Dublin’s “free bike scheme” for its citizens has encountered an unexpected obstacle. It has emerged that the city council will be liable for accidents caused by the billboards that have been erected on the capital’s streets as part of the scheme, even though the boards are privately owned. The council has allowed JC Decaux, a French company, to erect 72 advertising panels in exchange for 450 bicycles in a “bikes-for-billboards” scheme. But the panels have been criticised as unsafe by drivers, pedestrians and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). Unlike usual billboards, the advertising panels are attached to the footpath, with edges finished in steel. Drivers claim they block sightlines and could cause accidents. Legal advice given last year to Jim Keogan, the city planner, from Terence O’Keeffe, a law agent, states that as the council is responsible for all “repairs and maintenance”, it also becomes “responsible for any public liability issues that arise in those areas in the event of accidents etc, occurring”.