Brakes put on bid to exempt cyclists from one-way rules

A BID by one of the country’s surviving Green Party public representatives that cyclists be exempt from one-way directions on certain streets in Ennis has hit the buffers.

At this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council, deputy mayor Cllr Brian Meaney proposed cyclists should be allowed travel the wrong way on one-way streets without sanction.

He claimed it was standard practice in towns in a number of European countries that cyclists could cycle the wrong way up one way streets.

“We have to incentivise people getting back on the bike,” he claimed.

The Green Party councillor said that there are increasing numbers of people cycling and such a move would dramatically shorten the distance to be travelled by cyclists in the one-way traffic system in Ennis town centre.

“We are not trying to re-invent the wheel here. It would be a very clear signal being sent out by this council that we are pro-cycling.”

Cllr Paul O’Shea (Labour), in support, said the council should liaise with the Road Safety Authority on the proposal.

However, town mayor Cllr Tommy Brennan put the brakes on the proposal. “I have to object. If there is a two-way system put in for cyclists around Ennis, someone will get hurt.”

In his formal reply, town engineer Eamon O’Dea said the Rules of the Road P161 sets out particular road traffic rules on cycling which must be obeyed, including: “Don’t ever cycle against the flow of traffic on one way streets.”

Mr O’Dea said: “The only way cyclists would be permitted to cycle against a one-way system would be by means of a cycle lane, specifically for that purpose, and it would be difficult to achieve that in most one-way streets in Ennis, due to road-widths.

“It would also be difficult to justify the cost of such cycle lanes.”

Speaking after the motion was defeated, Cllr Meaney said: “I understand the conservative approach being taken by the engineering staff, but we need to create sustainable and viable transport corridors for Ennis. It is a novel approach and the door is not fully closed on the plan.”


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