Newcomen Bridge is recorded by the council as the single largest point of entry for cyclist over the canals and into the city centre at the morning rush hour. It serves as the main route to a wide range of areas including Fairview, Clontarf, Marino, Donnycarney, and Coolock.
The bridge brings North Strand Road over the Royal Canal and a railway line. The heavily trafficked road currently has narrow shared bus lanes where bus drivers and cyclists attempt to squeeze past each other.
The funding of €80,000 from the NTA for upgrading of the bridge was confirmed by a posting on councillor Ray McAdam’s website. He wrote:
Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Transport has informed me that €80,000 has been allocated by the National Transport Authority to allow the Newcomen Bridge Cycle Project progress. This funding will be used to finalise the design of a scheme to provide improved facilities for both pedestrians and cyclists. From what the Minister has told me the project will see a widening of Newcomen Bridge for both cyclists and pedestrians. I expect to receive a further update on this from the Council Engineers next week. If you would like further information on this project, please get in touch with me. Minister Varadkar has also pointed out to me that funding will be made available for design work of the cycle route along the Royal Canal from Sherriff Street to North Strand Road and then onto Phibsborough Road. Despite our economic difficulties, I am delighted that our Fine Gael-led Government is in a position to allocate funding to allow these vital projects to develop.
More details as we get them, but below is our brief description of what the council had been looking at. It seems the NTA approved a somehow cheaper version of the first part, and funding for the design of the second half:
The proposed project at Newcomen Bridge has been split into a menu of two – the NRA can pick all, one or none.
From north to south along North Strand Road, the council says the bridge needs to be widened to remove a conflict with cyclists and buses. The design has yet to be finalised, but is likely to be physically separated from the bus lane and the footpath
It estimates this will cost €1.1 million.
From east to west, at an estimated €1.9 million, the council wants to enable cyclists to travel along the Royal Canal – this is part of a wider plan to develop a network of off-road cycle routes along the Royal Canal, Grand Canal, and Dublin Bay.