Time for safe cycling infrastructure
Sir, – Between 2010 and 2020, 101 people were killed on Irish roads while using their bicycles.
A significant factor in these deaths is the extreme lack of safe cycling infrastructure in Ireland and the priority given to private motor vehicles.
One of the recent deaths occurred on the South Circular Road in Dublin, where I live and cycle to bring my eldest son to school. The South Circular Road and its environs are home to thousands of families and households, most of whom do not own a car. The number of residents and the proportion that will not own a car is set to rise significantly, with the development of sites such as the Bailey Gibson/Player Wills site.
The section of the South Circular Road, which runs east to west, is four lanes wide, although for much of the road one or two of these lanes are given to on-street parking for private vehicles. On, and adjacent to, this stretch of road are four primary schools, along with secondary and third-level institutions.
This section of the road is 3.5km long, yet only contains 180 metres of cycle lanes, none of which is protected. There is no safe section of this road on which to cycle. It is not safe for an adult who cycles regularly, let alone for a child or inexperienced cyclist. The South Circular Road currently acts as a physical barrier to prevent cyclists moving around the city.
A two-way protected cycle lane on the South Circular Road could provide a cycling artery for the city. Such a cycle lane could be built without removing any of the existing traffic lanes. Not only would it allow for safe journeys along the road itself, it would provide safe access to the huge array of quieter streets off the South Circular Road, most of which are cut off for cyclists by the dangerous nature of the South Circular Road. – Yours, etc,