Origins of JCDecaux Bike Scheme in Dublin

To lift the fog of propaganda regarding the bike scheme and let the truth emerge I asked the relevant question to the city manager.

Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 06/09/2010

Q29. COUNCILLOR BILL TORMEY Could the Manager detail the origin of the
JCDecaux dublinbike deal and when the original idea was discussed at a Strategic Policy Committee or at the City Council?

Since 1997 Dublin City Council (“DCC”) had been attempting to rationalise the provision of outdoor advertising in the city. A Working Group examined the issue and concluded that in line with many other European cities outdoor advertising could best be regulated by DCC in such a manner as to realise a return in the form of a public realm enhancement scheme for the City of Dublin. In 2003 DCC advertised in the national press for a pilot project in this area and there was a poor/negative response from the advertising industry. The view was that a project of this type should encompass the entire city.

The Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011 addressed the specific issue of outdoor advertising and street furniture. It acknowledged that well-designed advertising signs in selected locations and on an appropriate scale can contribute to the character and vitality of commercial areas of the city particularly at night.

The issue of outdoor advertising was re-examined and a decision was made to proceed with tendering a contract on a City – wide basis. The intention was that the successful tenderer would be permitted to utilise DCC property for the purpose of providing outdoor advertising facilities.

The tenderers were to be invited to make proposals to DCC in relation to public realm enhancements they were prepared to offer to DCC as part of this contract.

A procurement process was initiated by DCC’s Planning and Economic Development Department (“Planning Department”) in 2005, which lead to the award of a contract to JCDecaux in November 2006.

I enclose Report No 123/2006 and Appendices (provided to Councillor) which were submitted to the April 2006 Monthly Meeting of Council, the minute of which stated;

Submitted Report No. 123/2006 of the Executive Manager (C. McNamara) – Public Realm Enhancement System and Way Finding System in association with Outdoor Media. It was moved by Councillor S. Kenny and seconded by Councillor A. Montague “That Dublin City Council notes Report No. 123/2006”. The motion was put and carried. The City Council also decided to refer this matter to the Economic Development, Planning and European Affairs Strategic Policy Committee and to the Transportation and Traffic Strategic Policy Committee.


Jim Keogan, A/Executive Manager
Tel: 222 3309

To the Lord Mayor and Report No. 123/2006
Members of Dublin City Council Report
of the Executive Manager

Public Realm Enhancement and Way Finding System in Association with Outdoor Media

For some time now Dublin City Council has been examining the provision of a Way Finding System and Public Realm Enhancements for the City. We have also been examining Outdoor Advertising in the context of regularising same in a similar fashion to other European and Capital Cities Worldwide.

This examination concluded that in line with best international practice Outdoor Advertising could be best regulated by the City in such a manner that the City would realise a return in the form of public realm enhancement. This could be in the form of the provision of Street Furniture, Public Toilets etc.

In 2003 we advertised in the national press for a pilot project. The response of the industry at that stage was very negative. Primarily this was due to the fact that the main players were reluctant to get involved in pilot projects. The norm internationally was that a project would encompass the entire city.

In the intervening period we re-examined the matter and concluded that if the project were to succeed we would have to do it on a city-wide basis.
In this regard we invited proposals for the “Provision of Outdoor Advertising and Public Amenities” in October 2005. The proposals were to be twofold i.e.

(i) To identify sites owned by Dublin City Council which could accommodate
high-quality and appropriate advertising structures which would not unduly affect visual amenity and would not affect roadway safety or amenity.

(ii) To provide for public realm enhancement by the provision of a range of
street furniture and any other services such as way finding systems, information and communication systems or bicycle rental services.

A number of proposals have been received and examined and negotiations are being progressed with the preferred bidder. In essence what has been proposed in return for the advertising is:

• A City Bike Rental Scheme (Appendix 1)

• A way finding system which will include finger posting and map and
directional signage (Appendix 2)

• A Heritage Trail which forms a logical path throughout areas identified
in “Legible Dublin” (Appendix 3)

• Automatic Public Conveniences (Appendix 4)

• A Civic Communication Network (Appendix 5)

All of the above would be provided by the proposer and maintained by them throughout the duration of any contract entered into. A full maintenance and cleaning schedule is included as part of the proposal.

In relation to the advertising the proposed new formats are what are termed
(i) Six Sheets, which are commonly seen in most bus shelters but in this proposal would be free standing and (ii) Metropoles – these are a radical departure from the scale of large format hoardings currently spread throughout the City. The current 48 sheet display surface is 18m2, the Europanel is 12m2 whereas the proposed Metropole is only 7m2.

Further to the above proposals there exists the possibility of substantially and permanently reducing the number of 48 sheets currently in existence throughout the City. If negotiations prove successful in this regard, we could envisage a reduction of up to 25% of present advertising space being provided by the proposer throughout the city.

The proposer has been informed in the bid process that Planning Permission would have to be applied for in relation to all selected sites for advertising structures. Sole responsibility for obtaining planning permission will at all times remain with the proposer including any appeals or submissions to An Bord Pleanala.

This matter is being brought to the attention of the members at this stage and I am attaching for their information details with regard to the overall proposal.

Ciaran McNamara
Executive Manager