Dublin MEP candidate makes “jaw dropping” “rant” of “spaghetti junction of cycle lanes”

— Regina Doherty also wants traffic plan aimed at accelerating climate action “paused”.
— Doherty compares cycle lanes to Berlin Wall, where 140 people were killed or died.

An attack on cycle lanes in Dublin by Fine Gael MEP candidate Regina Doherty has been called “jaw-dropping stuff” and “about the worst reactionary anti-cycle rant I’ve ever seen”.

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A number of politicians from different parties have criticised her views on cycle lanes generally and on transport plans for Dublin.

In response to an article covering Doherty’s comments, Green Party candidate Ciarán Cuffe said: “A clear choice on Friday: cleaner air and a safe, liveable city with the Greens, or more traffic and pollution if @FineGael presses pause on climate action and aligns with the far-right.”

Labour Senator Marie Sherlock said: “This is jaw-dropping stuff @ReginaDo ‘Taking Footpaths away’, ‘Dublin… spaghetti junction of cycle lanes’ What city are you talking about? This is about the worst reactionary anti-cycle rant I’ve ever seen.”

In reaction to Senator Doherty having said that laws on e-scooters are being broken because “under a Green Transport Minister, some people believe they can break the law without consequences”, Senator Sherlock added: “And in case you need reminding-law breaking is the remit of [Fine Gael’s] Minister Helen McEntee.”

Louth-based Labour TD Ged Nash said: “Is this the same Regina who sponsored the Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017? Is this the same Regina who petitioned the then Transport Minister (as a backbench TD) in 2015 for safer cycling laws? Cynical, or wha’?”

Senator Doherty was reported in the Irish Mail newspaper yesterday as having said that the Green Party “have turned Dublin into a spaghetti junction of cycle lanes that have divided the city like East and West Berlin”.

However, the Green Party is not a majority party in any of the four Dublin council areas and does not have the power to make changes without the support from other parties. Some of the most disruptive projects currently under construction were voted on by a majority of councillors, including Fine Gael councillors.

The article in the Mail was written by John Drennan, a former spin doctor at Renua, who last year wrote a similar article but using comments and references from unnamed sources claimed to be from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, including a comment that cycleways have made cities “worse than the Berlin wall in some places”. But there was no name attached to the sources in that article.

“The Greens are in thrall to the cyclists’ lobby to such an extent they are now doing damage to the concept of cycling,” Doherty was quoted by the Mail yesterday. But no details on what was “doing damage” to the concept of cycling other than cycle lanes being built that upset some motorists.

And she said that: “The Greens currently are doing more harm than good to the climate change agenda,” while she was among those who “who responsibly support the need for climate change [sic]”.

Doherty also issued a press release last week seeking to delay the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan, a Pathfinder project aimed at accelerating climate action.

She was quoted by the Mail as stating: “Even Guinness trucks and builders’ lorries can’t get into the city.” But there’s no ban on Guinness’ or builders’ trucks from accessing the city or the city centre.

The call to delay climate action was made on Friday, just days after the Environmental Protection Agency warned that the Government would fall short of delivering its 2030 emission reduction targets. The EPA said that the emissions in the transport sector are projected to reduce by only 26% even if all the measures set out in plans and policies are implemented. The target is 50% compared to 2018.

On The Week in Politics on RTE One on Sunday, Doherty claimed that people had not heard of the public consultation for the project even after it had received a huge amount of media coverage.

On the same TV show, Sinn Féin, MEP candidate for Dublin and sitting councillor Daithí Doolan, said that there had been a “robust” consultation on the city centre plan. He said: “We need to greatly reduce the number of cars going through the city [centre], most of them don’t even stop. We need cycle lanes and public transport that’s safe, accessible, and adequately policed.”

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