Friday 28 July 2017

'A bozo' - motorist criticised after driving along brand new cycling platform

Photo via @citizenw0lf on Twitter
Photo via @citizenw0lf on Twitter

Rebecca Lumley

A motorist has sparked outrage among cyclists after seemingly mounting a recently unveiled cycle path and using it as an additional traffic lane.

A photo of a driver using the new Clontarf cycle path to overtake other road users was uploaded on social media, with one cycling group labelling the driver a "contemptible bozo".

Dublin Cycling Campaign uploaded the picture to Facebook on Sunday, hitting out at the “selfish” driver for endangering the safety of cyclists and pedestrians by mounting the separated cycle platform.

Some social media users argued that the road had been badly flooded over the weekend, prompting the driver to mount the kerb.

This was disputed by Dr Mike McKillen, spokesperson for the Dublin Cycling campaign, who said said the road was not flooded to the extent that would inhibit or damage cars driving at an appropriate speed.

“It illustrates that some drivers, and it’s not just a tiny number, there’s a significant cohort of drivers who just don’t understand that cycling facilities put there at public expense are to keep cyclists safe," he told Independent.ie.

“So if drivers take it into their head to drive into cycle tracks or mount a curb and go up onto a segregated cycle path, first of all they’re breaking the law and secondly they’re putting cyclists’ lives in danger. The whole point is that you don’t drive on to them.”

This comes weeks after the release of figures showing that almost as many cyclists have been killed so far on Irish roads as in the whole of 2016.

Dr McKillen said the number of cyclist deaths was “deplorable” and “a direct reflection on the failure of the agencies involved to manage traffic properly.”

The Clontarf to Sutton cycle path was completed at the beginning of May, having been started initially as far back as the 1990s. A gap of 2km had been left unfinished for decades, until it was finally completed as part of ongoing construction works on the Clontarf road.

It will make up part of an eventual 22km cycle path from Sutton to Sandycove.

While the path has been hailed by local councillors as a great addition to the Clontarf area, some groups are calling for the installation of bollards to fully separate the cycle path from the road.

Chair of Dublin City Council’s transport committee, Ciarán Cuffe said physical barriers may be necessary in the short term to amend the “teething problems” of the new path and “reinforce the fact that it is quite separate from the main road carriageway.”

The Green Party councillor was adamant that the cycle path, which was built as part of a €5 million investment on the Clontarf road, will be a “fantastic resource for the city.”

“There’s always a tension between the different road users but I think that has always been the case and until such time as we give equal road space to the pedestrian and the cyclist that will continue,” he said.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Deirdre Heney said there had been complaints over the decreased width of the road, but said engineers had confirmed that it is an adequate size for motorists and that there is no reason for drivers to enter the cycle path.

“That’s not good behaviour and I certainly wouldn’t advocate that,” she said.

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