Dublin Bay South By-election: Candidate Survey

Updated: Jul 6



With the Dublin Bay South by-election coming up (July 8th), we asked the candidates about their opinions on sustainable transport issues affecting this central Dublin constituency.


The candidates' responses can be viewed through the links below:

Ivana Bacik (Labour Party)

Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin)

Claire Byrne (Green Party)

Sarah Durcan (Social Democrats)

Brigid Purcell (People Before Profit)

Peter Dooley (Independent)


The following candidates did not respond:

Deirdre Conroy (Fianna Fáil)

Mannix Flynn (Independent)

James Geoghegan (Fine Gael)

Jacqui Gilbourne (Renua)

Mairéad Tóibín (Aontú)

Percentage of people who use a car or van as their mode of transport to work, school or college in Dublin Bay South

These were the questions we asked and our position on these issues:

1. Will you support setting the default speed limit in Dublin City to 30kmph as proposed by Dublin City Council?

We would like to see all candidates fully support setting the default speed limit in Dublin City to 30kmph to allow for safer streets.

2. Are you actively supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed by Dublin City Council?


We would like to see all candidates supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed.

3. Will you support introducing camera enforcement of bus lanes, cycle lanes, red lights etc. to tackle the widespread lawbreaking and dangerous driving on our roads?


Lack of enforcement of road traffic laws is a huge issue in Dublin. The NTA has stated that BusConnects will require camera enforcement of road traffic laws and has asked for the power to enforce them. We would like to see all candidates supporting this proposal.

4. Despite widespread support, the DART Underground project has been faced with decades of delays. How will you ensure that it’s funded and built as soon as possible?


We would like to see all candidates supporting DART Underground and expediting its delivery sooner rather than later.

5. How will you ensure that the Luas extension to Poolbeg is funded and built as soon as possible?


We would like to see all candidates seek funding to build this line as soon as possible without waiting until 2027 for funding to be allocated. 6. How will you ensure that the proposed new Luas line from the City Centre to Lucan is funded and built as soon as possible?


We would like to see all candidates seek funding to build this line as soon as possible without waiting until 2027 for funding to be allocated. 7. What is your position on the proposed Luas Green Line Metro Upgrade?


We believe the challenges regarding the Luas Green Line upgrade to carry metro services are not insurmountable. We believe that much too much misinformation has been circulated regarding the project.


We recognise that altering the alignment of the current MetroLink to the southwest will cause several more years of frustration to an already much too delayed project.


We recognise that the Green Line must eventually be upgraded to metro standard in order to facilitate the vast numbers of people due to move into the many thousands of homes due to be built along the line in Dundrum, Sandyford, Leopardstown, Carrickmines and the new town at Cherrywood. All of these people will need public transport provision, and it is the people in Ranelagh, Beechwood and Windy Arbour that will be barred from accessing the Luas in the future if it fills up before it has a chance to reach them.


We believe extending to the southwest would have a disastrous impact on the future of the Green Line, which is why we support a standalone metro line to be delivered for South West Dublin, linking with the Luas Red Line in Tallaght, travelling through Rathfarnham, Terenure, Harold's Cross, connecting with other services in the City Centre and proceeding to another part of the Northside.


We recognise that it is not possible to simply change the alignment of MetroLink at this late stage without beginning the planning, consultation and design stages again. We also recognise that continuing line underground through the South West will extend the construction, testing and commissioning phases of the project adding a possible 5-10 year delay.


We would like to see candidates recognise the Green Line upgrade's importance whilst also supporting a line to the South West, but not at the expense of either project. 8. Do you support the implementation of the new Bus Connects network in its current form in the Dublin Bay South area (A, B, C, E and F spines and associated radial and orbital routes)?


We believe the BusConnects Network in its current form should be implemented and if issues arise, consultation with local areas and bus users should take place to meet those challenges. 9. Will you support the implementation of the proposed Bus Connects Core Bus Corridors in the Dublin Bay South area even when it requires reallocating space from private cars to provide infrastructure for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians?


We believe the BusConnects Core Bus Corridors should be implemented and if issues arise, consultation with local areas and bus users should take place to meet those challenges. We support the prioritisation of pedestrian space, cycling facilities and bus infrastructure and that they should take precedence over private motor vehicle space.


We believe that tree felling and private land take should be avoided if possible by reducing general traffic space in favour of the above mentioned sustainable transport spaces.

10. Are you aware of the hierarchy of road users and will you commit to applying it wherever possible?


We believe that following the hierarchy of road use leads to the best possible provision of urban space, prioritising the more vulnerable and methods that are more sustainable.


Candidate responses

Ivana Bacik (Labour Party)

1. Will you support setting the default speed limit in Dublin city to 30kph as proposed by Dublin City Council?


This is a matter for local authorities, but I agree that in many areas of Dublin City, reduced speed limits can help to keep children, pedestrians and cyclists safe. The 30km speed limit should be introduced in particular on residential streets where children are out playing and where there is extensive footfall and large numbers who use bicycles; in Portobello where I live we have campaigned successfully for the extension of the 30km limit to all our small residential streets off South Circular Road.

2. Are you actively supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed by Dublin City Council?


Yes I do support this trial - as a committed cyclist I have always campaigned for better cycling infrastructure. However, I have met and engaged with local residents and have heard their concerns about lack of consultation. I think projects like this are best carried out with public buy-in and local support.

3. Will you support introducing camera enforcement of bus lanes, cycle lanes, red lights etc. to tackle the widespread law breaking and dangerous driving on our roads?

It is of utmost importance that those who use our roads are kept safe. I will be happy to support initiatives like this to promote road safety for all.

4. Despite widespread support, the DART Underground project has been faced with decades of delays. How will you ensure that it’s funded and built as soon as possible?


I note that one of the three TDs in this constituency is the Minister for Transport. I will be happy to advocate the construction and funding of this line.


5. How will you ensure that the Luas extension to Poolbeg is funded and built as soon as possible?


As above, the Minister for Transport is a local representative. I will be happy to work with our constituents to make representations to him on this initiative, and to secure the views of the local community too. It would be positive to offer a service to those living along the Liffey, Dodder, East Link Road and near Clanna Gael – an extensive and underserviced route!

6. How will you ensure that the proposed new Luas line from the City Centre to Lucan is funded and built as soon as possible?


As above, I would be happy to work with constituents to advocate improved East-West infrastructure, and to secure views of the local community through an effective consultation process.


7. What is your position on the proposed Luas Green Line Metro Upgrade?

I am supportive overall of plans to construct high-speed rail for Dublin City and to improve and enhance our public transport infrastructure. I believe that the agreed section of the Metrolink line from Swords as far as Stephens Green should proceed; and that further consultation and review should take place as to the options for further extension.

8. Do you support the implementation of the new Bus Connects network in its current form in the Dublin Bay South area (A, B, C, E and F spines and associated radial and orbital routes)?


I am very supportive of plans to improve our public transport infrastructure, but am very aware of local concerns around aspects of the new proposed Bus Connects network in particular communities. I have been in communication with the NTA over specific issues, and will continue to work with our local Councillors, Mary Freehill and Dermot Lacey, to ensure that representations are made as to local concerns. I believe that these issues should be resolved, among others, through consultation to ensure that this major capital investment is a success.

9. Will you support the implementation of the proposed Bus Connects Core Bus Corridors in the Dublin Bay South area even when it requires reallocating space from private cars to provide infrastructure for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians?


I support rebalancing of priorities in our transport policy to ensure that public transport and active travel (walking, cycling) are prioritised over single-occupier motor vehicles.


10. Are you aware of the hierarchy of road users and will you commit to applying it wherever possible?


Yes.


Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin)

1. Will you support setting the default speed limit in Dublin city to 30kph as proposed by

Dublin City Council? 


Speed limits are determined by Local Authorities, not for the Oireachtas. However Sinn Féin have supported fully at council level and there has been unanimous support at area committee level with the exception of Cllr Mannix Flynn.


2. Are you actively supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed by Dublin

City Council? 


Sinn Féin on Dublin City Council supported the initial trial proposal for a cycle route on Strand Road and continues to support the trial.

 

3. Will you support introducing camera enforcement of bus lanes, cycle

lanes, red lights etc. to tackle the widespread law breaking and dangerous

driving on our roads? 


Traffic enforcement is a duty for An Garda Síochána. But if AGS requires additional tools to tackle persistent law breaking or dangerous driving in a particular area, we would support that.


4. Despite widespread support, the DART Underground project has been faced

with decades of delays. How will you ensure that it’s funded and built as soon

as possible? 


The DART Underground plan, as originally proposed, would comprise of a 7.5km tunnel linking the Northern DART line to the Heuston mainline with new underground stations at Docklands, Pearse, St Stephens Green, Christchurch and Heuston and a surface station at Inchicore.

 

A previous estimate put its cost at €4.5 billion. It was shelved in 2011 due to economic constraints. This year the NTA have engaged consultants to devise route options for the line.

 

Sinn Féin are in favour of investing in our public transport system, particularly our rail network, which has been neglected for decades. It’s imperative we get more people out of cars and onto public transport and fast, reliable, affordable rail connections are key to doing this.

 

All infrastructure projects will be subject to budget constraints from year to year, but we are committed to increasing capital investment in order to transform our public transport network in Dublin and across the State.


5. How will you ensure that the Luas extension to Poolbeg is funded and built

as soon as possible?


The Luas has been a hugely successful and positive addition to our capital. It’s reliable, frequent, convenient and accessible service saw 48 million journeys registered in 2019. In line with our commitment to investing in public transport, Sinn Féin supports extending the lines to Poolbeg, which will serve Ringsend, Irishtown and the new community that will grow at Poolbeg.

 

All infrastructure projects will be subject to budget constraints from year to year, but we are committed to increasing capital investment in order to transform our public transport network in Dublin and beyond.


7. What is your position on the proposed Luas Green Line Metro Upgrade?  

  • We support measures to improve public transport including the provision of Metro lines. These types of projects are vital in helping us meet our climate targets and in making the city a better place to live.

  • We support a metro going to Rathfarnham and as it would be a substantial improvement in access for all those along the route of the line.

  • We have no problem in principle with the upgrading of the current Luas line to Metro, however communities have raised legitimate concerns regarding access and the potential of the Luas line being closed for a protracted period which would cause substantial disruption.

  • We need to ensure that there is substantial and robust consultation with all those affected, that there is full transparency and that the concerns of communities are genuinely listened to.

  • Far too often these processes are seen as box ticking exercises with predetermined outcomes. Whatever decisions are ultimately taken on routes, etc. need to be made transparently and mitigate as much as is possible against legitimate concerns raised.

8. Do you support the implementation of the new Bus Connects network in

its current form in the Dublin Bay South area (A, B, C, E

and F spines and associated radial and orbital routes)? 


Yes, we support BusConnects and in general efforts to improve Dublin’s bus network. Done right, BusConnects can reduce commuting times for workers, better connect new and existing communities and provide a greener transport option for more people. Localised issues will undoubtedly arise, and it’s important the NTA work with local communities to address their concerns.

 

9. Will you support the implementation of the proposed Bus Connects Core

Bus Corridors in the Dublin Bay South area even when it requires reallocating

space from private cars to provide infrastructure for bus users, cyclists and

pedestrians?


As it forms part of the BusConnects plan as mentioned above, we would but the needs of people with disabilities need to be accommodated in the plans with safe crossings.


10. Are you aware of the hierarchy of road users and will you commit

to applying it wherever possible?


Yes, I am aware of the hierarchy of road users.

 

We need to continue to promote active travel and the sharing of road space with cyclists and pedestrians is key to this. Some people feel unsafe cycling to work and school, due to a lack of proper cycling infrastructure.

 

The pedestrianisation of streets in town and city centres has also been a very positive development over recent months.

 

Sinn Féin wants to see improved cycling infrastructure, better quality side paths that take account of wheelchair users for example, and the pedestrianisation of streets where possible to ensure more people and businesses can benefit from city and town centre locations.


Claire Byrne (Green Party)

1. Will you support setting the default speed limit in Dublin city to 30kph as proposed by Dublin City Council?


Yes I support reducing the default speed limit in Dublin to 30kph. I also support the reduction of the national default speed limit in built up areas to 30kph. Ireland is a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration of the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, which commits us to “Focus on speed management, including the strengthening of law enforcement to prevent speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner”.

Thanks to the Love 30 campaign, there is now widespread awareness of the following:

· 9 out of 10 people will die if they are hit by a car traveling 60kph

· 5 out of 10 people will die if they are hit by a car traveling 50kph

· 1 in 10 people will die if they are hit by a car traveling 30km/h

Ireland has the highest percentage (14%) of child fatalities of all pedestrian fatalities in the EU. (European Road Safety Observatory Report 2018, child defined as “under 14 years of age”). It is not appropriate that in areas where pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers are frequently mixing that we maintain a 50kph default.

Furthermore, according to the RSA, in 2020 Total Road Deaths in Ireland increased from 140 (2019) to 148 (2020). In that figure, we saw a 25% increase in cyclist fatalities and a 19% increase in pedestrian fatalities. Our commitment to active travel and providing safe infrastructure must be supported by ambitious measures to open our roads to people traveling by foot, by bike, by bus etc.

2. Are you actively supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed by Dublin City Council?


Yes. The trial should proceed. The level of consultation, engagement, and resources expended on this project, a 2km temporary bike path, shows the huge effort it will take to decarbonise our transport system. I have demonstrated leadership through my support and engagement with local people on this issue--many of whom supported the trial since it was first proposed. The benefit of trialling these measures is that we can observe, in real time, the consequences of the changes and adapt as necessary. This way we can make sure that residents living on nearby streets are not adversely affected by re-routed traffic and that we can see “traffic evaporation” as people switch to walking and cycling on a safe and attractive amenity.

3. Will you support introducing camera enforcement of bus lanes, cycle lanes, red lights etc. to tackle the widespread law breaking and dangerous driving on our roads?


Yes. Dublin City Council trialled camera based enforcement with success in the past and I believe this should be done to prevent illegal use of bus lanes and cycle lanes by private cars and make our roads and junctions safer for all road users. The success of Busconnects is very much contingent on the new bus and cycle paths being kept clear for the users of those modes. Without appropriate enforcement we will not get the public good from the €2bn investment in the project.

4. Despite widespread support, the DART Underground project has been faced with decades of delays. How will you ensure that it’s funded and built as soon as possible?

5. How will you ensure that the Luas extension to Poolbeg is funded and built as soon as possible?

6. How will you ensure that the proposed new Luas line from the City Centre to Lucan is funded and built as soon as possible?

I will take questions 4, 5, 6 together.

I support DART Underground, Luas to Lucan, and extension to Poolbeg. DART Underground is the ‘missing link’ in our suburban rail system and will allow a significant increase in services at Tara Street, Pearse, Grand Canal Dock, Lansdowne Rd, Sandymount and Sydney Parade through the removal of the bottleneck in the city centre. The Luas extension to Poolbeg is critical not only to serve the new development in Poolbeg but to improve accessibility for people living in Ringsend and Irishtown. This is something I fought for as a councillor--the inclusion of the Poolbeg extension in the Poolbeg West SDZ. And the Lucan Luas project will provide connectivity not just for areas to the West of the city, but for the South inner city as well.


The Green Party negotiated a commitment in the Programme for Government that for every euro spent on roads projects, there will be two euros spent on public transport projects. This is a historic level of funding for public transport, and it is a necessary re-balancing of priorities after decades of underinvestment in Dublin’s public transport. With a Green Party Minister for Transport we have the best possible chance to get these projects prioritised, and electing me to the Dáil means that we can increase the influence of the Green Party in government, to push ahead with projects like these that will make life better for Dubliners and help us meet our climate targets.

7. What is your position on the proposed Luas Green Line Metro Upgrade?


The NTA is currently reviewing three possible routes for the Metro south of the City Centre and considering the huge number of trips the Metro can deliver underground--some 50 million per year--this is a key piece of infrastructure for making the city more liveable. Each of the routes has its own merits; the Sandyford line would connect our universities and city centre, the Green Line upgrade would alleviate medium to longer term capacity issues and the Cherrywood line would bring a much needed transport link to an area of the city which is particularly poorly served by existing public transport options.

 

In relation to the the Green Line upgrade, there are real challenges with shifting to a fully driverless system--it also has the disadvantage of requiring full segregation from passengers and road users and I share the concerns of DBS constituents on both the matter of the disruption of services during construction period and the impact segregation would have.

 

I put our children's future at the heart of decision-making and investment in public transport is core to that.  We've waited 30 years for this Metro, Copenhagen has built three metros in that time and will have a much smoother transition to zero emissions transport. We have a serious amount of work to do and I eagerly await the NTA’s review of the options for this Metro.

8. Do you support the implementation of the new Bus Connects network in its current form in the Dublin Bay South area (A, B, C, E and F spines and associated radial and orbital routes)?


We need BusConnects to simplify and improve our bus network, to make it legible and attractive for those who travel by bus every day, for visitors to our city, and for those who currently travel by car to encourage them to use public transport.

As a councillor in the area the past seven years, I am alive to the concerns of residents and have contributed my own observations on the plans. I believe Busconnects in Dublin, (and in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway) should be largely delivered through road space reallocation, not carriageway widening. This is in line with international best practice in carbon emissions reduction in transport which sets the hierarchy of “Avoid/Shift/Improve”. Simply put, we avoid journeys by encouraging people to live in urban centres. Then we shift people from high carbon to low carbon forms of transport (eg car to bus). And the last measure we do is improving the technology of the transport (eg biofuels, subsidising electric vehicles etc.) By reallocating road space from the car to bus we will more efficiently shift people into more sustainable modes of transport without road widening and tree removal--which reduces the attractiveness of city centre living. In my contributions to the Busconnects plans I have advocated for this approach that will protect our green spaces, trees, and heritage while providing a better public transport system.

9. Will you support the implementation of the proposed Bus Connects Core Bus Corridors in the Dublin Bay South area even when it requires reallocating space from private cars to provide infrastructure for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians?

Yes. It is essential that we reallocate space to more sustainable modes of transport, not only on the core bus corridors. Every street in Dublin should be a Healthy Street.

10. Are you aware of the hierarchy of road users and will you commit to applying it wherever possible?


Yes I support the hierarchy in DMURS and the need to put the most vulnerable road users first. This is crucial for compact development of cities, we simply cannot achieve the necessary density without prioritising people and making towns and cities welcoming places. I will also work on better implementation and accountability of DMURS by local authorities. The funding of 248 interdisciplinary walking and cycling posts in local authorities around the country must deliver high quality urban design as well as active travel solutions. The new National Cycling Manual, expected for completion this year, is also critical for delivery of infrastructure that is accessible to all. I am the most experienced and best positioned candidate for Dublin Bay South to deliver on sustainable transport--bringing my local knowledge, my love of nature and culture, and my policy expertise to the role.

Sarah Durcan (Social Democrats)

1. Will you support setting the default speed limit in Dublin city to 30kph as proposed by Dublin City Council?

Yes.


2. Are you actively supporting the Strand Road Cycle Route trial as proposed by Dublin City Council?


Yes. I am in favour of the trial to see what works, and what needs to be adjusted to provide safe segregated cycleways, encourage active transport and ensure the streets are safe for pedestrians and cyclists. This should be done in conjunction with working with the local community to address concerns about diverted traffic and looking to reduce the levels of traffic overall.


3. Will you support introducing camera enforcement of bus lanes, cycle lanes, red lights etc. to tackle the widespread law breaking and dangerous driving on our roads?


Yes.


4. Despite widespread support, the DART Underground project has been faced with decades of delays. How will you ensure that it’s funded and built as soon as possible?


The SocDems are in favour of a Metro solution for the city - the underground should be prioritised for investment as a key and urgent solution to traffic congestion in the city. We are in favour of it running south west through the city.


5. How will you ensure that the Luas extension to Poolbeg is funded and built as soon as possible?


Again this is a matter of prioritising transport spend towards public transport. These big projects should commence as soon as possible, as it is now possible for the government to borrow for long term capital investments at very low rates.


6. How will you ensure that the proposed new Luas line from the City Centre to Lucan is funded and built as soon as possible?


Again this is a matter of prioritising transport spend towards public transport. (See above)


7. What is your position on the proposed Luas Green Line Metro Upgrade?

We would rather see an underground Metro run south-west of the city and provide key infrastructure in that under-resourced area.


8. Do you support the implementation of the new Bus Connects network in its current form in the Dublin Bay South area (A, B, C, E and F spines and associated radial and orbital routes)?


Overall, we are in favour of Bus Connects and the provision of better public transport. While much work has been done to allay concerns of local communities and improvements have been made, there is still some work to be done to ensure roads and public transport are safe and accessible for everyone, and traffic isn’t unduly diverted onto residential roads without appropriate measures put in place.