Children at a south Dublin primary school, who cycle to school on some of the capital's busiest roads, are facing another academic year with no protection against traffic.
School cycle groups in Dublin and nationally are holding an end of term cycle protest on Friday morning in support of Riverview Educate Together in Dublin 12 which has been seeking the introduction of safe cycling infrastructure for almost two years.
Parents and the principal at Riverview have appealed to South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council to introduce segregated cycle paths on the route which includes the busy Crumlin Road.
Parents and volunteers cycle to school alongside the children using the "bike bus" system. This works by having a designated route with "bus stops", where parents and children can join the convoy. While the school on Limekiln Road is in the South Dublin Council jurisdiction, around half the bike bus route is the city council area.
Aodhán King, who cycles with his son Mattie (8) said the D12BikeBus group has had meetings with both local authorities, and council engineers have walked and cycled the route with parents, but no improvements have been made.
“The local authorities seem to be positive when we meet them, but then nothing happens,” Mr King said.
“I think the problem is the two separate councils are not taking a holistic view of what’s necessary and aren’t considering how we move across the community. People don’t really live in local authority areas, they live in communities.”
The group had been optimistic of progress five months ago when South Dublin County Council was approved for National Transport Authority funding of €340,000 for the route, but this did not result in any changes, Mr King said.
“They said they were going for a long process, but we need protection immediately, even some small interventions to get us through junctions, like priority at lights, would be a start.”
A spokesman for South Dublin County Council said a design team has been appointed “to prepare a design to provide improved safety measures for cyclists in this area. The team are currently looking at design options for this route.”
The council hoped to be in a position to have a preferred option in the coming months he said. “We fully appreciate the strong desire to implement measures as soon as possible. This is a project that is being actively considered at the moment.”
Dublin City Council did not respond to queries on the issue.
School cycle groups in Dundrum, Clontarf, Drumcondra, Dublin 8, Limerick, Galway and several other regional towns are supporting the Dublin 12 group in holding cycle bus protests on school routes on Friday.
“We are asking family friends and neighbours to join us to cycle in solidarity for the safety of children,” Mr King said. “Ultimately we don’t want there to be cycle buses, the only reason the are there is because it’s not safe on out roads.”