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Bus Connects plans are 'a danger to the blind', says councillor

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Councillor Declan Meenagh said he feels like he is banging his head off a brick wall

Councillor Declan Meenagh said he feels like he is banging his head off a brick wall

Councillor Declan Meenagh said he feels like he is banging his head off a brick wall

A blind councillor who relies on public transport has criticised Bus Connects for persisting with bus stop designs that leave the visually-impaired at risk of injury.

Under the plans to redesign Dublin's bus and bike networks, certain bus stops would be on islands in the road, and a person getting on or off a bus would have to cross one, and in some cases two cycle lanes.

Labour councillor Declan Meenagh, who cannot drive and has only 5pc vision, has made submissions to Bus Connects on the matter but said he feels "like I'm banging my head off a brick wall".

"These island bus stops would be a danger to blind people and cyclists," he said.

"If a blind person gets off a bus and has to cross a cycle lane, they won't see a cyclist approaching, and because bicycles are quiet they won't hear them either," Mr Meenagh told the Herald.

"It's not good for the blind person and it's not good for the cyclist either.

Disastrous

"The nature of the curved cycle lane also means the bus shelter will obscure the people trying to cross the cycle lane.

"This disastrous system has been discredited in the UK, where the guide dogs organisation have called it unsafe.

"Bus Connects have had two public consultations already and I have raised this matter along with others, but the design is still there in the current plans which are now out for a third round of public consultations."

The Cabra councillor said plans for the Ballymun to city centre core bus corridor include an island bus stop at the junction of Prospect Road and Whitworth Road near Phibsboro, where two cycle lanes would have to be crossed

He described his vision as "like seeing through a straw".

"If I got off a bus and had to negotiate a cycle lane, I wouldn't see a cyclist until they were on top of me," he said.

A spokeswoman for Bus Connects said the designs are still in draft form and not finalised.

"Bus Connects remains open for submissions from members of the public over the next few weeks until December 16," she said.


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