Maintenance programme need for Limerick’s cycles lanes

Cllr Dan McSweeney.

LIMERICK City and County Council has been asked to undertake  scheduled general maintenance of cycle lanes throughout the Metropolitan District.

The call came from Fine Gael councillor Dan McSweeney who believes that before the local authority spend another penny on the provision of cycle lanes, they should have a plan to maintain the ones they have.

“I am not against cycle lanes, provided they are in suitable locations and that adequate data is presented to ensure good value for taxpayers’ money. When I speak about maintenance of our cycle lanes I mean just sweeping them,” Cllr McSweeney told the Council Executive at this month’s Metropolitan District council meeting.

He also claimed that a cycle lane in Patrickswell, which cost in excess of €500,000 back in 2015, is now unusable due to the lack of road sweeping.

“Living in Patrickswell, I know how valuable this cycle lane is but over the last number of weeks, people have contacted me in relation to the condition of this lane which cannot be used by cyclists due to debris causing punctures,” the City West representative explained.

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“I have made it my business to inspect other cycle lanes in Raheen and Dooradoyle, and the same issue is present with leaves and even glass at some locations.

“For the last 12 months I have been hearing about this new sweeper that has been funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and that this will be the solution to all life’s problems. I am still waiting to see this sweeper in action.”

Cllr McSweeney said that if the council is serious about encouraging active travel, then they need a planned schedule of sweeping of cycle lanes across the Metropolitan District.

“If additional staff is required to do this, a discussion should now take place with the NTA for funding to be provided. It is time for the local authority to stand up to the NTA and highlight our concerns on design guidelines for proposed cycle infrastructure.

“I believe the NTA are trying to adopt the Dublin model in Limerick. We must remember we are not Dublin and we must implement what is best for our city and county,” he concluded.

Senior Engineer for the Council’s Roads, Traffic and Cleansing Department, Hugh McGrath commented: “Limerick City and County Council are currently in the process of purchasing two small sweepers with funding it has received from the NTA. These sweepers are expected to arrive early in the New Year.

“The sweepers will be utilised to keep Limerick’s cycle paths in a clean and serviceable condition through a regular schedule of maintenance.”