Submission: R147 Poolboy Bridge to Kells Road


Submission: R147 Poolboy Bridge to Kells Road

See Navan Cycling Initiative’s submission on the Dublin Road scheme below

Part 8 P8/22021 – Navan Cycle Scheme – R147 Poolboy Bridge to Kells Road Roundabout

PUBLIC CONSULTATION – Submission by Navan Cycling Initiative. For more information see here.


We are writing to you on behalf of the Navan Cycling Initiative (NCI), a community-based group based in Navan advocating for improved cycling infrastructure. NCI is a member of (, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, which is the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation ( Our aim is to make cycling in Navan and surrounding areas safe, enjoyable, and popular.

At a time when cycling is more popular than ever and the demand for safe cycling infrastructure is at an all-time high, this is a great opportunity to provide safe cycling routes throughout Meath. 

General Comments

NCI welcomes the proposals for the Navan Cycle Scheme – R147 Poolboy Bridge to Kells Road Roundabout, and look forward to seeing them implemented. The R147/N51 Kells Road runs through the heart of Navan Town, and the delivery of safe cycling infrastructure here will play a key part of the overall planned Navan Cycle Network. The scheme will see the road and the three major junctions along the route upgraded to be in-line with current best standards (i.e., DMURS, the National Cycle Manual), making them safer for cyclists, pedestrians and all road users. It will connect several different areas and encourage more people to make the move to sustainable transport.

Like the R147 Martha’s Bridge to Circular Road Scheme, which also runs on the R147 road, we hope to see this scheme delivered as quickly as possible. Cycling infrastructure is desperately lacking in Navan, and these two schemes will go a long way to help address that and begin to make Navan a cycle-friendly town. This new scheme is aligned along a very wide road, passes no private properties, and will likely cause minimal disruption to the existing layout, barring safety improvements for all road users. As such we hope to see it happen as a matter or urgency. 

We strongly believe this scheme – and other similar schemes in the town – could be delivered using Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act. It is difficult to understand the apparent reluctance by Meath County Council to use this method for schemes such as this. It has been used with great success by other local authorities right across the country. We understand there may be minor sections of particular roadways which require land acquisition or widening, but in general these issues can be resolved and alternatives sought to ensure it can be done under Section 38. 

There is an urgent need for Navan to tackle the dominance of cars in the town, to reduce transport emissions, and to meet climate targets, yet waiting approximately five years for a basic cycling network is unacceptable. It can be delivered in a much faster timeframe using the methods outlined above, if the will was there to do it. 

The Navan Cycle Network, as part of the Greater Dublin Area plans first published in 2013. The map shows the major lack of progress in delivering cycling infrastructure in Navan in recent years. 


Where photomontages are used, realistic traffic patterns should be represented, in order to ensure that the design is suitable for use at peak times – when school children are most likely to be traveling. This will ensure that the scheme is usable at all times of the day, not just when there is light traffic.


As the scheme is only 1.1km long, it is vital that the routes and connections to both the upcoming Flower Hill Cycle and Pedestrian scheme (in the east) and the LDR4 scheme (in the west) are of the same standard and high quality throughout to ensure the free flowing of movement along the route. 


There are three major junctions located within the scope of the scheme, namely at the R147/Poolboy Bridge, the N51/Fire Station, and R147/Balmoral. These junctions will be of significant importance in safe and reliable active travel across a very busy, high-speed road, and connecting with the north of Navan. The N51/Fire Station junction, in particular, is extremely busy, and presently very dangerous for cyclists to navigate, so the proposed scheme is welcome and will bring the junction in line with the latest DMURS guidance.

We do note, however, that the designs for cycling at these junctions is based upon the latest BusConnects guidance from the National Transport Authority, which sees the so–called ‘Dublin-style’ protected junctions used over standard international designs, such as Dutch design junctions or ‘Cyclops’ junctions. We have reservations about using this method and how it may be used in these particular locations.

We note there are no bike boxes, or Advanced Stop Lines (ASL), on any of the junctions – with the exception of the (existing) one on Abbey Road – in the scheme, and query whether this is part of the new design, or something which can be implemented.

Flower Hill 

We note the interim tie-in to existing in advance of the proposed Flower Hill Cycle and Pedestrian Scheme. However, at present, the plans for that scheme are not published, so we cannot make any comments on how this proposed scheme will tie in.

It is unclear how cyclists coming from the south who wish to turn right up Flower Hill are meant to do so safely, as no provision for making a right-turn has been provided. Experienced, confident cyclists may use the main right-turning lane, but this is not suitable for anyone except highly experienced cyclists. 

To the south of the Flower Hill junction, the drawings indicate that people cycling will merge with vehicles. This isn’t consistent with the assessment that there are no HGVs or buses adjacent to cyclists, therefore the Quality of Service assessment should be changed accordingly.
Vehicles, including buses and HGVs, are very often queuing here, meaning that this area would only be usable by very experienced cyclists. Therefore would prevent all other cyclists from using this route, which isn’t consistent with the County Development Plan.

Cycle Lane Widths

It’s not clear from the drawings whether bollards will be included in all sections, just approaching junctions, or something else. It is important to retain 2 metres width to allow overtaking, even where there are bollards – i.e. bollards should not reduce the usable width of the cycle lane.

Bus Stops

At the bus stop near the N51/Fire Station junction, the drawings appear to suggest that the cycle lane passes in front of the bus shelter.

When there are people at the bus shelter, and when a bus is stopped, this introduces a conflict by putting people directly into the cycle lane. There is ample space to route the cycle lane behind the bus shelter, avoiding conflict, using an island-type ‘floating’ bus stop, as has been used on the Dublin Road in the R147 Martha’s Bridge to Circular Road Scheme (see image below) This would also ensure that there is a consistency in the designs being used across the network.

Bike Parking

The proposed bike parking at the bus stop on the Kells Road should be covered. There are often bikes parked in the car park behind the bus stop for the entire day (see image below), as people cycle here to get the bus. Covered, secure bike parking would encourage more people to use active travel to get to their destination.


Navan Cycling Initiative warmly welcomes the Navan Cycle Scheme – R147 Poolboy Bridge to Kells Road Roundabout and believes it to be an excellent proposal for the Kells Road. We note it is a small but key part of the overall Navan Cycle Network, and hope to see it join with other adjoining schemes as soon as possible to form a functioning network.

In particular, we wish to see:

  • The scheme delivered as quickly as possible to encourage more people to make the move to sustainable transport
  • Consistent standard of high-quality design used throughout various schemes
  • Clarification on how cyclists coming from the south on the R147 who wish to turn right up Flower Hill are meant to do so safely
  • Route the cycle lane behind the bus shelter to avoid conflict
  • Covered bike parking at bus stops

Yours sincerely
Navan Cycling Initiative 


Navan Cycling Initiative

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