Dublin City Council has taken action against a contractor at a city construction site over an oil spill which had the potential to cause a danger to cyclists on the public road.
The Dublin Cycling Campaign, a voluntary group that lobbies for improved conditions for cyclists, has in recent days highlighted the danger of greasy roads in the city.
The group has mapped reports of cyclists falling, or their bikes slipping due to oil or grease on the roads and found the incidents happened around constructions sites in the city. Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to more serious cases including fractures.
There are 10 junctions around the city where the campaign says there have been multiple slips and falls reported, including seven on Macken Street in the docklands, six on Thomas Street and Thomas Court and three at Rialto roundabout.
The campaign’s analysis of the timing of the incidents showed there was an increase in incidents on three dates – January 23rd, 29th and 30th – days when Met Éireann’s weather station in the Phoenix Park recorded no rainfall and temperatures did not dip below freezing.
In response to the group’s research, the council said it would arrange to have the 10 junctions that were listed as being in a hazardous condition inspected immediately.
“Additionally, Dublin City Council’s waste management services has committed to prioritising the cleaning of these junctions with a mechanical road sweeper, as part of their ongoing street cleaning activities.”
In relation to one of the oil spillage instances recorded in January 2020 the council said it had “evidence to suggest that the oil spillage related to construction activity from an adjacent construction site”.
It said the road was treated by the council’s maintenance services “expeditiously” and in addition it had served the contractor responsible with a “Notice of Offence” under the 1993 Road Act. The relevant provision of the act makes it an offence to deposit any material on a public road which could cause a “hazard or potential hazard to persons using” the road. Penalties range from fines of up to €5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months, or both.
Campaign chairman Kevin Baker welcomed the council's "swift action" in investigating the areas highlighted.
“The data we gathered enabled the council to act and we’re relieved to see these hazardous road surfaces receiving the attention they deserve,” he said.
“Construction contractors have been put on notice by Dublin City Council’s enforcement action. Any construction contractors who are currently negligent need to literally clean up their act before any more people cycling are injured.”