Work to start on Dublin Bay cycle path

Sutton to Sandycove cycleway will provide a 22km off-road cycle route

Sandycove, Co Dublin. Once complete, the Sutton to Sandycove cycleway will provide a 22km continuous off-road cycle route around Dublin bay. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sandycove, Co Dublin. Once complete, the Sutton to Sandycove cycleway will provide a 22km continuous off-road cycle route around Dublin bay. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Work on the construction of the Sutton to Sandycove cycleway (S2S) around Dublin Bay is to get under way more than a decade since planning for the route began.

Once complete, the S2S will provide a 22km continuous off-road cycle route around the bay. It would be one of the longest coastal promenades in Europe. Plans for the first stage will be presented to Dublin city councillors tonight.

This first section will close the 2km gap in the current promenade and cycle path running from Clontarf to Sutton. The cycle path was put in place by the city council in the early 1990s but a gap was left between the Bull Wall and the Wooden Bridge because no solution could be found to building on the environmentally sensitive lagoon area.

As a result of the gap, cyclists heading south on the route must leave the off-road path at the traffic lights at Wooden Bridge and use the on-road cycle path on Clontarf Road which is in extremely poor repair and frequently occupied by parked cars. Cyclists can return to the path 300 meters short of the Bull Wall, but must cross two lanes of traffic at a point not governed by signals.

Various solutions to this problem have been put forward by the council over the last decade.

A plan was eventually finalised in 2008 which involved combining a pile supported promenade and cable stay bridging out over the lagoon for the 2km length. It emerged that the elaborate scheme could cost up to €14 million, or €7 million per kilometre, and the plans were never implemented.

The scheme which will be presented for approval tonight is considerably more modest and will involve no construction over the lagoon. Instead the road width will be reduced to provide the off-road cycle path. Some €600,000 has been allocated for the work on the 2km section this year. It is expected the Bull Wall to Wooden Bridge path will take nine to 12 months to complete and should be finished in 2014.

The amount of space needed for the cycle path will mean the road will be reduced to a 3 metres width in each direction. The council said this width is consistent with National Roads Authority Guidelines and will not cause traffic delays, but will have a traffic calming effect.

The completion of this section will leave just over 6km missing from the over-all route, most of which is on the south side of the city and has yet to be the subject of formal planning.