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Court tells Dublin City Council to explain how it adopted controversial Strand Road cycleway plan

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Artist's impression of the council's two-way cycle track plan for Sandymount

Artist's impression of the council's two-way cycle track plan for Sandymount

Artist's impression of the council's two-way cycle track plan for Sandymount

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has ordered that Dublin City Council provide further information about how it adopted a plan for a controversial new two-lane cycleway at Strand Road in Sandymount.

The three-judge court also wants the council to explain how a decision it took in February 2021 in relation to the cycleway was rescinded a few days later on March 2 and never brought to the attention of the High Court when a challenge was brought to the plan.

The CoA is hearing an appeal by the council against a High Court decision rejecting the cycleway plan after a judge found that it must be subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and, therefore, would need to go through the planning process.

The challenge had been brought by local resident Peter Carvill and local councillor Mannix Flynn against the council, Ireland and the Attorney General.

Following the close of submissions after a two-day appeal hearing on Thursday, presiding judge Ms Justice Mary Faherty said that given a number of matters which had arisen during the hearing, the court was directing that Brendan O’Brien, head of the council's technical services, environment and transportation department, swear a new affidavit in relation to each decision made about the cycleway trial plan.

Mr O'Brien should list dates, the persons who made the decision, as well as documents and recordings of those decisions. There should also be an explanation in relation to the rescinding decision and why it was not brought to the attention of the High Court, the judge said.

Cllr Flynn, who the court heard disputed some of the claims made by the council about how the cycleway decision was made, will have an opportunity to provide a replying affidavit.

The judge outlined a timetable for the affidavits and any written submissions which will have to be made to address the issues which have arisen.

She said the court did not propose to make any further comment until it has received the new affidavit evidence and submissions. She put the case in for mention at the end of next month

The Strand Road plan will turn what is currently a two-way vehicular stretch of road along the coast into a single outbound lane with the other lane used as a two-way cycle track.

It would require the removal of a traffic island at the junction of Strand Road and Merrion Road, as well as the removal of some mini-roundabouts and the installation of bollards.

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