1,000 signatures reached
To: Limerick City and County Council
Keep the cycle lane on Shannon Bridge
The temporary cycle lane on Shannon Bridge was introduced as part of Limerick City and County Council's Covid Mobility measures. Whilst it was due to be installed from June 8th, it was finally delivered on the 16th of July. It is now proposed that the lane is removed on August 28th, one day after children return to school. This lane must become a permanent feature to protect people cycling across the river each day. This bridge is a commuter route for many people & as bus capacity will be decreased due to Covid, more space is needed for those cycling & walking to school, work, leisure. If not, the bridge will go back to being a hostile, unsafe place for people, who risk an accident or worse, if this segregated lane is removed.
Why is this important?
Covid 19 infection rates are rising again. The crisis is not over and requirements for social distancing are still vital. Any removal of mobility measures designed to facilitate safe movement into the city is dangerously premature.
Shannon Bridge is a crucial transport corridor for schools. Over 3,500 children will soon travel to schools directly served by Shannon Bridge. Provision must be made for safe active travel to these schools. This is mandated by the National Transport Authority, Green Schools Ireland, and the Department of Education;
The Department of Transport guidelines state 'use public transport only for essential journeys, walk or cycle if possible.'
The COVID-19 Response Plan by the Dept. of Education for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools states 'promote alternative means for children to get to school in a safe way, including walking, cycling and more generally in reducing the impact on public transport'. (July 2020).
The Green Schools Plan 'An Ideas Document for Safe Access to Schools' also reiterates the need to prioritize active travel, including walking and cycling, and suggests the implementation of 'a cycle bus or walk-and-stride facilities'. (July 2020).
In installing a cycle lane to provide safe travel for cyclists and a safer passage for pedestrians along the pathway- now insulated from motor vehicles- the Council has acknowledged the need for such infrastructure. Removal of such infrastructure is a retrograde step for the Council, when other local authorities across the country are introducing cycle infrastructure to support people who cycle and those that want to cycle but feel its unsafe to do so due to fear of accident, driver hostility and current route layout.
Up to 40 children and parents from the Cycle Bus (which serves 2 primary schools in the city centre) use the inbound lane to cross the Shannon each morning on route to school and work. Before the lane was opened exclusively to cyclists and pedestrians, these children shared a lane of traffic with cars, vans, buses and HGV’s on a daily basis. It was, all would agree, the most unsafe aspect of the Cycle Bus’ journey each morning.
If Limerick wants to support the increasing numbers of people cycling, then the Council must support 'people first' measures like maintaining a safe segregated cycle lane on one of our bridges.