Irish Cycle Facility of the Week

March 25, 2014:

N2/N3 link road special edition:

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In Northwest Dublin the N2/N3 link road, completed just last year, follows Fingal County Council’s usual high standards of cycling provisions; top features include:

  • 9 roundabouts on the main section of the route with crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists limited to keep traffic flowing
  • 3 well spaced out (570m – 883m – 1.5km – 1.6km) shared pedestrian crossings along the same section to make sure pedestrians and cyclists burn as many calories as possible
  • Staggered shared pedestrian crossing to save space and make sure motorists are not impacted on
  • Near continuous concrete central median barrier and railings at crossings to make sure pedestrians and cyclists don’t try to make their own routes

Most of the route is alone open fields yet to be developed, but here’s one of the few crossing of any regular practical use for the moment: From the residential area in Tyrrelstown to the Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown.

Fingal County Council has worked hard on this design to make sure pedestrians and cyclists get the maximum amount of fresh air. Here’s the travel distances from the first junction on the Tyrrelstown side to the hotel:

  • Motorists — 400m (yellow route)
  • Pedestrians and cyclists — 590m (blue route)

Thankfully pedestrians and cyclists will be expected to walk or cycle even further at other points along the route — making sure they get even more fresh air and burn even more calories .

n2-n3 a

When opening the N2/N3 link road last year, transport Minister Leo Varadkar said:

“This road is more than just a link between two motorways and an alternative route to and from the airport. It’s about providing vital infrastructure to encourage businesses to settle in the area, and take traffic and heavy vehicles away from other roads. The project also includes off-road bike lanes to encourage more people to cycle.

In some cases the route not only encourages people to cycle, it encourages users of a two-way cycleway to cycle into oncoming traffic at a large roundabout:

2-way end

Can’t see it?… Note the yield marking at the end of the two-way route, just above the blue arrow:

2-way end flows

Elsewhere, the route cleverly attracts cyclists from the roadway with a better-than-normal on-ramp onto the off-road cycle route. This kind of treatment is missing from exits off the route, and once you join the below pictured cycle path….


…it keeps you in…. again, making sure they get even more fresh air and burn even more calories. In the map below, the yellow route is the normal way around a roundabout, while the blue route is the cycle route at 515m extra:

n2-n3 b


This is how the cycle paths on the eastern end of the link road links with nothing:


Image: First two images by Liam Egan; last image by Pat O’Regan
Location: Northwest Dublin
Local authority: Fingal County Council
Street View: Not yet on Street View

Send suggestions to And make sure to view the original and UK-focused facility of the month page on Warrington Cycle Campaign’s website.

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  1. Shocking to say the least…where to even begin. All in all a classic case of what happens when you design and build the a road in complete isolation. Watch this space..I suspect you will see €€€€€ spent on retrospective works over the next decade.

  2. Came down this way, heading to Blanch from Ratoath, saw the tempting lure of a well finished brand new cycle path with a brand new on-ramp, “Could this be an excellent new route into Dublin?” I wondered until I realised I was corralled off the road when I got to the roundabout.

    Another example of cycling infrastructure primarily designed to keep cyclists out of the way of busy traffic engineers as they drive to work.


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