herald

Saturday 25 November 2017

'I think I'll get a bike' - cyclists happier with changes to quays

Cyclists enjoying a trouble-free passage up the Dublin city quays yesterday morning
Cyclists enjoying a trouble-free passage up the Dublin city quays yesterday morning

Motorists will gripe about the new changes to traffic flow on Dublin's city centre quays - but you'll find no such complaints from cyclists.

While the changes came into effect on August 20, it was believed by many observers that the full impact would not be felt until this week when the schools were back.

The changes - consisting of an additional bus lane and no right-hand turn on to O'Connell Bridge - were part of an overall commitment by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to improve mobility in the city and allow freer movement of public transport.

On the quays yesterday, cyclists were praising the new layout.

"It's much better for cyclists. There is more space and dedicated laneways," said George Buga (39).

"It is much easier now, there is more room. I am happier with it.

"It only takes me around 30 minutes to cycle in from Clonsilla. I don't know how long it would take me in a car," the restaurant worker added.

However, even with a smoother journey down the quays, he said you still had to be extremely careful.

"You still have to watch out for other road users. I don't think it is any safer than before," George said.

Cyclists made their way efficiently along the quays, going far faster than the cars that had come to a standstill.

With schools back for their first full week, there were concerns that traffic might be extra heavy on the quays.

However, apart from a backlog when a truck broke down at the Samuel Beckett Bridge - which saw traffic tailbacks to Wolfe Tone Quay for a time - traffic kept moving.

Motorists who joined the quays at Christchurch said it took around 15 minutes to get to O'Connell Bridge.

Helped

"That's about the same as it used to be before they made the changes. I think fewer people are using the quays to commute now and that has helped," a driver said.

However, some people who joined the quays at Heuston Station said journey times to the IFSC could take an hour or more.

"It's worse than it was before the changes. I think I'll have to get a bicycle," one woman said.

Others said their commute all the way down the quays was around the same as before the changes.

"It's not slower, but it's not faster either," said one driver as he moved very slowly up the quays.

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