A citywide campaign group of residents, community groups and local businesses has been formed in Dublin following widespread outrage over Dublin City Council’s continued efforts to "force through their Covid Mobility Strategy without proper consultation processes".
The new ‘Cycle Lane Action Group’ has argued that the plan uses Covid-19 as an excuse to bulldoze through cycle lanes without due consideration to health and safety; and with no regard to statutory planning regulations.
The Cycle Lane Action Group has called on the Dublin City manager Owen Keegan to suspend any further cycle lane works pending the outcome of the Stand Road Sandymount High Court Judicial review.
A safety audit carried out on the new cycle lane on Griffith Avenue highlighted a number of essential safety recommendations, but four months on, little action has been taken on these issues by Dublin City Council.
The Cycle Lane Action Group have also raised concerns with the council’s online ‘Consultation Hub’, which they say excludes people without internet access.
Dublin City Council have admitted problems with the hub, as they have not been able to respond to individual correspondence in many cases.
Commenting on the formation of the Cycle Lane Action Group, lead spokesperson Councillor Mannix Flynn said: “To be very clear, our group does not object to cycle lanes, but we do object to the undemocratic way Dublin City Council is forcing through these changes to our neighbourhoods and wrecking the streetscape while endangering lives. There have not been proper consultation processes and there are very serious health & safety concerns. In the case of Griffith Avenue, the appointed health & safety experts raised safety issues in a number of areas, but four months on, Dublin City Council refuse to fully action them.”
Cllr Flynn added: “The Council is using Covid-19 as an excuse to ram through these changes. By calling it the ‘Covid Mobility Strategy’, the Council is misleading the public to think that this plan has something to do with fighting the pandemic. It is total spin, as it was a plan the Council hatched before any of us even knew what Covid 19 social distance measures. Our group is comprised of residents’ associations, community groups and local businesses across affected areas in the city. We are urging Dublin City Council to properly advertise the changes and encourage proper consultation and dialogue, review the post-Covid impacts of the plans and carry out an environmental impact study.’’
The group also said that similar problems may be faced in other areas of the country, and that they are in contact with local groups in towns and cities across Ireland.