Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport
Revised National Development Plan: Discussion
The point is that I had not cycled for 20 years. Some ten years ago I got back on a bike and I cycle here more often than I do not. There are, however, a lot of people who will not get on a bike. People have said it at this committee.
They are terrified of getting on a bike, particularly in Dublin. I have to cross Leeson Street and then St. Stephen's Green. It is complex; it is not for the faint-hearted. We need modal shift. We need more and more people to cycle. Almost every bike in use results in a car being taken off the road. It is not necessarily taking a passenger out of a bus; it is taking a car off the road. However, we have to make the cycle lanes wide enough and safe enough. Cycle parking is important. Security of parking is one of the biggest challenges I face. Leinster House is very good but if you want to cycle into town, you have to be able to know that your bike will still be there when you come back to it. That is not always the case. We need an enormous increase in secure cycle parking in order to facilitate modal shift.
I have only one question. I am conscious of the time. I might come back in the second round. In terms of the proposal, the road reservation for the eastern bypass goes through a significant chunk of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, from Sandyford, through Goatstown, down along past UCD, across to St. Helen's and out towards Booterstown. I am not necessarily advocating that the eastern bypass be built as such but the road reservation has to be kept, perhaps for a Luas line, a quality bus corridor or a cycle lane. The route is a bit hilly in parts. It is important that the road reservation is kept. What is the status of the eastern bypass? In 2003, when I first became a councillor, it was stated it would not be advanced before 2035. I do not know if that has changed or what the position is. If the reservation goes, it will be built on and we will lose the option of a rail corridor, a cycle corridor or any kind of use of that route. The reservation needs to be kept. It involves trip generators in places such as UCD and Sandyford, and connections to the Luas and DART, and RTÉ and St. Vincent's Hospital. It has so much potential, even as a bus corridor or something like that. Where are we with the eastern bypass?