Dublin Cycling Campaign “liberated” a section of cycle lane on Ranelagh Road (near Elmpark Avenue) between 8.30 and 9.30am this morning to highlight the issue of illegal parking in cycle lanes and the danger this poses to people travelling by bike. This problem is well known to anyone who cycles regularly in Dublin yet the Gardai only managed nationally to issue 144 fines to drivers who parked illegally in cycle lanes in all of 2014. When a cycle lane is blocked it forces people on bikes to veer into the main stream of traffic. This is particularly problematic and scary for children and those new to urban cycling.
Dublin Cycling Campaign recently started the Twitter campaign #FreeTheCycleLanes @Dublincycling to highlight the issue. Hundreds of instances of illegal parking in cycle lanes/clearways Dublin Cycling Campaignduring their period of operation have been posted already.
Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, recently met with An Garda Síochána to discuss the planned introduction of on-the-spot fines for a range of cycling offences on the 1st August. They raised the issue of fly-parking in cycling lanes and the lack of enforcement. The Garda response was that they are reluctant to target drivers who park illegally because the drivers are trying to make the city work economically – for deliveries, etc. and the Gardaí get a lot of complaints from businesses, business associations, truck drivers, taxis and transport companies about strict enforcement of this regulation.
“The Gardaí are using discretionary policing to allow motorists to park willy-nilly in cycle lanes, rather than considering how to make the roads safer for people who cycle…….or might cycle if conditions were more conducive” says Keith Byrne, Chair of the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
Dublin Cycling Campaign is calling for serious issues of speeding, dangerous overtaking and parking in cycle lanes to be addressed in a way that will make Irish roads safe and attractive environments in managedwhich to walk or cycle for people of all ages and abilities.
Dublin Cycling Campaign is an independent, voluntary group lobbying local and national government to bring about improved conditions for cyclists and greater recognition of the benefits of cycling.
Today the above poster appeared on the Gardaí social media platforms. Such mixed messages and inaccuracies are not a good start to their promotion of Fixed Charge Notices which are due to be introduced from the end of next week. We have written to them outline the issues, as follows:
To : John Ferris (Garda Press Office)
Thanks once again for meeting us last week on the ‘On the Spot Fines’ issue. Much appreciated, and hopefully we can liaise regularly on issues such as this.
We have just seen the Facebook & Twitter image posted by yourselves, together with RSA (see attached) and we would like to point out that it is not technically correct. You might note that Items 4 and 7 on your list are virtually identical.
We are also disappointed that the issues of helmet wearing, hi-viz, and front reflectors, all of which are not mandatory, and do not incur a fine or are not illegal, are bound up with the agreed issues which are illegal – although not having a rear reflector, does not incur an FCN. We suggest that these need to clearly distinguished as not incurring any fine, or not being an offence.
In summary we are disappointed with the inaccuracy of the post and we suggest it be corrected as soon as possible, and that the non-mandatory items be removed from the post.
Feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss further.
Dublin Cycling Campaign / Cyclist.ie
Twitter: @dublincycling or @cyclistie – #CyclingFCN
Contact Us at Dublin Cycling Campaign or Cyclist.ie using a subject line of “Cycling FCN”
- Cycling fines will be enforced by An Garda from Aug 1, for a range of offences, listed below.
- Cyclist.ie wants safer streets and roads and encourages all cyclists to observe the new rules and not contribute to the creation of a convenient revenue stream for the Exchequer. However, it does not believe the proposed legislation, and the attitude towards its enforcement has struck the right balance to achieve safer road conditions for cyclists.
- Cyclist.ie, at this meeting with An Garda on the subject, called for balanced policing which improves road safety for all road users. i.e. stricter enforcement of motoring offences which are hazardous for cyclists such as fly-parking in cycle lanes, safe overtaking distances, lower speed limits etc.
- Official government policy – as outlined in NCPF – needs to inform all traffic-related activities in the state.
See also earlier post on fixed charge notices for cyclists
A High-level Think Tank meeting on an EU Roadmap for Cycling earlier this week brought together stakeholders to devise, debate and define measures to meet cross-sectoral EU policy targets
through increased cycling.
The meeting was organised by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) to further the goals also of
Cycling Forum Europe, launched in November 2014 in conjunction with several members of the European Parliament (most notably Michael Cramer MEP, chair of the TRAN Committee).
EU Roadmap for Cycling.
Cyclist.ie respects the decision of the Minister for Transport Tourism & Sport (DTTAS) to introduce Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) for a limited number of cycling offences. We submitted proposals to the Minister prior to the recent announcement and some of these were taken on board. However we wish to state clearly our ongoing position on FCNs below:
- We are not in favour of law breaking and dangerous cycling. The same reasoning applies to drivers of motorised vehicles. We understand the need for a deterrent to bad cycling behaviour that puts other road users at risk, but deterrents already exist in law and merely require application/enforcement of that law.
- We are not convinced that the ‘risk’ element associated with these proposed FCN offences has been properly assessed in the context of overall national road safety policy. Do cyclists kill other road users? What level of injury/offence is caused by cyclists in comparison with motor vehicles? What quantum improvement in road safety will be achieved through the introduction of these FCNs? We have yet to see real analyses / figures, or be convinced by anything other than anecdotal comments.
- The overall thrust of road traffic policy should be the safety of all road users. To this end the continued investment in, and development of, high quality infrastructure for both cyclists and pedestrians and 30km/h speed limit zones needs to be accelerated in line with national aspirations, as enunciated in the National Cycle Policy Framework, and in various Local Authority development plans. Present investment in cycling related infrastructure is totally disproportionate to the investment in general roads infrastructure.
- The media stories on the proposals for FCNs were leaked on the Monday of National Bikeweek, which is coordinated by the Smarter Travel Unit of DTTAS. Bikeweek is meant to be a celebration of all things ‘bike’, and yet another arm of DTTAS felt fit to leak this issue to the press, which in turn raised a negative ‘storm’ about cycling, directly during the week when the Department is supposed to be encouraging cycling!
- Dublin Cycling Campaign are working on the possible roll-out of a ‘RESPECT’ Campaign, to encourage all road users to be aware of, and respect other road users. We feel that at this point in time a positive national initiative such as this, to encourage better behaviour by all road users, would serve as a constructive counterpoint to the FCN approach of penalising cyclists.
- Ireland needs to catch up with the rest of Europe in promoting cycling by introducing standard initiatives such as contra-flow cycling and red light initiatives
- While noting the above we are satisfied that FCNs have been introduced at the lower rate of €40, but we need to see an agreed monitoring and reporting strategy put in place, so that any ‘benefits’ of the approach can be properly assessed.
- We feel that the introduction of FCNs at this point in time was premature and reactionary, and may in the long term negatively affect the government’s sustainable transport initiatives.
- We urge the Minister to:
- Actively promote positive and respectful behaviour by all road users
- Introduce a monitoring and reporting strategy to assess the impact of these FCNs
- Seek the introduction of European standard initiatives such as contra-flow cycling, and red light initiatives for cyclists
- Immediately increase direct investment in the improvement of cycle and pedestrian facilities.
Galway Cycling Campaign is calling for all traffic light systems to be rectified so that they give the green light to cyclists at junctions.
Sensors at many junctions in Irish cities are turning green for motorists, but not for cyclists. Read more