Stand-alone coastal walls needed to protect Dart line if Dublin Bay greenway put inland

An assessment to bring the Dublin Bay coastal greenway inland in south Dublin because of environmental concerns does not account of the need for flood defences to protect the Dart railway line, the Green Party said today.

The greenway — known as the Sutton to Sandycove or S2S route — has long suffered delays and objections ranging from environmental to loss of car parking and fears that the cycle route was linked to a larger project.

Cllr Ossian Smyth — who posted the above image of flooding at Monkstown Dart station to Twitter — said: “Flooding at Monkstown Dart from wave overtopping was predicted by Irish Rail’s own 2015 engineering reports which recommended new coastal defences as part of the Sutton-to-Sandycove promenade.”

In a statement today, Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader and TD for Dublin Bay South, said: “The National Transport Authority carried out a public consultation [on the S2S route as part of the Merrion Gates project] which closed in January 2017. In response to that consultation, we pointed out that the consultation document had failed to take account of the already identified need for improved coastal defences along the Dart line and that the S2S could provide the necessary coastal protection.”

He added: “Over a year later, the NTA has still not published the results of that consultation. In the interests of sustainable transport, public amenity and flood protection, the NTA and the Minister for Transport need to get moving with the Sutton to Sandycove route as a matter of priority.

The Dart Drainage Study, published in March 2015, states: “An upgrade of the coastal defences along the coastline between Monkstown Station and Merrion Gates is required. The upgrade of coastal defences should incorporate climate change.”

The authors of the report said: “The S2S: Sutton to Sandycove Promenade and Cycleway route has the potential to incorporate this measure. The initial proposal for the S2S was a route along the seaward side of the DART line in the Coastal UoM. However, the results of the feasibility study are not available at the time of this study.

“The scheme is currently at an option feasibility stage and will have to go through further development before a detailed design is produced. If aligned seaward side of the DART line it can be reasonably assumed that the cycleway will be set to an appropriate level to provide protection from coastal flooding. This will provide protection for the DART line and mitigate any coastal flood sources. If the S2S is not aligned to the seaward side, a separate formal defence strategy and scheme will have to be developed,” added the Dart report.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

6 Comments

  1. The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) need to get realistic and recognise what is required around Dublin Bay to balance the needs of future people populations with the needs of the Dublin Bay Biosphere. Balance must be achieved!!

  2. #S2S has been asking for almost 20 years for the round-Dublin Bay Sutton-to-Sandycove route to be off-road and along the coast. If developed, the DART line would also benefit from essential coastal protection. The #NTA have a report on the route, but have not published it. Why not?

  3. As Clara has noted above, the NTA urgently need to publish their long awaited report. It is 14 months since submissions were received and there is still no indication when they will respond. The northern section of the S2S has proven to be a fantastic facility for cycling commuters, tourists, leisure cyclists and walkers. Completion of the full route is long long overdue.

  4. Mike McKillen March 6, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    S2S should be declare as strategic national transport infrastructure and let’s get on with it!

  5. We need to get on with it; we also need to protect the wildlife in this rare and essential habitat. If it were not a cycle lane but a road, the council’s planners would be thinking out workarounds to protect the coastal side from the influx of the sea.
    After all, they intend to build a suburb on the sinking ground of Poolbeg; they must have some native genius!

  6. Michael Collins March 7, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    The need for better cycle and walking facilities, environmentally friendly public transport systems and public amenities make the case for getting on with the S2S more compelling every year. It can be achieved by imaginative design in a manner that will have beneficial effects on the environment and secure the protection of the habitat. It is a proposal to improve the environment – not damage it.

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