Throughout October, myself and the other Fingal councillors were voting on amendments to the new draft Fingal Development Plan.

One issue which got a lot of public attention was some decisions taken about the provision of cycling facilities across Fingal. Myself and my Green Party colleague, Cllr. David Healy, had put forward a proposal that when new schools are being built, the Council should acquire any pieces of land around the schools that would be necessary to create a safe walking or cycling route to that school.

We saw this as both important from the point of view of road safety, but also that it is more sensible to try and secure safe routes at the point when a school is being built, as opposed to trying to retro-fit walking and cycling routes onto an existing school.

After a long and fairly contentious debate (you can watch here), our motion was defeated 19 – 16. I was both surprised and disappointed by this. While many councillors who voted against the motion stated they were in favour of safe cycling, I was deeply unconvinced by their reasons for rejecting it.

Subsequently, a majority of councillors rejected a second proposal from Cllr. Healy and myself to place restrictions on HGVs around schools at drop-off times.

On the other hand, we were successful in getting a requirement for a 30kmph zone in proximity to primary and secondary schools, which can be implemented once the draft Development Plan is passed in March 2017. I also had an objective inserted promoting cycle route linkages between Castleknock village with both the Phoenix Park and Blanchardstown village.

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