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New Dun Laoghaire Cycle Lane Restricts Access to RNLI Lifeboat Station

14th July 2020
A new traffic system at Dun Laoghaire cuts off the primary access route to the base of the East Pier where the National Yacht Club (pictured) and Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat are located A new traffic system at Dun Laoghaire cuts off the primary access route to the base of the East Pier where the National Yacht Club (pictured) and Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat are located Photo: Afloat

A new cycle lane at Dun Laoghaire Harbour runs across the primary access route for the town's RNLI Lifeboats, one of the busiest stations in the country and restricts the lifesaving service in its emergency response, according to the Dun Laoghaire RNLI.

The new scheme, currently under construction, also blocks the direct route to the National Yacht Club (NYC) at the town's East Pier.

Mr Stephen Wynne, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at RNLI Dun Laoghaire told Afloat the lifesaving charity was currently 'in consultation with DLRCoCo to find an amicable solution'.

The traffic management plan includes road closures as part of an overall plan to implement a cycle lane through the town to the popular Forty Foot bathing place in nearby Sandycove.

An artist's impression of the new 'DLR Coastal Mobility intervention' at Queens Road as envisioned by DLRCoCoAn artist's impression of the new 'DLR Coastal Mobility intervention' at Queens Road as envisioned by DLRCoCo

Access from Queen's Road 'is the primary access route used by volunteer lifeboat crew in the provision of its 24/7 lifesaving service and it is restricted as a result' Mr Wynne says.

Access to the NYC and the lifeboat station is now via the harbour roundabout at the nearby Royal St. George Yacht Club but already, at certain times of the day, new road markings at the roundabout are restricting traffic flow, according to harbour users.

DLRCoCo has also relocated its weekend markets from the Peoples Park to Queens Road between Park Road and the entrance to the Pavilion car park resulting in the road closure to all but pedestrians and cyclists.

New road markings at Dun Laoghaire Harbour roundaboutNew road markings at Dun Laoghaire Harbour roundabout Photo: Afloat

As a result, it means RNLI crews responding to an emergency call-out and travelling by car are effectively blocked coming from the east and potentially severely restricted arriving from the west depending on the time of day.

A spokesman for the NYC said the club – the Irish yacht club of the year in 2018 – had 'no comment' to make in relation to the scheme.

The cycling schemes form part of the County-wide plan of temporary measures to address the challenges in the public realm resulting from Covid-19 related to public health and safety, mobility and to support the recovery of the local economy. The Council says on its website there have been high increases in cycling numbers on routes along the coastline in May 2020, according to real-time data from cycle counters. When compared with May 2019, cycling numbers in Blackrock Park almost doubled, rising from over 16,385 cyclists to 29,666 cyclists over the month of May.

A request for comment from DLRCoCo was not responded to by the time of publication.

UPDATE: July 17. DLRCoCo response as follows:

In response to Covid-19, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has made safety-critical changes to the layout of the roads infrastructure on roads on the coastal route between Blackrock and Sandycove to reallocate road space so as to protect the health and safety of the significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians who are accessing the coastal route.

There has been an almost 100% increase in the number of cyclists using the coastal route. According to real-time data from cycle counters in Blackrock Park in May 2020 there were 29,666 cyclists compared with 16,385 cyclists in May 2019. A very distinct pattern has emerged during the Covid-19 restrictions with a wide variety of ages and abilities observed to be cycling on the road.

DLRCC as a local authority and a road authority has a duty of care to all road users, particularly vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, and the mobility interventions, including the provision of a 2-way segregated cycle way, have necessitated changes to the road layout along Queen’s Road and in the Harbour area. In order to avoid a conflict between cyclists on the 2-way cycle way and vehicles, it was deemed necessary from a safety perspective to prevent access to vehicles via the access point in the Harbour closest to the East Pier. However, there are still clear vehicle access routes through to the RNLI lifeboat station in the Harbour via the Marine Road/Crofton Road junction and at York Road/Crofton Road junction, via the Cold Quay Bridge.

DLRCC has met on a number of occasions with RNLI representatives about the plans for the mobility interventions on Queen’s Road and in the Harbour area and plans further engagement so as to ensure that DLRCC as a road authority and RNLI as a lifesaving charity can meet their respective safety-critical responsibilities.

The dlr CoCo Markets was located on a trial basis on Queens Road on 12th July but this will not continue and the Market will be relocated to nearby locations which means that Queens Road will be open to vehicular traffic under the new one-way system during the week and at weekends.

Afloat.ie Team

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre.

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier.

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs
  • Sailing Schools
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width.

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act.

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977- A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

 

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here.

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

Round Ireland Yacht Race

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

  • 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

  • 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

  • The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012.
  • Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
  • Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour.

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire:

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings.

© Afloat 2020

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