Thursday 30 October 2014

Councillors in dispute on bold plan for cycle lanes

Danielle Stephens

Published 19/06/2014 | 02:30

Aoife Kane from Crumlin and Philippa Barry from Kilmainham take part in Dublin’s Lunchtime City Cycle as part of National Bike Week. Photo: Conor McCabe

PROPOSALS for a two-way cycle lane on the North Quays in Dublin are part of a "whole series of planned improvements in cycling facilities in the city", according to city boss Owen Keegan.

Mr Keegan made the comment after coming under criticism for saying he "makes no apologies" for the impact a wider cycle lane would have on motor traffic.

Dublin councillors are in dispute over the idea to reduce private motorist lanes down to one, with north inner-city Councillor Nial Ring calling the plan "madness".

And Minister of State for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Alan Kelly said that "it's too early to say that I'm in favour".

However, he said: "It's the right time to be assessing these types of things because with the volume of cyclists, we need to see safe cycling infrastructure and with the Luas works that are going on at the moment, it's the optimum time to be looking at this."

Mr Kelly was speaking at the beginning of the Dublin Lunchtime City Cycle, which saw 1,450 cyclists partaking in a 30-minute cycle around the capital.

Newly elected Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke was also at Grand Canal Dock for the event, where he gave "his blessing" to plans to create better conditions for cyclists in the city.

"We all want to see cycle lanes, laws being adhered to, people on bikes stopping at red lights and we don't want to see people cycling on the path."

However, he pointed out that he "welcomes the proposal with caution".

"What I don't want to see is congestion with every car, bus and bike on top of each other," he added.

Dublin South-West Inner City Councillor Tina McVeigh took part in the race and she agrees with Mr Keegan's proposal for widening the cycle lane.

"Obviously these things have to be very carefully planned out and engineered, so that cars and bikes can both flow freely, but we should be doing everything that we can to make cycling easier," she said.

The Green Party is welcoming plans announced by Mr Keegan, with Councillor Ciaran Cuffe saying: "As it stands, the Liffey Quays are polluted, dangerous and not fit for purpose.

"What we need are footpaths, more greenery and decent cycle facilities."

Irish Independent

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