Gardaí issue less than 350 fines for parking in cycle lane in one year across Ireland

Gardaí fined motorists between 540 and 350 times per year in the last four years across Ireland with a wide regional variance — including figures which were so low in one region that the data was merged with another because it was claimed the low figures would have data protection implications.

The data was released in reply to a parliamentary question from Waterford based TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Green Party).

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Across the country 539 motorists were given fines for parking on cycle lanes in 2020, while there were 350 fined in 2021, 477 in 2022, and 531 in 2023.

The Dublin Metropolitan Region had the most fines ranging from 375 to just over 250 per year.

Offices in the Southern Region issued fines ranged from 58 to 233 per year. The region includes Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary, and Clare.

While because there are “Figures [of] less than 10” in one Garda region, the data for the Eastern and North Western Regions was “amalgamated for data protection reasons”.

The combined data ranged from 37 to 75 per year across 14 counties including all of Connacht, all of Leinster except Dublin, as well as Donegal, Cavan and Waterford.

Commenting on the figures, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said: “We see a certain element of ‘car-blindness’ when it comes to policing of our public spaces. Pavement parking or parking in cycle lanes is often disregarded as minor infractions. In reality, it has the impact of pushing vulnerable road users out into traffic. This can be a daily occurrence in many areas – I could point to Manor Street in Waterford where there has been a persistent issue, with the cycle lane at times completely obstructed by parked cars.”

“This undermines the cycle network as a whole – unless our less confident cyclists feel that they can get from A to B along safe, fully segregated cycle infrastructure, we’re not going to see the kind of dramatic modal shift we’ve seen in places like Paris,” he said.

He added: “I would hope that as the new directive to Gardaí to devote 30 mins per day to roads policing will make a difference with respect to the enforcement of cycle lanes.”

The written parliamentary reply from the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, said: “As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of Garda business, including all operational policing matters. I have contacted the Garda authorities and have been advised of the below.”

The Department of Justice said that the data on Fixed Charge Notices issued for parking on a cycle lane is from the Fixed Charge Processing System and are operational and subject to change.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, at the start of 2022, increased the fines for parking in cycle tracks as well as on footpaths and in bus lanes from €40 to €80. There was no clear increase and some regional decreases in enforcement since then.

Regions2020202120222023
Dublin Region375251316261
Eastern and North Western Regions*58417537
Southern Region1065886233
Grand Total539350477531

* Figures less than 10 have been amalgamated for data protection reasons.

The Parliamentary reply from the Minister said: “An Garda Síochána has further advised that they are not in a position to report on accurate totals of penalty points issued, as penalty points can be issued in a judgment of a relevant Court on conviction for an offence.”

The reply added: “As the Deputy will appreciate, the management of the courts, operational matters and logistical functions are the responsibility of the judiciary and Courts Service, which are independent in exercising their functions under the Courts Service Act 1998 and given the separation of powers in the Constitution.”

The data also does not include where parking on footpaths is fined instead of on the cycle lanes or where parking on cycle tracks is fined under the offence of dangerous parking.

7 comments

  1. Every normal country will issue that per day. But we can’t forget about cyclist who is using side walk, which s huge no, no.

    Reply
  2. It would be nice if when you report an obstruction to DSPS there was some way to follow up and see if any action was taken. Most of the time when reporting these kinds of obstructions it just seems to be sent into a dark void to be ignored.

    Reply
  3. Unfortunately parking across entire footpaths, double yellow lines, and cycle lanes has been completely normalised now.

    They need a zero tolerance reboot with a proper parking enforcement system, not Gardai, not clamps.

    Footpaths are in bits in many areas from the constant truck parking. They also need to start designating and assessing loading bay areas and redesigning footpaths to accommodate some kind of
    Delivery- many Aldi’s, Lidl’s Spar’s etc have no loading bay planning at all. And with the rise in Amazon and other delivery vans there should be intermittent loading width and designated spots built into as many streets as possible and clearly marked.

    Reply
  4. Just for noting, when a PQ about cycle track illegal parking is put to any Minister for Justice the incumbent is very quick to point out that they are not responsible, etc.. But why does the incumbent not add a rider to express her views about the rampant nature of fly-parking? After all our streets are seen as ‘safe’, aren’t they?
    Why not offer a solution?
    Silo mentality rules on this one.

    Reply
  5. The number of FCNs issued to drivers for illegal parking on cycle tracks will be a good metric to judge the new declaration from Garda Chief that he expects all members to deal with road safety issues while out and about.
    This number should rocket!

    Reply
  6. I think Mark has made excellent observations above.
    Also, we can see cars parked front forward (e,g, towards shops) and
    , as a result their huge boots blocking off the cycle lane, at spaces clearly marked out as a horizontal parking space. But to really take the p, recently I saw a Garda car parked that illegal way. I give up.

    Reply

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