Tuesday 15 October 2019

Councillors agree to cycle scheme

Planned works will complete existing Strand Road cycle lane

Plans before the members
Plans before the members

Mary Fogarty

A Part 8 plan for cycle scheme works at Strand Road was passed by four votes to three at last week's meeting of Bray Municipal District.

This plan involves the section not included in previous cycle path schemes along the stretch, in the area of the Sea Life aquarium.

Engineer Liam Burke told members that there had been six submissions, generally positive, with some queries regarding the details. Some were keen that the tourist information sign will be retained, which it will.

Businesses were concerned that they would have facility to place their bin storage in the vicinity.

Other issues raised in the process included set-down for people who are mobility impaired, and parking.

The engineer told members that bollards would be introduced as a buffer between the cycle track and the road and that there was a 25mm kerb. Cllr Joe Behan said that the scheme is being driven by the NTA who have an anti-car agenda. He said that it's as near as possible to an all-level surface and will be a free-for-all. Cllr Behan recalled works to O'Connell Street some years ago.

'Within a very short space of time a pedestrian walked out in front of a car,' he said. 'The agenda is to stop cars.'

He said that people will be encouraged to wander across what will be a plaza, with no pedestrian lights.

'This is almost pedestrianising it,' said Cllr Behan. 'I am not in favour of banning or discouraging traffic,' he said, adding that close to 30 car parking spaces will be lost.

Cllr Steven Matthews noted that the local district council had been given the power to pass Part 8 applications. 'We fought very hard for that,' he said.

He said that the current situation at the area in question is chaotic.

'Cars are parked everywhere, it's a free for all now and an accident waiting to happen,' said Cllr Matthews.

He also said that it is the missing link in a cycle network including the seafront, coming from Dublin Road, up the Putland and potentially going to Greystones.

Cllr Matthews said that the seafront is an amenity which people should be able to enjoy. He also said that if they did not pass it, it would be lost, and the NTA would go off with their money to other councils.

'There is nothing on this to try to restrict traffic,' said Cllr Matthews.

Cllr Dermot O'Brien sought assurances that visitors with mobility issues would be accommodated with a set-down area.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Pat Vance said that the cycle track has been unfinished for years and this is an opportunity to finish it.

'There are problems with safety at the moment,' he said, referring to cyclists having to join traffic where the cycle path is interrupted.

'Cars will always be going down the seafront, there are houses and businesses there,' he said.

Mr Burke told the members that the plan doesn't impede traffic, but slows it down and urges motorists to take due care regarding pedestrians.

Cllr Joe Behan, Cllr Oliver O'Brien and Cllr Brendan Thornhill voted against the Part 8, while Cllr Steven Matthews, Cllr Pat Vance, Cllr Christopher Fox and Cllr Dermot O'Brien voted in favour.

Bray People