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Liffey Cycle Route gets go ahead and could be operational by August

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Labour’s Joe Costello

Labour’s Joe Costello

Labour’s Joe Costello

Dublin City councillors have voted to approve major plans to transform the quays for safer cycling.

Almost 10 years after the idea was first announced, the new Liffey Cycle Route is set to be in operation by August.

Under the proposals, a dedicated cycle track will be created on both sides of the Liffey running the length of the quays.

Some sections will have to be shared with buses, but for the most part new road markings, bollards and changes to traffic signalling should make it easier and safer for cycling.

It will mean changes for other road users too.

Buses will continue to have priority over other traffic and pedestrians must not be impeded, but that will mean a squeeze on cars, vans and lorries.

"Parking, loading bays and taxi ranks may be removed as part of the trial," the plan warns.

While cycling groups welcomed the move, businesses said the council needs to ensure that it delivers proper infrastructure for everyone.

When the proposal was brought up last night, the council unanimously voted in favour of it.

"The idea that we'll have a pilot scheme is something that got a lot of support," said Labour's Joe Costello.

Dangerous

"It will cost €800,000 and provide a two-metre wide protection area for the vast length of the quays.

"However, people with disabilities raised concerns that it will be dangerous and I would advise that their concerns be taken into consideration."

Chief Executive Owen Keegan said the pilot scheme would not affect pedestrians.

"What we're proposing is something that enhances cycle safety. We're not proposing any changes to footpaths or where pedestrians cross the road.

"From our point of view we think this is a very feasible scheme," he said.

Last month, more than 250 cyclists attended a protest demanding action on road safety.

A petition in support of a trial route attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

Kevin Baker, of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, called on councillors to accept the recommendations.

"The trial isn't perfect, but it will better protect the thousands of people who cycle along the quays every day," he said recently.

"The Liffey quays is a hazardous environment for people on bikes, and this results in fewer people choosing to cycle there.

"This trial will reduce pressure on public transport on the quays by providing more bus lanes and giving more people the option to cycle from Heuston into the city centre."

Ciaran Ferrie, of I Bike Dublin, said the proposed alterations for the trial did not go far enough.

A dedicated cycle route along the quays, linking Heuston Station to the Point Village, was first proposed in 2011.

Business groups told the council recently that cyclists "don't rule the world", after it announced traffic changes.