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  • Northside West

Cycle route plan moves a step closer

Monday, 8th April, 2019 8:00am

Story by Tony McCullagh
Cycle route plan moves  a step closer

An artist’s impression of the new cycle lane and pedestrian boardwalk on Aston Quay.

Cycle route plan moves  a step closer

An artist’s impression of the new cycle lane and pedestrian boardwalk on Aston Quay.

THE National Transport Authority and Dublin City Council have published their recommended option for the Liffey Cycle Route Project.

The proposal was presented to councillors at a special meeting of Dublin City Council’s Transport SPC in City Hall last week.

The route aims to provide a safe, continuous and segregated 5km-long cycle facility in both directions between Phoenix Park/Heuston Station and the Tom Clarke/East Link Bridge.

It will run along the left hand side from the Phoenix Park to Fr Mathew Bridge, next to the Four Courts, on the buildings’ side of the road. From there to O’Connell Bridge, the cycle route  will switch to the river side to avoid affecting bus stops along Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay. 

The cycleway, which will run on both sides of the Liffey, will stay along the river side for the rest of its length. There will be a pedestrian boardwalk for the first time on the Southside, and new sections of boardwalk on the Northside, particularly at Ellis Quay.

The project has been an objective of Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) since 2013. 

Previous studies have been undertaken to determine how best to advance this primary route on the Cycle Network Plan for the Greater Dublin Area.

 In 2017, Dublin City Council and the NTA agreed that a review of all options previously considered, as well as any new options that hadn’t been identified to date, should be undertaken.

Anne Graham, chief executive officer of the National Transport Authority, said: “This plan means there will be safer cycling facilities and an improved environment for pedestrians along the Liffey and we believe that this will encourage more people to cycle and walk as part of their daily commute.

“This is good news for commuters, but it’s also good news when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions.”

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, described the Liffey Cycle Route as a potentially transformative project for everyone who lives in, works in or visits Dublin.

“It will provide a safe and segregated cycle track right through the heart of our capital city,” Minister Ross stated. “I look forward to hearing people’s views during the planned public consultation and hope this long-awaited project can now move forward.

“I’m delighted to be able to increase the level of investment we’re putting into developing better cycling infrastructure across the country.”

He added: “Funding under our two main programmes has increased by around 30 percent this year, while there’s also more money being made available under our Greenways Strategy and through separate Project Ireland 2040 funds related to urban and rural regeneration and development.”

Labour local election candidate for Dublin's North Inner City and party spokesperson on Regeneration, Joe Costello, welcomed the long-awaited decision on the Liffey Cycle Route.

 “It will be wonderful to have a safe, segregated cycleway all the way along the Liffey from the Phoenix Park to the Point Depot,” he said. "It is, however, a shame that it has taken so long; that the City Council’s Transportation Department refused to engage with the local community; and that the cycleway will now cost over €20 million.

"The NTA had pulled the plug nearly two years ago after Dublin City Council had spent five years planning, coming up with eight unworkable options [at a cost of] €360,000.”

Mr Costello added: "One of the madcap ideas was a route option that would divert buses through an apartment block that had planning permission from Dublin City Council and which was already under construction. Another proposal was to redirect all traffic coming into town along the North Quays up Blackhall Place, into the already congested residential streets of Stoneybatter and Smithfield and after an extra journey of one and a half kilometres to bring the traffic back down to the North Quays at Church Street.

"After the five-year debacle, let us hope that there is money available to build the proposed Liffey Cycleway and that the citizens of Dublin will at last have a segregated cycleway which will take them safely across the city, from the Phoenix Park to the Irish Sea."

 The Green Party also welcomed the publication of the preferred cycle route along the Liffey quays.

 The  party’s MEP candidate for Dublin, Cllr Ciarán Cuffe, who is chair of the council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, said: "I'm delighted that we now have a new plan for the Liffey Cycle Route linking the Phoenix Park and Dublin Bay. The scheme isn't perfect, and has had to make compromises, but I'm hoping that this latest plan prepared by the National Transport Authority's consultants will get the green light from the Transportation Committee so that we can move towards construction.

"People are crying out for segregated bike lanes that will make it safer for cyclists, young and old, to travel safely along the Liffey quays. Let's hope we can now move these plans forward to construction."

 

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