Over the past year, we’ve seen more and more people out and about cycling and walking. We’ve started exploring around us and are not using our cars to get around as much.
Safe cycleways and segregated cycle lanes aren’t just decorative on our roads but are also really important to keep all road users safe – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. They’re a must have, not a nice to have.
In South Dublin County and in Lucan, Palmerstown & Clondalkin, cycling infrastructure is not where it should be, compared with other counties especially in Dublin.
That’s why I’m really excited by the Cycle South Dublin strategy which was presented to councillors at Monday’s County Council meeting. I see it as one of the most visionary plans for cycling in the country and I believe it will transform cycling, making it safer and more connected for us all.
The vision is to create over 260KM over new cycleways over the next 8 years with the clear purpose of connecting towns and villages across South Dublin. Almost 100KM of this new infrastructure will be provided in the next two years. To put this in context, the overall plan will double the total distance of cycleway in the county, but also provide an integrated and well-connected network of safe cycleways.
One really exciting aspect is the school-centredness of the plan. 50 of the 78 schools in South Dublin will be brought into close proximity to the network – this is key to developing cycling habits in our children.
The most recent public consultation saw almost 500 submissions, with over 80% in favour of the plan. Safety is often cited as the main reason people don’t cycle, so it’s good to see such strong public support for it.
In Palmerstown-Fonthill, we’ll see new cycleways along the Fonthill Road, Ronanstown Road, St Loman’s Road and Kennelsfort Road making it safer and encouraging more people to use their bicycles.
We’ve seen improvements over the past few months to our existing cycleways including dishing of kerbs and refreshed markings, but there’s more to do. That’s why the extra funding made available by the NTA this year to increase the budget for cycle track maintenance is so important.
There are so many benefits to cycling – I’m glad we’re making it safer for us all.