Proposed strategic greenways in Greater Dublin

Dublin proposed greenways

NOTE: The above map shows the Dublin metropolitan area. The following text is a complete and unedited extract from the draft Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network plan:

Proposed Greenway Route Network
There are numerous natural corridors through the Dublin metropolitan area that provide opportunities for greenway routes, and these have been identified in this study. By and large these routes follow rivers, streams, canals and the coastline. While many such greenways may be of local interest only, there are several that are of strategic value in terms of their length as an amenity, provision of access to major recreational areas in the mountains, on the coast or in significant public parks, and also as part of long-distance national and international routes. These strategic greenways are set out below.

In a few cases there may be significant environmental sensitivities where a greenway might pass along the edge of or through an area with deignated environmental protections. Careful environmental assessment will be required at such locations through a staged process to determine if the suggested route is actually viable or if an alternative route is necessary and preferable. These possible issues are noted where relevant in this report and on the maps with a dashed green line instead of a solid green line.

East Coast trail
This route is part of National Cycle Route No.1 and would extend within the Greater Dublin Area from Arklow in the south to Drogheda in the north. This study has identified an indicative route for the trail, mostly along greenways separated from traffic, and with some localised use of quiet minor roads in the areas most removed from the city. It avoids busy road corridors such as the R132 route north of Dublin, which would not achieve the objective for a high-quality and attractive cycle route. Each section is described in detail in the relevant chapter for the area in question along the route.

Grand Canal way / Barrow way
A high quality cycling facility is already in place on the canal towpath over a length of 8.5km from Adamstown south of Lucan to Blackhorse at Inchicore, with a further 1.5km of reasonably good but undesignated cycle track extending to Suir Road at Rialto. This is identified as Primary Radial Route 7B in the city network. In addition there is a further section of segregated cycle track along the canal bank from Portobello at Rathmines to the Docklands, which is part of Orbital Route SO1. The gap between these two sections of cycle route is the subject of a current design study to complete a high quality cycleway connection.

Royal Canal way
There is no formal cycle route along the Royal Canal at present, apart from the very short section at Spencer Dock in the Dublin Docklands. The canal towpath is paved from North Strand Road as far as Ashtown, with a good quality gravel surface from there to Blanchardstown. This path is in use by cyclists as a de-facto cycleway at present. A number of design studies are underway to develop a high quality cycle track along the canal westward to Maynooth. From there onward the NRA is currently managing a project for the NCN Route 8 from Dublin to Galway along the canal to Mullingar and beyond.

River Liffey way
The geographic centrepiece of Dublin City is the River Liffey, which provides the main access corridor on the western side. There are design projects currently underway to develop a high-quality segregated cycle route along the river corridor from Dublin Port in the east to the Phoenix Park and Heuston Station in the west and onward to Chapelizod village. This would serve Primary Radial Cycle Route 5 to Blanchardstown and Route 6 to Lucan and Leixlip. Cross-connections are proposed at Islandbridge to the adjoining Phoenix Park and Royal Canal way to the north and to the Grand Canal way to the south, so as to enable loop recreational cycle routes within the city.

Dodder Valley way
A feasibility study was completed in 2012 for a greenway route along the River Dodder from the city at Grand Canal Dock through Ballsbridge, Milltown, Templeogue and Firhouse to the Dublin Mountains at Bohernabreena Reservoirs. Apart from a strong recreational function, this route would also serve as a commuter cycle route to the significant employment district at Ballsbridge from the south-

Other Greenways in Dublin
Several other greenways have been identified in various sectors as follows:

  • Tolka Valley way across the inner northern suburbs between Fairview and Ashtown;
  • Santry River way across the outer northern suburbs from the coast at Bull Island, through Raheny and Coolock to Santry; and
  • River Poddle way from Harold’s Cross to Greenhills and Tymon Park as an alternative route to the poor facilities along Radial Route 9A.

River Boyne way
This 50km long route is identified as Corridor 13 in the National Cycle Network, and will link between Corridor 5, East Coast Trail at Drogheda, and Corridor 8 from Dublin to Galway & Clifden on the Royal Canal near Longwood southwest of Trim.

Meath County Council is developing this cycle route along the River Boyne from Drogheda upstream through Navan to Trim. This will provide access for walkers and cyclists to numerous important tourist sites such as the Battle of the Boyne visitor centre at Oldbridge near Drogheda, Bru na Boinne visitor centre for the ancient sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, Hill of Tara, Bective Abbey and Trim Castle.

A feasibility study for the greenway was completed in 2010, and the project is now progressing through design and planning for the first phases from Drogheda to Bru na Boinne visitor centre. The greenway will largely follow the old towpath of the River Boyne Navigation Canal upstream to Navan. Further upstream the route may follow suitable local roads as an interim measure pending an off-road route across agricultural lands along the river bank.


  1. I’m pretty tired of all this mention of greenways. In NL they have a proper linked-up and extensive network of cycle-lanes. They’re not called greenways – they’re just routes for people to get from A to B both within towns and cities and between towns and cities. The feeling I get is that in Ireland greenways are looked upon as vanity projects for tourists and not as commuter routes, which is what the government should be doing. And even with the proposal we have, will any of them actually ever be built/ The Royal Canal route for example – for fuckssake, when the feck is it ever going to be done. The Liffey route – again it’s delay delay delay delay. It’s maddening.

  2. Bang on Wolf. Greenways/Shmgreenways. Just segregated cycleways that get you to work. Simple really. The footpaths are huge in some areas.


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