2.1 Current Legislation and Guidance
Currently, the primary legislative requirements are found in:
Road Traffic Act, 1961
The base legislation for the regulation of road traffic and vehicles.
Road Traffic Act, 1994
Amended that allows for traffic calming measures to be introduced.
Road Traffic Act 2004
Introduction of the metric speed limits and special speed limits.
Roads Act, 1993
The base legislation for the regulation of the construction and maintenance of public roads.
Furthermore, the following Statutory Instruments are relevant to the provision of cycling facilities:
S.I. 181 of 1997, Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations, 1997
S.I. 182 of 1997, Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations, 1997
S.I. 273 of 1998, Road Traffic (Signs) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998
S.I. 274 of 1998, Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998
Additional legislation is in preparation associated with the following:
Traffic Signs Manual, 2010 (pending)
Road Traffic (Signs) (Amendment) Regulations, 2010 (pending)
The Traffic Management Guidelines, 2003 provides guidance on traffic management including some guidance regarding cycling.
The forthcoming Irish Manual for Streets will also provide relevant advice on cycling.
The National Cycle Manual, 2010, superseded Provision of Cycle Facilities – National Manual for Urban Areas, 1998.
2.1.1 Legislative Reference for Specific Traffic Management Measures
2.1.2 Key Legislative Points regarding Cycling
Obligation on Cyclists to use Cycle Facilities
The obligation on cyclists to use cycle infrastructure where provided (SI 182/1997, S.14) was removed in October 2012 (SI 332/2012).
The only exceptions to this relate to:
1. cycle tracks marked in pedestrian areas;
2. contra-flow cycle tracks in one-way streets; and
3. cycle tracks adjacent to certain bus lanes in which cycling is not permitted (variant of RUS058 showing bus symbol only must be used, with appropriate signage for the cycle track- see Traffic Signs Manual for more information on RUS058 and variants).
Aside from these three obligations, cyclists are permitted to use the main carriageway of all public roads (except motorways, from which cycling is precluded), even where dedicated cycle facilities have been provided.
Cycling in Bus Lanes
Current Regulations permit cyclists to use all bus lanes (including contra-flow bus lanes) and bus only streets, with the exception of certain bus lanes with adjacent cycle facilities as noted above. The preclusion of cyclists from bus only streets and contra-flow bus lanes was removed by SI 332/2012.