Dublin 4 advertising for bikes deal to be put to councillors

Cost of bike rental could increase or service reduce if councillors decline to approve deal

What advertising screens in the  D4 location near the US embassy  would look like as part of Dublin Bikes deal.

What advertising screens in the D4 location near the US embassy would look like as part of Dublin Bikes deal.

 

Plans to erect advertising screens in Dublin 4 to pay for the Dublin Bikes rental scheme will be presented to Dublin city councillors for approval on Monday night.

If the plans are not approved it could result in a removal of bikes and bike stations from the network or an increase in user fees, council officials have warned. It would also put a question mark on the expansion of the scheme which the council proposes to fund through more advertising.

Three of the double-sided advertising panels known Metropoles would be located in Dublin 4, at Donnybrook Road, Shelbourne Road, and Pembroke Road in front of the US Embassy, while a fourth is proposed for Dublin 2 at Charlemont Street.

The council said it needs to install the screens to fulfil its side of the Dublin Bikes deal with advertiser JC Decaux. The screens are to pay for the service already provided by the company, and not to pay for any new bikes, the council said.

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Councillors in the southeast of the city last month voted to oppose erection of the four screens. Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey said the advertising was “unsuitable” for the locations proposed and he offered to walk the area with officials to identify more suitable sites.

Four panels

However, the council said it had already assessed 50 sites in order to find locations for the panels. The southeast of the capital has the highest concentration of bike stations at 47 per cent, but has just 25 per cent of the advertising screens, it said.

North inner city Cllr Independent Nial Ring said southside councillors were prepared to put the bike scheme at risk rather than take four panels, while the northside had more advertising and fewer bikes.

An Taisce made a submission to the council opposing the four advertising panels. The agency’s heritage officer Ian Lumley, and its representative on the council’s planning committee Valerin O’Shea, also made separate submissions in a personal capacity, against the proposal, with Mr Lumley describing it as “nasty”, “contemptible”, “tacky” and “grossly offensive”.

In 2006 the council signed a contract with JC Decaux, one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, for the bike rental scheme. The bike service began operating in 2009 and was extended in 2010 by 100 bikes. To fund the extension the council agreed to 10 additional advertising screens, six of which have been installed but four of which remain outstanding.

The council has proposed funding the future expansion of the bike rental scheme by the use of more outdoor advertising. In a report to councillors last April the local authority said the most “commercially efficient” sites for advertising would be heavily trafficked routes, or key civic and retail areas such as O’Connell Street, College Green and Grafton Street.