Longford County Council to tackle the ‘scourge’ of cyclists on footpaths
Something needs to be done about the “scourge” of motorised scooters and bicycles that are riding on the footpaths, members of Longford Municipal District have agreed.
Two motions were discussed at the July meeting of Longford MD which dealt with the issue.
Cllr Martin Monaghan called on Longford MD to liaise with An Garda Síochána and the community sergeant “to control the scourge of electric scooters that are appearing on our streets, with a lot of young children on same at present”.
“I’ve spoken to Sgt Conlon about the amount of kids on these at night not being watched,” said Cllr Monaghan.
“It’ll become a catastrophe where something will happen and a motorist will get the blame. I stopped an individual on Friday and the amount of abuse I got was shocking. Darran has really put his stamp on this town since he came into it,” he added of community sergeant Darran Conlon, who is working to tackle this issue in Longford town.
Cllr Seamus Butler also called on the council to introduce a by-law “to prohibit the riding of bicycles, tricycles, quad bikes, motor bikes and scooters, motorised or self- propelled, on all footpaths in the Longford Municipal District”.
“It’s exacerbated when there’s outdoor dining spaces,” said Cllr Butler.
“It’s only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or killed. This is very serious. The sergeant has confiscated at least one motorised scooter and is sending out the message that he’s not going to tolerate it.”
Director of Services John Brannigan requested the council hold off on by-laws until parking by-laws are reviewed.
“We hope to have a plan by the end of the year as to how funding will be utilised. If we have the infrastructure in place, it might negate the need for by-laws. If there’s still a need for by-laws, we will exact them,” he said.
His suggestion was met with objections by Cllr Butler and Cllr Monaghan.
“These people are dangerous. They really need to be dealt with. We will still need legislation. They think they can ride anywhere they want. It’s not going to go away. I think we need to prioritise this and start the process,” Cllr Butler insisted.
“I agree. Cycle lanes are badly needed but one thing that is missing out of all of this is manners. You can build anything you want but that 13 or 14 year old I spoke to last Friday won’t listen. I really think this needs to go to national government to outlaw them,” said Cllr Monaghan.
“The Community Sergeant has worked very hard over the last several weeks. He’s not heavy handed. He’ll ask them nicely to get off the footpaths and then he’ll take it off them if they keep doing it. But it’s down to lifestyle and manners.”
Mr Brannigan agreed to refer the motion to the Strategic SPC “to see how other areas are dealing with it.”
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