Court asks Dublin City Council to explain how it passed controversial Strand Road cycle lane plan

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has ordered Dublin City Council to provide further information on how it passed a plan for a controversial new two-lane cycleway on Strand Road in Sandymount.

The three-judge tribunal also wants the council to explain how a decision it made in February 2021 regarding the cycle path was overturned days later on March 2 and never brought to the attention of the High Court when a dispute has been brought before the planner.

The CoA is hearing an appeal by council against a High Court decision rejecting the cycle route plan after a judge ruled it had to undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and, by therefore, should go through the planning process.

The challenge had been brought by local resident Peter Carvill and local councilor Mannix Flynn against council, Ireland and the attorney general.

After submissions closed after a two-day appeal hearing on Thursday, the presiding judge, Mrs. Justice Mary Faherty, said that given a number of questions that had arisen during the hearing, the The court ordered that Brendan O’Brien, chief technical officer for the council’s Department of Services, Environment and Transportation, swear a new affidavit with respect to each decision made regarding the cycle path test plan.

Mr. O’Brien should list the dates, the people who made the decision, and the documents and records of those decisions. There should also be an explanation regarding the annulment decision and why it was not brought to the attention of the High Court, the judge said.

Cllr Flynn, who the court heard challenged some of the council’s assertions about how the bike lane decision was made, will be given the opportunity to provide an affidavit in response.

The judge outlined a schedule for affidavits and any written submissions that will need to be made to resolve the issues that have arisen.

She said the court did not offer to comment further until it received the new affidavit evidence and submissions. She put the case for mention at the end of next month

The Strand Road plan will turn what is currently a stretch of two-way vehicular road along the coast into a single exit lane, with the other lane being used as a two-way cycleway.

It would require the removal of a traffic island at the junction of Strand Road and Merrion Road, as well as the removal of some mini-roundabouts and the installation of bollards.

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