Wednesday 16 October 2019

Cycle lanes are 'wheel' source of contention

Wexford County Council meeting

Pádraig Byrne

Director of services Eamonn Hore spoke of a need for the council to 'cut our cloth according to its measure' amid complaints raised by cyclists over cars parking in specially created cycle lanes on the Newtown Road.

The topic was raised while discussing a motion put forward by Cllr Tom Forde calling for the incorporation of adequate cycling infrastructure as part of all upgrades and new roads projects going forward.

Cllr Leonard Kelly expressed the concerns of the Wexford Bicycle Users Group (WexBUG) stating that during a recent race meeting at Wexford Racecourse, 'a new piece of cycling infrastructure was covered entirely by parked cars'.

Replying to this complaint in particular, Mr Hore stated: 'I think there's eleven race meetings in the year. The cars have to park somewhere. If we don't let them park there...we can't just bar people from race days. It is chaos up there on race days, but it's an organised chaos.'

Speaking on the motion, Cllr John Hegarty expressed reservations about blindly ploughing money into cycling infrastructure.

'I think the best thing to do would be a pilot project somewhere and do it well,' he said. 'Then we can see how it's used and go from there.'

Cllr Carthy stated that there were more pressing matters facing the members.

'With all due respect, it is worthwhile, but I think there are more burning issues in relation to roads in rural areas,' he said. 'There was work done there to create a cycling lane near the Farmer's Kitchen (Drinagh) and the cyclists are still out on the road. They don't use it.'

Cllr Willie Kavanagh expressed a similar viewpoint. 'I agree,' he said.

'You see it all the time on the N11 at Oylegate. Cycle lanes were installed at either side of the village and they're never used. They stay out on the road.'

Following some discussion, Cllr Forde's motion carried, however, a number of members abstained from voting on it.

Gorey Guardian