Deansgrange businesses preparing legal action over cycle route

Group claims council plan to introduce one-way traffic could cause ‘immense disruption’

No roads would be closed, the council said, but part of Deansgrange Road would become one-way for a distance of just under 1km. Image: Google Streetview

No roads would be closed, the council said, but part of Deansgrange Road would become one-way for a distance of just under 1km. Image: Google Streetview

 

A two-lane cycle route, which would see traffic restricted to one-way through Deansgrange village in south Dublin, would cause “immense traffic disruption” and could result in job losses, a local business group has said.

The Deansgrange Village Business Group is preparing to take legal action against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s plans to install the cycle path as part of its Active School Travel programme.

The programme involves the development of 25km of dedicated cycle tracks along three separate routes linking 65 schools. No roads would be closed, the council said, but part of Deansgrange Road would become one-way for a distance of just under 1km.

Tadhg Leonard, the owner of Tiger Wood Fired Pizza on Deansgrange Road, and member of the business group said in addition to potential job losses for businesses reliant on road access for deliveries, the plan could affect quality-of-life and safety locally due to the rerouting of traffic through quiet residential areas.

“We have four takeaways in Deansgrange village and our delivery drivers will now be rerouted through estates that will never have seen this kind of traffic,” he said. “On a busy Friday night, we estimate there will be between 200 and 300 additional car journeys through these areas. There is an obvious safety risk, particularly with regard to families with young children, but also a risk to people’s entitlement to the quiet enjoyment of their neighbourhood.”

There were four car dealerships in Deansgrange which received weekly deliveries from large articulated lorries, he said. “What are drivers supposed to do for the 20 to 30 minutes these lorries have to park up to offload, when they will have no choice but to block the one-way road?”

The group had commissioned an independent report on alternative routes for the cycle lane. “We are all fully in favour of the cycle lane itself; we just wanted the council to listen to our concerns about the current plan they have on the table.” Mr Leonard said.

“Having seen the way in which Dublin City Council handled the Sandymount cycleway proposal, and the High Court ruling in favour of the case taken by Mannix Flynn and Peter Carvill, we now feel that the only reliable route to making sure our voices are heard on this, is the legal route.”

Rachel Twomey, general manager of SuperValu Deansgrange said the group was not opposed to the objectives of the Active School Travel scheme.

“We fully support every single one of the principles underpinning Active School Travel, from the need for children to be able to travel safely to school on foot or by bike, to the very real need for all of us to take immediate climate action however we can in our daily lives,” she said.

“The concerns we have tried to raise with the council are about protecting our community; the people who live here and the businesses that trade here, who have already been through a gruelling 18 months. We are extremely worried that the council’s current cycle lane proposal could endanger our businesses, potentially resulting in job losses and closures.”

The council said while journey times may be “increased slightly” and “this may cause frustration and minor delay for those who drive, the balance is that it enables the introduction of safe walking and cycling routes”.

It does not believe “rat-running” through residential streets will be significant but was proposing a series of mitigation measures to divert traffic to alternative routes.

“The proposed facilities on Deansgrange Road would provide the best quality facilities in terms of safety, connectivity and directness,” it said.