Residents to take legal action against cycle track saying it isn't 'COVID safe'

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Residents of a South Dublin suburb are set to take legal action against a new cycle track being built in their area.

The locals argue that the upcoming two way cycleway along the Strand Road in Sandymount isn’t COVID safe as it does not adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The group also claim that the works shouldn’t have been exempt from planning permission, even if they are temporary.

The track is due to open on March 1.

But the group claims a distance of only one metre between cyclists moving in opposite directions is set to be in place, even though COVID guidelines insist people must stay two metres apart from each other.

Independent Cllr Mannix Flynn and the local residents groups have applied to An Bord Pleanala for a declaration that the city council needs planning permission for the new cycle facility.

Cllr Flynn and resident Peter Carvill appeared in the High Court today to issue the challenge.

He said: “I’m looking for a judicial review on the overall procedure.

“We’re before the courts this morning on that, looking for a date for the case to be heard.

“As well as that there’s a section 5 gone into Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála as of Friday, which basically asks An Bord Pleanála to determine whether these works throughout the city, and particularly in Sandymount are exempt works.

“We believe they’re non-exempt works.”

An application under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act is also being made to the planning board which involves a ban on northbound traffic on Strand Road.

The council says it will be in place for a six-month trial but residents are arguing that the temporary nature of the proposal is not a basis for permission exemption.

The group claimed that the displaced traffic effects were not considered in the assessment.

They say the council also never considered the effects of the removal of the cycleway should if the trial was not a success.

Meanwhile, Dublin Bus announced major diversions on two important routes as the controversial Strand Road cycleway trial to begin today.

There will be some big changes on routes 1 and 47 starting Monday, February 22.

A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said the diversions will be in place “until further notice.”

Towards Santry
Depart terminus and divert via Park Avenue, Gilford Road, Sandymount Road and back on to the normal route.
Towards Sandymount
Normal route to Sandymount Road, divert via Gilford Road, Park Avenue and terminate.

Route 47

Towards Poolbeg Street
Normal route to Park Avenue, divert via Gilford Road, Sandymount Road and back on to the normal route.
Towards Belarmine
Normal route to Sandymount Road, divert via Gilford Road, Park Avenue and back on to the normal route.

Car restrictions – including traffic barriers, reduced parking, and a one-way system – will be implemented as part of the measures for the new two-way Strand Road cycle path.

Dublin City Council devised a set of plans to avoid traffic rat-runs in Sandymount village under a six-month trial.

Traffic will be limited to one lane with cars allowed to travel outbound only to the Merrion Gates which will start next Monday.

Preliminary works will continue for the remainder of February before the road is made fully one way from the start of March.

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Source: Dublin News