Temporary cycle track at Wellington Lane ‘accident waiting to happen’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A TEMPORARY cycle track at Wellington Lane in Templeogue is “an accident waiting to happen” and poses “a serious health and safety risk”, according to a local councillor.

Labour councillor Pamela Kearns claims that the temporary track has reduced the road width to the extent that it could prevent emergency service vehicles from being able to pass if there is side-by-side traffic.

Wellington Lane 12 1

The temporary cycle track on Wellington Lane

“It’s such an obvious error,” Cllr Kearns told The Echo. “It’s been brought up with me by a number of people.

“Even if you get a wide van on one side and a car with mirrors on the other side, they’ll hit each other.

“If an ambulance or fire brigade gets caught there, then they’re stuck.”

The issue was raised by Cllr Kearns at an area committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon, where she asked for the council to review the temporary cycle track, adding: “As things currently stand, if there is traffic side-by-side on the road there is no room for emergency services to pass. 

“This is a serious health and safety risk.”

In response, South Dublin County Council said they had been in contact with the HSE and Dublin Bus about the new road layout “and they have informed us that they do not have any issues”.

The local authority said roads with six-metre widths, like Wellington Lane, “are appropriate for a range of carriageway types including arterial and link streets which Wellington Lane would be categorised as.

“The design of the street and the carriageway width have been set by NTA accounting for the needs of larger vehicles such as buses, waste vehicles and the safe movement of emergency vehicles.”

The council added that during the design of the Wellington Lane trial scheme, their consultants engaged a “competent independent company” to undertake a Road Safety Audit Report, and the report did not note the six-metre carriageway as a safety concern.  

“I’m not happy with the council’s answer,” said Cllr Kearns. “I support the concept of cycle tracks, and I’m 100 per cent in support of people who use their bikes.

“But I think the cycle track has made Wellington Lane too narrow, and very, very dangerous. 

“I’ve contacted the council about this before, but I felt I had to put it on the agenda [for the area committee meeting] because I wanted to publicly acknowledge that this is an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Kearns said that, ideally, the bollards that separate the cycle track from the road should be removed, and instead the cycle track should be on a raised kerb, similarly to the road layout at Braemor Road in Churchtown.

The plans for the cycle track at Wellington Lane were announced by the council last November, and they stated that for the duration of the six-month trial they would carry out “a number of surveys to understand what the current issues are, how the temporary measures are working and what improvements could be made to these measures”.  

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