Sunday 20 January 2019

Change rules to let bikes on off-peak Luas services call

Dublin Rathdown-based Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond
Dublin Rathdown-based Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond

The operator of the Luas system has been urged to allow passengers to bring their bicycles on trams at off-peak times.

It has been argued that access for bikes on rail services is allowed in other European cities and that a change in the Luas bye-laws would encourage families to visit bicycle trails in the Dublin mountains.

Dublin Rathdown-based Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond has written to Luas operator Transdev, making the case for cyclists to be able to use the trams outside of the busy rush hour periods.

Mr Richmond said this is a "tourist and cyclist-friendly idea" and he argued that it would be "very doable".

"Other tram services across Europe have limited access to two bikes per service and this is a reasonable compromise," he said. "This is the international norm, where cities such as Edinburgh, Bordeaux and London allow their metro and tram systems to accommodate cyclists."

Mr Richmond also pointed out that there is a precedent in Dublin already, as the Dart service allows bikes onboard trains.

"While it may not be feasible to accommodate bicycles at peak service times, there should at least be scope to look at accommodating bicycles at off-peak times, particularly weekends," he said.

Mr Richmond said that the National Cycle Policy Framework includes a provision directed by the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland that bikes will be allowed on the Luas "when services are of a frequency and at a capacity that allows for it".

He argued that there is "a larger problem of capacity" on the Luas service if cyclists cannot be accommodated at off-peak times.

He said that South Dublin - which is served by the Luas Green Line - is the location for the start of a number of trails through the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.

He said these trails are inaccessible for many families, as they are unwilling to cycle through the city to get to them or do not have the means to transport their bikes by car.

"Amending the bye-laws to allow bicycles to be brought on at the weekends could open up the mountains, with easy start points along the Luas line at stops such as Glencairn or Carrickmines," Mr Richmond said.

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