Following the opening of the Luas Green Line extension in December the Green Party's Dublin Central Dáil candidate Neasa Hourigan has called on Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), Transdev and Dublin City Council to work together to provide a fully functioning strategy for cyclists in the north inner city.
Speaking this week Neasa Hourigan, a sustainable design and community development expert who lives in Cabra stated:
'The new Luas line, with stops at Phibsborough, Cabra and Broombridge has further exposed the inadequate provision for cycling in the north inner city. None of the outer three stations have provided for cycling commuters. We are already seeing cyclists forced to chain bikes to railings and posts, a scenario that does not facilitate an integrated transport system and causes obstruction and danger for other transport users. Additionally the Dublin Central area, unlike its southside counterpart, has seen little investment in cycle lanes or parking and the Dublin Bikes scheme has not, as yet, been extended to Phibsboro, Cabra or Drumcondra as promised by Minister Paschal Donohue in 2016.'
The Luas Green and Red Line, run by Transdev, has so far sought to encourage the integrated use of cycling with the tram line, identifying it as a convenient, fast and sustainable way to maximise the efficiancy of public transport within the city. The Luas website currently lists the Red Line, which runs from Saggart and Tallaght to the Point Theatre, as offering 135 cycle parking racks to commuters. The Green Line provides 222 cycle parking racks with some stations also offering lockers to transport users. Existing stations of a similar distance to the Cabra and Phibsborough stops such as Charlemont and Ranelagh offer 14 and 16 racks respectively for the use of cycling commuters.
The Dublin Bikes scheme was launched in 2009 and has enjoyed huge success in user participation but at present the furthest station on Dublin's Northside is at the Mater Adult Hospital. Although the surrounding communities have been included in the plan for the next phase of Dublin Bikes no timeline has been agreed for implementation.
Cllr. Ciarán Cuffe who represents the area on Dublin City Council stated:
'In Dublin we are seeing improvements in cycling facilities, but these changes are happening far too slowly for the north inner city. We must invest in decent cycle lanes and parking where integrated public transport can make an immediate and positive impact on peoples lives and wellbeing.'