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Biking fanatic unfazed by warnings that limit will hit business in the city

Here he is, Mr 30KM. Bicycle-riding city councillor Andrew Montague is the man claiming credit for the batty speed laws forcing drivers in Dublin to move at a snail's pace.

The Labour councillor claims that by going under 30kph drivers will run an entire sequence of green lights as they make their way through the city.

But as a Herald survey last night shows quite plainly this is just no so.

This newspaper has also been inundated with emails, letters and phone calls from city dwellers angry at the new speed limit.

Our reporter Aoife Anderson tried on three separate occasions to catch a succession of green lights by travelling at 30km/h and failed on each journey.

On her final trip she was overtaken by a patrol car and a cyclist.

She also adjudged the scheme dangerous as more jaywalkers poured out into her path as large gaps grew between cars.

On the first morning of its introduction, traffic gardai launched a camera and radar blitz on the city quays catching many drivers unawares.

So who is the man behind it all?

Well Andrew Montague still believes that his new law is entirely positive and does not accept that motorists will be restricted in any way.

He has staunchly defended his decision, claiming it will save lives. This assertion however is widely disputed.

In fact the number of pedestrians fatally injured in the streets of the city centre can't statistically be put at the door of speed.

Many point to the fact that most deaths are attributed to trucks trapping cyclists and has nothing to do with cars travelling over 30kms.

The scheme is seen as so daft by many that a better way to cope would have been to ban cars altogether.

Back to Labour Cllr Montague, who in fairness did get the majority of councillors to back him.

He is the chairman of the Dublin City Council Transportation and Traffic Strategic Policy Committee.

This is a key position in which to influence the development of transport in the city.

Andrew Montague is a bicycle rider and has gone on the record as wanting to curtail car traffic in the city centre.A representative of the Artane Ward he claims to have been among the first to propose the now very popular city bike-share rental scheme which enables the public to pick up a bicycle from one part of the city and drop it off at another point.



transport

He rides his own bike to work three days a week and on the other days he travels by public transport to the city centre and uses the bike scheme to cycle to City Hall.

"Most days I have meetings in the Dail or over at Labour Party HQ in Ely Place, so jumping on a bike is the ideal way for me to travel to those.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the popularity of the scheme and with the increased number of people cycling around the city."

The qualified vet is also one of the strongest proponents of the bus gate scheme which restricted traffic around College Green and which was attacked by local traders for cutting business by a third.



awarded

He is on both the Transport and Traffic Committee and the Protocol Committee of Dublin City Council.

hnews@herald.ie


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