Contractors sought for €20m Dublin cycle route

Construction will require traffic diversion for up to two years

The cycle route was proposed in 2012 as a two-way track running on one side of the road only. Photograph: Getty Images

The cycle route was proposed in 2012 as a two-way track running on one side of the road only. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Contractors will be sought in the coming weeks to build a €20 million cycle path from Fairview to Connolly Station, first planned more than eight years ago.

The path, which will connect the city centre with the Dublin Bay cycle path that runs along the coast from Clontarf to Sutton, will provide safe, segregated facilities on what is one of the most heavily used routes for cyclists accessing the city centre.

However, construction of the path, which is expected to start early next year will involve the diversion of inbound traffic from the North Strand for up to two years.

The route, which would start at the Alfie Byrne Road north of Fairview Park and continue on each side of the road past the Talbot Street junction on Amiens Street and will for the most part use kerbs to protect cyclists from traffic. Junctions will be upgraded along the route and cyclists will receive a green light three seconds before adjacent bus and traffic lanes, including left turning traffic.

In addition, left-turning vehicles will receive a flashing amber arrow when required to cross a cycle lane that is on a green signal at the same time, and the cycle lane will have priority over left-turning traffic. At major junctions, all pedestrian crossing signals will be green at the same time, entirely halting traffic and enabling walkers to cross diagonally.

The route is expected to take 16-24 months to construct, and extensive traffic diversion will be required. Cars travelling into the city will be diverted at Fairview Strand onto Ballybough Road and Summerhill, reaching the city by Gardiner Street Lower and Beresford Place at the back of the Custom House.

Inbound, the bus lane will be remain on North Strand Road. Outbound a general traffic lane will maintained along this route, and buses can either share this lane with cars or divert via Ballybough.

The cycle route was proposed in 2012 as a two-way track running on the east side of the road only. However, in 2015, the council’s traffic department said this would not be feasible and instead, it drew up plans for paths on both sides of the road.

These plans involved the felling of 50 trees in Fairview Park, some of which are more than 100 years old. More than 15,000 people signed an online petition seeking the retention of the trees, some of which were planted in 1908 by nationalist and unionist communities as part of international Arbour Day celebrations.

Under the new scheme, the mature trees will mostly be protected at Fairview Park. Along the full length of the route 86 trees will be removed and 133 trees will be planted.

An analysis by Dublin City Council found the North Strand Road was the second most heavily used route by cyclists during the morning rush hours, after Richmond Street South, which runs from Rathmines towards the city.