— Bus rerouting via Smithfield looks to be blocked
— Rerouting as far as Queen Street could skip worst pinch point on the quays
Liffey Cycle Route option 3 — which was by far the most popular option in recent public consultation — may have to be abandoned or notably altered because planning permission was granted last year for a new six story building on a would-be bus detour which is part of the option.
Planning permission was granted last year to the mix use development containing apartments and a ground floor restaurant.
Cllr Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party) raised the issue of the valid planning permission blocking the route. He has informed city manager Owen Keegan and the transport section of Dublin City Council his concerns, however when we asked the council for comment they said they would not be “in a position to speculate” in advance of a committee meeting in September.
A spokesman said: “Dublin City Council’s Environment and Transport Department Department presented the Transport SPC with the results of the recent public consultation on the proposed Liffey Cycle corridor on 17th June. We anticipate that a preferred option will be presented in September.”
Cllr Cuffe told IrishCycle.com that: “It is important that we get the details right on the Liffey Cycle Route as it is a real ‘must-have’ project for Dublin. We need joined-up thinking between all sections of the City Council on this project from Parks to Transport to Planning. I am concerned that a recently granted planning permission at Smithfield, that is now under construction compromises Option 3, and I intend meeting with Council Officials in July. I will discuss with them what effect this planning permission has on Option 3 which scored highly in the non-statutory consultation process, and other relevant issues.”
He wrote recently: “All buses that currently use the north Quays will be diverted to Benburb Street and then on to a route just south of the Luas tracks as far East as Church Street. The problem is that there’s an apartment block (‘Smithfield Lofts’) under construction (Ref. 2992/14) just west of Smithfield and this is a real obstacle to allowing this to go ahead. You can see a crane on site in this image. I’m not sure how this can be addressed other than by re-routing buses back down Queen Street. Incidentally Dublin Bus has expressed concern about their buses being re-routed from their current alignment.”
In a submission Dublin Bus said it had concerns, but the company said that option 3 could be made work.
IMAGES ABOVE: Thanks to Sam Boles
IMAGE BELOW: DCC planning files lodged by Dublin Loft Co and KMD showing only footpath space between the new building and the Luas tram tracks
This illustrates perfectly the lack of joined-up thinking and therefore planning for public transport and cycling provision within the city between the various agencies.
We have to de-carbonise the Irish transport system by better provision for cycling. That must be a planning and development imperative from now on.