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Gardaí catch 24 times more Dublin motorists than cyclists breaking red lights

Five times more motorists commute into Dublin city centre each morning than cyclists according to 2015 figures.

20161010_114041 Gardaí and representatives from three Dublin local authorities appeal for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to obey red lights outside Heuston station this morning. Source: TheJournal.ie

GARDAÍ HAVE CAUGHT 24 times more motorists than cyclists breaking red lights so far this year in Dublin.

The figures, released at a press conference in Dublin this morning, show that 1,296 cars in Dublin have been recorded breaking a red light so far in 2016 – 24 times the rate of cyclists caught breaking red lights (54) in the same period.

In response to a question from TheJournal.ie, Garda Superintendent Tom Murphy said zero pedestrians have died in collision with a cyclist, but he said one has been seriously injured.

Seven pedestrians have died in Dublin this year, gardaí added. They called on road users to respect red lights.

Pedestrians were involved in 42% of all fatal collisions in the Dublin metropolitan region between 2013 and 2016 to date. Some 11% of fatalities were cyclists.

Nine cyclists have died on Irish roads this year, including two in Dublin, plus several injuries, including a hit and run in Baldoyle, a collision with a taxi; a cyclist fatally knocked off his bike on a cycle lane; and the death of female commuter Donna Fox in the East Wall area of Dublin.

20161010_114358 (1) Pupils from St Columba's on the North Strand in Dublin want motorists and cyclists to stop running red lights near their school. Source: TheJournal.ie

Rush-hour commute figures

While 24 times more motorists than cyclists were caught breaking red lights in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, there are five times more motorists (53,064) in Dublin city centre than cyclists (10,893) commuting into Dublin city centre every morning between 7am and 10am.

That’s according to the latest (2015) figures from the NTA and Dublin City Council. The cyclist figure rose 5% in 2015 from the year before.

CSO figures from 2014 say 3.3% of journeys in Dublin are by bike, while 18 times that amount (58.1%) are by car.

Motorcyclists are increasingly using the city’s bike lanes. Garda Superintendent Tom Murphy also said cycle lanes are solely for cyclists.

“Everybody has a responsibility to increase road safety,” he told a press conference in Dublin this morning.

That includes pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or car or truck users.

Last month the National Transport Authority withdrew funding for cycling infrastructure across Dublin, due to the demands of the Luas cross-city project.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign, which drew up to 1,000 people to a protest against the low allocation (around 1%) of transport funding for cycling and walking this week, has said cyclists will continue to be killed as long as they share road space with buses, taxis and motorists.

The campaign wants 10% of transport funds to be dedicated for cycling and walking infrastructure, due to the high return on investment in terms of health and environmental benefits.

Squeeze on the quays

Dublin City Council has proposed a two-way cycle route along the north quays in Dublin city centre in a new report compiled by planners, although it may take years to come to fruition.

The road projects that have been stalled due to the lack of NTA funding include:

  • the Dodder Greenway from Glenasmole Reservoir in the Dublin Mountains to Grand Canal Dock via Clonskeagh and Tallaght;
  • Segregated cycling lanes from Adamstown to Inchicore and Portobello along the Grand Canal;
  • and Phase 4 of the Royal Canal Greenway.

The segregated cycle paths would have cost between €5.7 million and €12.3 million, but staff and funding for the projects have been diverted to the €368 million Luas Cross-City project, and its attendant rerouting of city centre traffic plans.

At the time, Fianna Fáil’s Dublin spokesman John Lahart questioned whether the €1.5 million in EU funding allocated to South Dublin County Council for the Dodder Greenway was spent, and if so on what.

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys said the decision shows a “total lack of interest” in cycling safety on the part of Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport.

Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth called the move to delay the bike schemes “bananas” and a “100% regressive step”.

Read: Council wants to ban cars and lorries from part of the quays in Dublin

Read: ‘It’s bananas!’: Fury as funding pulled for Dublin cycling projects

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