of Vision Impairment said that it would be fair to say that, given how the proposed bus gates are being described to them right now, they would not want the bus gates to be put in place. The group believes that blue badge holders should be able to “Access All Areas,” including using limited-access streets rather than pedestrianisation and allowing blue badge holders to access otherwise car-free streets.

However, the group is also aware that currently, there is no legal provision to allow blue badge disabled parking permit holders to access bus gates, and this would require legal changes at the national level. The group says that there are nuances, and they are not totally against bus gates.

IrishCycle.com accepts that the paraphrasing was too much of a simplification of matters and apologises for any confusion caused.

The section of the paragraph “who want blue badge holders to be able to be able to cross bus gates” has now been removed from the article, and a link in the article links to this page. More care will be taken in the future to quote or be clearer in paraphrasing.

To avoid further confusion, Dublin City Council has said that disabled and general car access will be maintained on all streets but not through bus gates.


  1. Does that mean this group wants to be able to legally drive along Grafton St and Henry St? “allowing blue badge holders to access otherwise car-free streets.” Of the dozens of European cities with pedestrian areas I’ve walked through, I have never come across such a set-up. They have disabled bays adjacent where one can wheel safely to the final destinations in the area. How is the convenience of one demographic to trump the safety of pedestrians as to be allowed to drive through a pedestrian car-free area?

    That this is even being mentioned with respect to bus gates is bizarre. All of the areas on the other side of a bus gate are still accessible, just not directly through the bus gate. The more the list of users that can use a bus gate is extended, the less effective it will be. Bad enough that the 10s of 000s of taxis would be able to use them and clog up the streets for the real public transport – buses.


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