Category Archives: Dublin

Relevant to Dublin only or mostly

2023 – Big Birthdays for Cycling Campaigns

2023 is a big year for cycling campaigning. will mark its 15th birthday, Dublin Cycling Campaign its 30th birthday, while the European Cyclists’ Federation will have 40 candles on its campaigning cake. 

It will be an especially significant year for DCC and as we completely rework our governance structures and become a much stronger campaigning force. 

Related to this is the development of a new and sustainable funding model for cycling advocacy. Our ambition is to move to having several staff members supporting many multiples of our supporters, members and active volunteers. We also aim to build much stronger partnerships with allied groups.

We have already succeeded in bringing several high profile companies on board to support us through our Business Membership Schemes (such as Dropbox and Lime), and have secured funding from bodies such as Rethink Ireland, the Irish Research Council and, most recently, the European Commission (see below for links). 

We are now asking you, our members and supporters, to take a simple action. 

If you are working for a company that might have a Corporate Social Responsibility scheme – i.e. a way in which a business integrates its social and environmental responsibilities into its operations – we would love to hear from you. 

Securing the support of companies for our cycling advocacy work will help to accelerate the transformation of our cities and towns and rural areas into bicycle friendly places for all. And better cycling provision means more employees cycling, and all the research shows that means healthier and more productive employees. 

Please contact our National Cycling Coordinator, Dr. Damien Ó Tuama, if you can suggest names / departments within your company that we should contact. 

Many thanks.

From the Board, the Executive Committee of Dublin Cycling Campaign and the Executive Committee of 

Details of our Business Membership Schemes:

Examples of Current Supporters:

Examples of Recent Fundraising Successes and Partnerships:

European Cyclists’ Federation Founding Agreement from 1983

Beekeeping on a Bike

As part of our series of occasional articles on ways that members and friends of Dublin Cycling Campaign and use their bicycles, in this piece we interview Beekeeper Ed Sweetman on how he uses his own bike to help with his beekeeping in Dublin city. 

Ed, can you tell us a bit first of all about the beekeeping you are doing – how did you get into it and how has it developed since then?  
I did a bee-keeping course back in 2015 and have really just taken it from there. Early on, I collected a swarm of bees from the HQ of An Garda Síochána in the Phoenix Park which ended up on the roof of the Revenue Commissioners in the city centre – and it has been going from strength to strength since. I now look after four hives on the roof of Drury Street buildings, four in a back garden in the Cabra area, and I have another two on the roof of the new Central Bank in the docklands. I’m really at maximum capacity now, particularly given the multiple locations of the hives. 

Beekeepers are busy during the summer months, but I get a chance to attend some lectures run by the County Dublin Beekeepers Association over the winter. And yes, I was delighted to get a mention and some recognition by the association for the honey I harvested recently!

And what happens to the honey you harvest? 
Well, a mixture of selling jars of it to some local cafés and giving them to family and friends as presents.

So why would you be needing to move the hives, and where do the bicycles come into the picture (as against other modes of transport)? And do you know anyone else using bicycles to move hives? 
In a nutshell, I move the bee hive boxes around the place – ultimately so as to be able to harvest the honey crop. It’s not the main brood body (where the queen lives) that is moved; rather, it’s moving the ‘supers’ around the place. 

I don’t know of others moving boxes using bikes and bike trailers. Some would use cars or vans – or else, they would have all their hives in the one location so don’t need to be moving them about. There may well be others around the country using a bicycle and a trailer to move hives – it works extremely well! 

Can you tell us a bit about the bicycle and the trailer you use?
Yes, it’s what you might call a traditional hybrid bike – nice and tall and upright. You are up above most of the rest of the traffic and can see everything. The trailer I bought second hand from a bike shop. Previously it was used as a trailer for a dog, so I just changed the cover and the bee hive boxes fit very nicely. It’s a lot easier than getting the bus with them which I have tried before. The boxes are awkward enough to carry. Bringing them about by bike and on the two wheeled trailer is simply very easy and energy efficient. 

Do you hear the bees buzzing as you are cycling along?!
No! They are silent!

Do you have any advice for someone thinking about getting into bee-keeping in a city environment – or any other reflections you want to share?
Well, it’s worth mentioning that urban bees are often producing more honey than rural bees. In the rural environment, there is a lot of pesticide use and it can often be a food desert there for bees.

Overall, the beekeeping is very satisfying – I won’t be giving it up! Having said that, ten hives spread across three locations is pretty full-on, and certainly over the summer months. But it’s nice and quiet in the winter, where you might just check them once a month.

Eddie Junior helping out!

Anything else you’d like to add? 
The bike trailer is the business – it enables me to do my job better and easier than I would otherwise be able to do it. I might look at getting a slightly lighter bike at some point – it can be a bit awkward lifting the bike around bike-unfriendly access points when going into some parks and that. 

A sincere thanks Ed for taking the time to talk to us!
You’re very welcome!

Campaigners Address Road Safety Authority Conference supported advocates from the Love 30 campaign who addressed Ireland’s Road Safety Authority annual conference last Wednesday.

Mairéad Forsythe and Justin Fleming shared the final speaking slot of the day-long conference. They jointly made the case for having 30 km/h as the default speed limit for all of our towns, villages and urban areas. The theme of the conference was ‘Tackling Speeding – Risk Factors and Interventions’.

Rod King MBE, who has been a great supporter of the Love 30 campaign over the years, also spoke. Rod has played an instrumental role in empowering local communities in the UK to implement 30km/h speed zones. The UK version of the campaign is ‘20’s Plenty for Us’.

On enforcement, Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton opened the conference with the announcement of a doubling, that very night, of fines for speeding and many other offences such as using a mobile phone while driving. Before this, speeding attracted a minimal €80 fine. No graduated increases apply for higher speeds.

Among the other speakers, Dr Judy Fleiter, Global Manager with the Global Road Safety Partnership, discussed the motivations for speed choices on the road. Guro Ranes, Director of Road Traffic Safety, Norwegian Public Roads Administration talked about Norway’s approach in tackling speeding with a particular focus on graduated speeding. Fines for dangerous speeding there are much more realistic, but don’t take Finland’s approach of being linked to the offender’s income level.

Senior Gardaí also addressed the conference, describing new technologies now available to the Roads Policing corps such as speed guns for patrol cars linked to automatic number-plate recognition. It’s to be hoped these technologies will be rolled out quickly and used widely so we can catch up with international best practice, but a timeline for this wasn’t clear. The appallingly widespread offences of driving and parking in bus lanes and cycle lanes were not addressed, and unfortunately question time didn’t allow for queries on this. It’s something the Campaign will work hard on in the coming year. Addressing car-dominated viewpoints that fail to prioritise the needs of vulnerable road users – never mind the environment – in official circles and culture is a high priority.

Closing the day, RSA Director Michael Rowland welcomed the Love 30 proposals and indicated that the Authority would support a national default 30 km/h limit. Needless to say we’ll be tracking whether RSA backs up these words with actions.

For more on campaigns for lower and safer speed limits in built-up areas, see:


We have terrific news in in that we have been successful with an Erasmus+ funding application to the European Commission where we are partners with six other organisations on a project focused on cycling, inclusion and climate action. This project will build on our previous involvement in an Erasmus+ project which was led by the same dynamic group of cycling advocates and teachers from Corella in Spain as is leading on this project. You can read the full press release here. 

Four countries. Seven partners. Three years. €250,000. These are some of the key figures of the Erasmus+ project Generations Pedaling for Inclusion and Climate Action or, in its abbreviated version, GenCy4In&ClimA

It is jointly coordinated by IES Alhama and Biciclistas de Corella (Navarra, Spain), who have partnered with four secondary schools: Zespol Szkol Ponadpodstawowych (Wodzislaw Slaski, Poland), Escola Secundária Azambuja (Ribatejo, Portugal), Newtown School (Waterford, Ireland) and a third partner from Navarra (Spain),  Tierra Estella High School. Additionally, –the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, the organisation which encompasses associations all around Ireland  promoting everyday cycling, is on board as a partner.

This new project builds on from the Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Community project, which between 2018 and 2022 made many achievements such as a developing a Cycling Without Age chapter and running 400 rides for elders and people with disabilities in tricycles, creating several cycling trails, publishing a blog with more than 350 entries, and organising four successful training and learning trips to Navarra, Dublin, Copenhagen and Lithuania (and much more!). However, the current project includes not only five new partners, but also new contents that fall into five categories or work packages (WPs):

  • Coordination and implementation of the project (WP1): management of activities, budget, online and onsite meetings, blog, dissemination, eTwinning, etc.
  • Social inclusion (WP2): embellishment/regeneration of neglected urban spaces and creation of Erasmus boards with the activities of the project in the five secondary schools.
  • Climate action (WP3): vegetable gardens and tree nurseries, tree plantations, nature clean-ups and environment weeks.
  • Intergenerational relationships (WP4): “Cycling Without Age” (CWA) tricycles, rides and courses, walking and cycling intergenerational excursions and cooking workshops.
  • Urban cycling promotion (PT5): DIY bike repair workshops, cycling trails, etc.

These five work packages will be developed in the four countries, by the seven partners and for the three year duration of the project. Additionally,  there will be two international Learning / Training / Teaching meetings per school year in order to meet the project objectives: Corella and Waterford (Ireland) in 2022-23, Azambuja (Portugal) and Wodzislaw Slaski (Poland) in 2023-24, and Dublin and Estella in 2024-25.

A further strength of the GenCy4In&ClimA project is its connection with the community. The project’s methodology is based on three premises: firstly, the students and volunteers become Erasmus ambassadors and lead the different activities; secondly, it runs according to a merit-based, transparent and public process; and thirdly, it aims to nurture strong relationships with local entities such as nursing homes, parents’ associations, local Councils, and other associations.

Business of Cycling Networking Event was delighted to attend the Business of Cycling Learning and Networking event held in the Custom House on Friday 23rd September 2022. 

The event was hosted by Cycling Solutions Ireland and it coincided with the Cycling Friendly Employer (CFE) accreditation being awarded to the Custom House. 

The keynote speaker on the day was Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation. Also presenting was Graham Doyle, Secretary General of the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Ger Corbett, Chief Executive Officer at Sandyford Business District. Sandyford Business District, and representatives from other companies which have recently participated in the CFE process. wishes to thank Michael O’Boyle and his colleagues from Cycling Solutions Ireland for the invitation. 

In the image at the top are (L to R):
Anne Bedos (Rothar), Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator with and An Taisce), Vinny Meyler (Secretary, Dublin Cycling Campaign), Jill Warren (CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation), Matt McKerrow (CEO, Cycling Ireland), Conor Cahill (Dublin Cycling Campaign), Ellen Cullen (Chairperson of Dublin Cycling Campaign) and Deirdre Kelly (Cycling and Walking Officer of Dublin City Council). 

National Cycle Network – Submission

Earlier today (Tue 7th June 2022), made a submission to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in regard to the development of the National Cycle Network. 

The National Cycle Network (NCN) aims to link towns, cities and destinations across Ireland with a safe, connected and inviting cycle network; encouraging more people away from their cars and onto their cycles.

The development of the network is currently at “Stage 4” of a five-stage process outlined below.’s submission can be read in full here. We pick out some of the main points from our submission in the paragraphs below. is pleased to respond to the public consultation process as described here. This followed on from having been invited to provide stakeholder feedback to TII and Aecom prior to and early on in the public consultation process. We also appreciated attending the “Transport Planning Society” organised webinar on the NCN on Thursday 2nd of June at which we also learned more about the related NTA County Cycle Network Development plans and also the five metropolitan cycle network plans (of the GDA, Cork, Limerick/Shannon, Galway and Waterford). 

Overall, we warmly welcome the development of a NCN, the aim of which is “to link towns, cities and destinations across Ireland with a safe, connected and inviting cycle network; encouraging more people away from their cars and onto their cycles.” On this point, we wish to highlight here the statement issued by the EPA on 31 May 2022 in which they reiterate the urgent need to rapidly decarbonise our transport and other systems and to urgently implement our climate plans and policies[1]. is strongly of the view that we need to replace the lion’s share of our shorter car journeys (under 5km/10km) with active travel trips, and our longer car trips with either public transport on its own, or active travel plus public transport for those living further away from public transport services. This is where the real carbon savings – and improvements to public health – can take place. We welcome the aim (as shown in the image below from the NCN website) that the NCN will link with public transport services, and also with further important destinations and cycle networks. 

Additionally we stressed further points under four main headings:

(1) City/County and National Networks
There is a need to advance both city/town networks and county networks on the one hand, and a National Cycle Network on the other hand. We maintain that the two projects cannot be completely divorced from one another because some trips will include using parts of both networks. The first objective should be to connect the towns and villages with safe/attractive cycle-friendly routes to their own rural hinterlands in all directions to a radius of 5-8km. This will allow for the most important local trips (to schools and shops for example) to be made safe for active travel – and hence for the greatest possible impact to be made on increasing the modal shares for cycling.

(2) Diversity of Cyclists, Cycle Types and Routes / Interventions
We acknowledge that a high quality NCN will include a diversity of road / cycle-facility types and interventions, and that the overarching aim needs to be that it caters for a multiplicity of types of cyclists (commuters, recreational riders, tourists), with different levels of experience, and different cycle types (such as cargo bikes, bikes with trailers, bikes for people with disabilities etc.). broadly supports the long established “5 needs of cyclists” approach [2] which emphasises that routes / facilities need to be:

  • Safe
  • Coherent
  • Direct
  • Attractive
  • Comfortable

We welcome the intention to use smaller / local roads in the development of the NCN and to make these routes safer by reducing motor traffic speeds and volumes on them. We note the potential for some declassified N roads to become important links in the NCN – and particularly where they link directly/closely to schools. However, we would be concerned if there was a dominant emphasis on using declassified N-roads in the NCN – for several reasons: firstly, these roads tend to be much straighter than non-national roads with the speeds (and hence noise levels) of adjacent motor traffic being higher than on other roads (even with the speed limit having been reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h); and secondly, these roads tend to be less visually attractive than non-national roads (given their straighter alignments, wider cross-sections, and fewer trees alongside them). We would warmly welcome the use of Cycle Super Highways, as used in Northern Europe (image below from Nijmegen / Arnhem in The Netherlands) as part of the NCN. is very much against the (non-legally defined concept of) “greyways” – which, essentially, appear to be non-segregated cycle lanes sitting within the hard shoulders of roads, mainly de-designated national roads, with high speeds.  

(3) Prioritisation of Interventions recognises that the development of the NCN and the regeneration of a strong cycling culture in Ireland are multi-year projects. Therefore, critical decisions will need to be made around which interventions need to happen first, and which later. There are some counties in Ireland which have lagged behind in the adoption of more progressive sustainable transport policies and in the development of high quality cycle networks. would like to see a special emphasis on prioritising the development of the NCN (and the town/city and county networks) in those counties that need to catch up. We support the prioritisation of interventions with a focus on addressing, for example, those places without hard shoulders

(4) Protecting the Corridors maintains that provision must be made to protect the NCN emerging preferred corridors much as national road corridors would be protected, to ensure that new developments near future routes do not impair or constrain their coherence or quality.’s submission can be read in full here. We wish to thank our team of amazing volunteers for examining the documentation, gathering their thoughts and drafting the submission – all done at high speed! 

Strategic Rail Review – Submission made a submission today in regard to the consultation process associated with the all island Strategic Rail Review. You can read the consultation documents here

And you can read the submission of and An Taisce in the following text.

The first public commuter line in Ireland, from Dublin to Dun Laoghaire, was launched in 1834 – and the lines stretched out to Belfast, Cork and Galway over the following decades. The point here is that the rail corridors and infrastructure put in place back then have shaped development and settlement patterns for almost two centuries. When planning the future of rail on the island of Ireland we need to have similar timelines in mind, and be thinking about what type of transportation system and settlement patterns we want to end up with, not just in 2050 but in 2100 and 2200. This is the opportunity to shape that future. 

Our current rail “system” is almost exclusively a set of radial lines (with much of it single track) running to and from Dublin, with minimal direct inter-connectivity between towns and cities outside of the capital. This needs to change completely if we are to arrive at a transport network and system – and future settlement pattern – which is in line with our requirement to decarbonise our entire transport system (and economy and society by 2050) as per the Paris Agreement and our own brand new Climate Action Plan. There needs to be far greater recognition of the shaping effect of our transport infrastructure on where development ends up taking place. Additionally, we note the over-representation in the road traffic collision statistics of heavy goods vehicles in serious and fatal collisions (and particularly those involving vulnerable road users). The future of freight movement in Ireland needs to acknowledge this fact, and to maximise the movement of goods by rail, and not on roads with the associated road carnage that ensues. 

Image from page 7 of the Consultation Document

Therefore, the priority over the coming decades but starting now needs to be around connecting our regional cities with high quality rail infrastructure and services and then prioritising transit oriented development – i.e. development of almost every type close to rail stations (in line with the 15 Minute City / Town concept). There needs to be high quality, high capacity, direct and resilient connections from Dublin to Wexford/Rosslare (thinking ahead to take into account coastal erosion patterns) and on to Waterford and on to Cork and to Limerick and to Galway and to Sligo and on to Derry and then Belfast and back to Dublin. The North West of the island is severely lacking in high quality rail transport and there is no better time than now to rectify this problem – as against investing in road based options which will, inevitably, stimulate dispersed car-based development patterns and car trips (and hence higher energy use, emissions and use of raw materials).

The mainline train lines (Dublin to Cork, Galway and Belfast) should be upgraded to electric. Ireland is anomalous in Europe in mainline services being all diesel. There are local air quality issues at stake here as well as carbon emissions. 

The other point we wish to stress in this submission is the need to think about inter-modal journeys, and low / zero carbon trips. The catchment area of a train station when considering people cycling to it is approximately 9 times the area of the catchment area of the station for those walking to it (given that average cycling speeds are approximately 3 times those of average walking speeds). Therefore, there needs to be a full acknowledgement of the need to provide for bike / rail journeys when planning investment in the future of rail. Of most concern here is the following:

– The design of safe and attractive cycle routes to every train station and stop in the country, and this must include making areas close to stations properly permeable and well connected for those walking and cycling to stations (‘filtered permeability’ as it is called).

– The need for high quality, safe and secure bicycle parking at every train station / stop in the country. In cities, there needs to be a quantum leap in ambition and investment priority so as to provide high capacity / high quality infrastructure such as we see in cities such as Utrecht, Malmö and Munster (in Germany). See for example the facilities in Utrecht in this video: 

– The carriage of bikes on all trains needs to be greatly improved –  at a minimum to match proposed EU levels of 8 bikes per train (as per this ECF article).

Bicycle spaces on trains must be easy to use and suitable for a variety of bike types, including bicycles loaded with pannier bags (so as to nurture a strong cycle tourism culture), or even cargo bikes.  Cyclists who do not have good upper body strength (e.g. most women), find it hard to use some of the spaces on the existing Irish rail fleet. Furthermore, the bicycle compartment should be visibly indicated on the rolling stock itself – many logos on carriage doors showing the bicycle spaces are much too small.  Some of the intercity trains in Ireland now have fine big logos which is welcome, and such logos should be placed on all trains. Such a simple and inexpensive change would make life a lot simpler for people with bicycles trying to board trains. 

Cycle friendly rolling stock (Germany) – Photo kindly provided by Ray Ryan (Skerries Cycling Initiative)

– Additionally, there needs to be signs on the platforms showing where cyclists should wait (see Bath Spa station in the UK for example). Note that high-speed trains often stop only for a few minutes. To properly manage the timely loading of bicycles and avoid possible delays, customers need to know which section of the platform their coach is going to halt. They should be guided by diagrams, either paper (e.g. Deutsche Bahn) or electronic (e.g. SNCF), which clearly indicate where the coaches are going to stop. In addition, platform voice announcements should be given before the arrival of the train. 

As above, the north west quadrant of the country is severely depleted in regard to rail infrastructure. Similarly West Cork has a very large and long gap without any rail infrastructure. 

Furthermore, it is not wise to lift unused lines such as Waterford to Rosslare for conversion to greenways, when the first priority needs to be the reinstatement of high quality rail links. The closures were to a large extent due to very poor service frequency and timing from Irish Rail. This needs to be acknowledged and addressed. Lines also need to be made available to other operators if this improves services.

In addition, the current level of service on the Dublin to Rosslare line is extremely poor and results in an anomalously low modal share for train in this corridor.  The problem is exacerbated by the lack of connectivity between the ferry services to and from Rosslare and the train services.  This means that people who want to travel without a car on these ferry services effectively cannot do so.

We recommend strongly that a direct curve is provided towards Dublin at Ballybrophy to make the services on the Nenagh line connect to Dublin. The current track layout there does not promote a fast service.


Dr. Damien Ó Tuama
National Cycling Coordinator, and An Taisce
Vice-President, European Cyclists’ Federation (2016 – 2021)
The Tailors’ Hall
Back Lane
Dublin D08 X2A3

Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy (Updated) – Submission

This week made a submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) in regard to the updated Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area.

As per the NTA website, this strategy sets out the framework for investment in transport infrastructure and services over the next two decades to 2042. You can read the NTA’s draft transport strategy here.

You can read our own submission in full below. wishes to sincerely thank its volunteers for the work involved in preparing and making this submission. It is this voluntary work and the membership subscriptions to that enables us to make these submissions.

1 – Introduction, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network (ICAN), is the Federation of Cycling Advocacy Groups, Greenway Groups and Bike Festivals on the island of Ireland. We are the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation.  Our vision is for an Ireland with a cycle friendly culture, where everyone has a real choice to cycle and is encouraged to experience the joy, convenience, health and environmental benefits of cycling. broadly welcomes this review of the GDA Transport Strategy, its extension to 2042, its broad objectives within the context of Climate Objectives, and its acceptance that many aspects of the original Strategy have not been achieved.  In particular, in relation to achievements on the cycling front, is highly critical of the lack of development on the 2013 GDA Cycle Network Plan to date, but welcomes the commitment to complete an updated network by 2030.

It is evident from the substantial number (4,000+) of submissions made to the initial call in late 2020, that there is great interest in the development of an appropriate transport strategy for the GDA, and congratulates the NTA on reaching out through various means, to encourage submissions.  We, in turn, have a number of other comments on the overall GDA Strategy document, which we outline below.  We also include a Summary section at the end of these comments for ease of referral.

2 – GDA Strategy 2021 – The Active Travel Perspective

2.1 Changes/Improvements from 2016 Strategy notes the extensive positive changes in the overall approach to this latest Transport Strategy review, which is a major improvement on that produced in 2016, and deals with each area in relevant depth.  It particularly highlights and prioritises the need for an increased emphasis on sustainable travel, including Active Travel.

We also welcome the inclusion of many points raised in our January 2021 submission, but highlight below a number of items we feel should have been included, or should receive greater attention.

2.2 Cycling Related Proposals
The graphic in the Strategy outlines the broad proposals of this updated Strategy. queries the relatively low – 12% – Bike Mode Share envisaged by 2042, which is higher than the national 10% target originally projected as part of the 2009 NCPF, but lower than what has been previously projected for the Dublin region.  This is an unacceptable  regression on previous target levels, which were demonstrably higher.  And target mode share needs to consider the timing and alignment with Climate Action Plan targets, as well as the proposed completion of the new Cycle Network by 2020 – see below.

2.2.1 GDA Draft Cycle Network welcomes the new classification of cycle routes on the network. But, we note the reduction in overall network kms between 2013 and the latest 2021 draft proposal.  And, on examination of the individual mapping sections posted we note there are a number of omitted routes from the 2013 draft network in some areas, and the non-inclusion of some actual existing facilities, and some facilities in active planning? would welcome a meeting with NTA officials on this issue, to clarify the accuracy of the proposed network in certain areas?

We are also happy to see the proposed ambitious completion of the cycle network by 2030, but doubt it can be achieved based on past performance.

We note that no clear figure for kilometres of the 2013 network completed to standard, has been posted in Chapter 2.2.  This would show clearly the low level of progress since 2013.

2.2.2 Traffic Management & Inter-Modal Travel Options welcomes the proposals for increased access to public transport for people on bikes, although the proposal to only increase the number of bikes on inter city trains to 4, is disappointing, and falls below the 8 bikes, which the ECF, and the EU Parliament Transport & Tourism Committee are recommending on a European level.  These proposals are critical in helping to increase the volume of sustainable trips across the GDA.  This proposal should be revisited in the light of likely EU initiatives in this area. 

In particular we welcome the commitment to lower urban speed limits to 30kph, as declared internationally in the 2020 Stockholm declaration.  This will make our city and towns’ streets safer for all.  This issue needs to be tackled from within the Department of Transport initially by reviewing the Speed Limit Regulations, to ensure Local Authorities can legitimately introduce these lower limits, and the NTA must play an active part in this process.  

We broadly welcome the proposals to introduce more car free zones, car parking restrictions, and in particular the reduction in public service parking facilities.  In an ideal world this initiative should begin with our legislators in Dáil Éireann?

2.2.3 Personal Mobility Vehicles (PMV) broadly welcomes the introduction of PMVs, particularly if it increases the number of people opting to use them instead of a private car.  But, it is critical that clear legislation and regulations define their usage, and in particular the power and speed levels therein.  The present level of legislation is unclear, and many E-Bikes and E-Scooters are clearly travelling beyond the 25kph cut off speed.  We welcome the NTA’s commitment to ‘respond as required to any legislation adopted’, and would welcome a clear commitment to engage with organisations such as as part of any responses.

2.2.4 Covid Learnings welcomes the recognition outlined in Section 11.2 of the Strategy, of the valuable learnings from the trial cycle route constructions during the height of the Covid lockdowns.  As a result of these ‘trials’ many of these protected/segregated cycle tracks will remain in place.  This points to the need to recognise in legislation, as happens in other countries, the right of local authorities to trial installations, without the need for a full long drawn out planning process.  We deal with this point further, among others, in Section 3 below.

2.3 Walking, Accessibility & Public Realm
Many of the issues related to improvements in walking/pedestrian conditions, such as speed limits, junction design, permeability, public realm, and wayfinding also apply to cycling requirements.  Changes in these elements of our infrastructure can have important benefits for both cyclists and pedestrians, and also bring immediate improvements in sustainable travel numbers.

We welcome the commitment to remove slip lanes, and to narrow junctions, and would like to see these commitments moved on rapidly within a specified time frame.  Together with these suggested changes we would like to see a gradual program of improvement in side road junction design to benefit both pedestrians and cyclists, by also including raised ‘at-level’ crossings for pedestrians, clearly indicating priority for pedestrians and for private vehicles to give way.  These raised entry crossings have the added benefit for both cyclists and pedestrians of slowing down vehicles entering and leaving the side roads.  They should be introduced gradually,as a matter of course, throughout the local authorities within the GDA.  We have previously referenced these issues and others in our January 2021 submission.

2.4 Public Transport broadly welcomes the proposals for public transport outlined in the Strategy, and we would hope that the general timelines outlined can be adhered to, particularly in the initial major Bus Connects project, which also has significant impact on proposed cycle routes. We have referred to the issue of bikes on trains above, but in general we support the proposed improvements in the DART system as well as the proposed LUAS lines.  

2.5 Roads welcomes the retrenchment decision on the Eastern Bypass, and the proposed development of the bypass corridor for sustainable transport.  We await definitive plants for these proposals. We also welcome the  ‘Principles of Road Development’ outlined in Chapter 13.2, and the low level of proposed road developments;

We note the broad ‘place making’ proposals in Chapter 13.6, in relation to Urban Roads and Streets, but would like to see this associated with the ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ outlined in 14.6, and in particular the reduction/removal of rat runs.

3 – Missing Elements from GDA Transport Strategy?

3.1 Planning Issues
Over the past decade and more it has been obvious that most major sustainable transport and public realm schemes, including cycle related initiatives, have been inordinately delayed, or even halted, due to issues arising as part of the statutory planning processes.  Within the context of Dublin City alone we have seen innumerable project timelines being adjusted at an embarrassing rate through the years, and poor progress being made.  While there have been learnings, as a result of these problems, it is incumbent on the NTA as the overall ‘overseer’ of these projects, to examine and report on these planning issues, and recommend possible solutions.

We do not see this critical planning problem being addressed as part of the GDA Transport Strategy, and we feel it should.

3.2 Trial Projects
As referred to above in section 2.2.4 the Strategy has realised the value of Covid Trial/Temporary projects in being able to demonstrate to the general public what effects a possible long term project can have, but also to enable the designers to tweak on the ground any perceived faults or difficulties.  These trial projects, common in many countries, need to be placed on a legislative footing and must be part of this Strategy.  This would enable Local Authorities in particular to demonstrate the value of their proposals to the public.  In general they have resulted in positive outcomes for both the planning authority and the public.

3.3 Legislative Issues
There are innumerable legislative proposals that have been discussed and debated over the years, which could be initiated in order to increase the ease and safety of travel for cyclists. has highlighted these proposals in meetings with the NTA and the Department of Transport on a number of occasions in the past 7 years.  In particular we have referenced the 2014 Transport for London (TFL) Study as an exemplar of what could be done.  It will be appreciated that this study is already 8 years in publication, and Dublin was one of the referenced cities in the lead-in study.

There needs to be a sense of urgency in translating ideas into legislation to improve conditions for cycling.  This needs to be addressed in the Strategy.

3.4 Data Evaluation & Monitoring, in our submission of January 2021 to the GDA Strategy process, highlighted the issue of poor data/information and ongoing monitoring of active travel data.  While the areas of collection of available data sources, such as through CSO or other agencies, is referenced in Chapter 19.2 of the Draft Strategy we see no reference to improved internal collection of additional data from the NTA itself or via the local authorities, particularly in relation to active travel.  This is a serious omission.  A single ‘Monitoring Report’ in 2025, as proposed in Section 19.2.4 is woefully inadequate to address the need for assessment of progress.

It is incumbent, via this proposed Strategy, to ensure that sufficient and regular data collection is carried out, and published, to enable a true and full assessment of all projects to be progressed.  We have yet to see any such comprehensive data in the context of active travel projects.  In turn we have yet to see the upgrading of the Common Appraisal Framework used for project assessment, to enable the assimilation of the benefits of active travel and climate change.  This urgently needs to be addressed.

We call on the NTA and the Local Authorities to ensure that detailed traffic related data is regularly collected, which enables comprehensive assessment of all transport projects, but particularly active travel projects. This assessment should be combined with an updating of the Common Appraisal Framework, to ensure that all health, environmental, social and economic benefits are included as part of the assessment process.

3.4.1 Road Safety Data
We fail to understand why the national Road Safety Authority (RSA) has not been included as a data source within this monitoring Chapter 19.  As it stands, road safety data, in particular that related to serious (and minor) injuries, is simply not made available regularly or soon enough.  As a result, while we have seen road deaths generally decrease year on year recently, there has been a concomitant and frightening increase in serious injuries, as highlighted in table 5.1 of the Draft Cycle Network Report. 

The last available comprehensive and  reliable data on serious injuries dates back 5 years to 2017.  This is simply not good enough and must be addressed as it is germane to improved transport, and in particular active travel.

4 – Summary / Conclusion

As stated above gives a broad welcome to this new Draft GDA Transport Strategy, but with certain reservations and major omissions.  Our main points are as follows:

4.1 The Strategy does not address the ongoing problems with project delays, and how the planning process ‘works’.

4.2 Trial Projects, as demonstrated during the Covid period need to be addressed long term and put on a legislative footing.

4.3 There are a number of legislative proposals that have the potential to actively support an increase in active travel that have been on the table for a long time and need to be enacted.

4.4 Data gathering and assessment needs to be seriously upgraded, and NTA and Local Authorities ensure that ongoing travel related data is available to ensure rigorous monitoring of Strategy targets, and individual projects.

4.5 The RSA need to be data partners with the NTA, and  the collection, assessment, and publication of road safety statistics needs to improve to ensure road safety issues are addressed with speed. 

4.6 The low target level mode share for cycling by 2042 of 12% is a regression on previous targets 

4.7 There are perceived faults and omissions in the published Draft Cycle Network Plan 2021. seeks to meet with the NTA to begin to address these faults.

4.8 The proposals for a minimum 4 bike places on the new trains  is inadequate in light of EU proposals for 8 bike places, and needs to be upgraded.

4.9 The introduction of clear legislation for PMVs needs to be accelerated, to ensure clarity on usage, and the safety of all road users, in particular active travellers.

4.10 We want to see a clear commitment to the quick introduction of the simple  initiatives proposed in Chapter 10 related to junction design and pedestrian crossings, which can have immediate impact.

Colm Ryder
[email protected]

Phoenix Park Mobility Options – Submission made a submission last week (Fri 12 March 2021) to the Office of Public Works in regard to the proposals outlined in the Phoenix Park Transport and Mobility Options Study.

The Phoenix Park has both major national and international standing, and its appropriate management and development is of great importance to the nation. Overall we give a broad welcome to this study, and its recommendations, and its recognition of the latent demand, and the inescapable arguments for a more sustainable approach to the management of this National Historic Park. The breadth and scope of the report is impressive and much of the detail on the Park and surrounding areas, and the transport landscape contained therein, will be valuable in planning for the future. welcomes the proposed developments outlined in the study, and in particular the concentration and development of sustainable modes of travel, and the proposed rapid implementation of many of the proposals.

However we have raised a number of issues in our above submission requiring attention:

  • The level of confusion created by the online posted contradictory maps as to the detail of what is exactly proposed, particularly in relation to Access and Roads. These need to be clarified in the interests of accurate public information. We have recommended the use of a consistent and accurate base map with all road and areas correctly labelled for any future reference.
  • The non-inclusion of the Farmleigh Estate, as part of this study, is an omission which is difficult to understand and needs to be addressed. 
  • The omission of two critical external sustainable links to Ashtown Train Station and the Royal Canal, and to the National War Memorial Park across the Liffey needs to be addressed, as these links will help to create a much larger overall network of walking and cycling route access to and from the Phoenix Park. 
  • We recommend that the one way system at Ashtown Gate and the proposals for Knockmaroon Gate be implemented in Phase 1 and not in Phase 3 as indicated.

  • We make specific recommendations in relation to the proposed upgraded road crossings, to ensure they are also cycle accessible.
  • We recommend that both Bus Route options be developed, to ensure better public transport provision access to the main Phoenix park amenities, for all major neighbouring populations.

  • The explanation of the Option choice decisions made on foot of the Multi Criteria Assessment (MCA) approach is deficient and it remains unclear how Option 3 emerged as the preferred option.

We outlined our broad support of the proposals, and look forward to their development and ongoing liaison between, the OPW and the study team in supporting these developments. Additionally, we would welcome further clarification on the issues raised by us.

We are happy at any stage to engage with the study team to discuss any of our above proposals and issues.

You can read’s submission here: 
You can read the An Taisce submission here:
You can read the study report here

Nationwide Highlighting Dublin’s Coastal Mobility Route was delighted to see RTE 1 TV’s Nationwide programme broadcasted on Monday 1st March 2021 which focused on the development of the Coastal Mobility Route in Dublin. 

It brought to a nationwide audience some of the many benefits which accrue when high quality cycling infrastructure is provided, as exemplified by the route running from Blackrock to Dun Laoghaire in South County Dublin. The interviews with Engineer, Robert Burns, and Architect, Bob Hannon, from DLR County Council were particularly illuminating. 

Colm Ryder, Chairperson of and a long time member of Dublin Cycling Campaign, also took part in the programme, and he contrasted how the development of cycling was in the 1990s compared to now. All in all, we are making progress on the back of many years of targeted cycle campaigning. 

If you have not seen the programme, we highly recommend you check it out on the RTE Player here (see Mon March 1st programme).

Below you can see a few screenshots from the programme to give you a flavour. 

People of all ages using the Coastal Mobility Route

And cargo bikes!

But there are contrasting cycling conditions on the Rock Road!

Presenter Anne Cassin back on the motor-traffic free section near Bull Island

Colm Ryder providing the context to the development of the new routes

A nice view of the route looking north

And great insights into the daily rhythms of the bike messenger from Cyclone Couriers

And further great footage of families enjoying the route! 

We understand that Nationwide may be planning a programme to explore some of the regional greenways and cycleways, so watch this space for further news in this regard.