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Liberties to benefit from Dublinbikes expansion

By Claire McQuaid

Dublin City Council has said that it plans to add a number of Dublinbike stations to the Liberties when the scheme undergoes expansion between 2011 and 2016.

Currently, the nearest bike station to the Liberties is situated at the bottom of Thomas Street close to the High Street Junction.

Speaking about the planned expansion, a spokesman for Dublin City Council, David Malone said, “there is a long-term 5-year plan to significantly expand the Dublinbikes scheme across the city.”

“This will see the number of bikes go from the present 550 to 5000 and the number of stations go from the present 44 to 300.”

According to the council, the expansion will be completed in 14 phases beginning with Phase 2A and 2B, which will see Dublin Bikes expanded to the Heuston and Docklands areas later this year.

The Liberties area is included in Phase 3, which will see the scheme expanded through the Liberties and Cork Street area as far as the Grand Canal by the end of 2012.

The exact locations of the Liberties bike stations are not known as Dublin City Council has yet to finalise the details of the expansion.

Between the beginning of 2008 and September 2011, there have been 808 recorded incidents of bike theft in the Dublin 8 areas of Kevin St. and Kilmainham alone.

Despite these figures, the Council has dismissed claims that the Liberties’ high levels of bike theft are the reason for the absence of bike stations in the area.

The Council said that ‘the levels of theft and vandalism predicted during the scheme’s introduction have not yet “materialised”.

They have “taken lessons from other cities across Europe that have previously implemented bike rental schemes” and plan to apply the “same methology” to the new bike stations.

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