Readers Blog: Cyclists are under threat from lack of road planning

I had the good fortune to cycle the Wild Atlantic Way in September last year having retired in 2015. 

Readers Blog: Cyclists are under threat from lack of road planning

I would recommend this spectacular trip to anyone, even OAPs, as I fit that category. What a journey, 28 days, 2,300 km, I did a blog on facebook: Ted’s Wild Atlantic Way cycle.

However my issue is the suitability of this route for bicycles, ie, the surfaces and narrowness of the roads and the cyclist-awareness of motorists — I have been one myself for 45 years.

I started in Donegal, the roads in the north of the county are great, but the south don’t talk to the north and the surface is inconsistent. There is a very good cycle way on part of the old road and Donegal to Ballyshannon is great.

Sligo roads are good. The Mayo greenway is great apart from some bad turns and the presence of sheep excrement.

I found Galway not to be very cycle friendly as the roads are too narrow; yet the footpaths are wide — these were very dangerous.

On to Clare with its lovely straight agricultural roads but the road from Ballyvaughan through Fanore and on to Doolin was bad.

Kerry must be the most unhospitable county for cyclists. The approach roads into the towns have broken manhole covers and broken cement, which are perhaps not noticeable in a car.

I have to take special issue with exit cycle lane out of Tralee, it is a danger because of its surface; this will cause an accident as it is so rough cyclists have to go on the road, which is not well received by motorists. Members of Kerry County Council should try cycling on it on a hybrid bike.

It would also help if the council put up signs for safe overtaking — instructing motorists to keep 1.5 metres from the cyclist (as Kerry drivers need to be educated.)

When roads are being designed, councils should be aware of things from a cyclists point of view, certain things have to taken into consideration: There are different kind of bikes — off-road, mountain, hybrid, racer, etc.

There are different categories of cyclists too — professional, training, pleasure, families and children.

A basic requirement is that cyclists need much the same surface as there is for cars. Markings should be continuous in white lines to indicate where the cycle lanes are so no car can encroach.

The question has to be asked: Are cycle lanes fit for purpose?

Ted Williams

Greystones

Co Wicklow

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