Dublin City ignores development plan on contra-flow cycling with planned redesign

Provisions in the Dublin City Development Plan and National Cycle Policy for contra-flow cycling on one-way streets is set to be ignored by Dublin City Council and the Grangegorman Development Agency, if proposals go ahead as currently designed.

The Grangegorman Development Agency contacted IrishCycle.com this morning to make it clear that the plan is at ‘proposal stage’ and that feedback may be used to change the details of the design. 

The road redesign in question is Grangegorman Upper, where a new school is also planned. While the street redesign is apparently linked to the school, the council has not includes any new traffic-calming measures such as speed ramps, raised pedestrian crossings, zebra crossings or 30km/h speed limit outside the school. Crossings on Grangegorman Upper appear to be at road level — which gives traffic clear priority. 

The city’s development plan states: “It is an objective of Dublin City Council: To provide contra-flow possibilities for cyclists on one-way streets where possible.” It is unclear how the current two-way road for all traffic cannot continue to include provision for two-way cycling.

Two-way cycling on city streets is a key feature of allowing cycling permeability and safe cycling routes. The National City Policy states that providing “contra-flow cycle lanes on one-way streets / making two-way streets for cyclists” is a key measure to redesign our roads and streets for cycling.

There is also no dedicated space for cycling on the widest sections of Grangegorman Lower, part of the main north-south route in the area. Previously the inner lanes acted as cycling areas and motorists overtook using the outside lanes. But in the future, people cycle cycling will have to contend with narrower lanes, extra car parking and higher volumes of motor traffic on the already rat-run prone route.

The Dublin City Council information leaflet on the redesign states clearly that the planned increased footpaths on Grangegorman Upper are to accommodate the one-way traffic system, and not the other way around: “Increased footpath widths along Grangegorman Upper on both sides of the road to accommodate a new one way system along Grangegorman Upper from North Circular Road towards Grangegorman Lower.”

There also seems to be a focus on retaining car parking — “A reconfiguration of car parking along Grangegorman Upper but with no reduction in spaces for local residents.” IrishCycle.com understands that the main demain for car parking outside the school’s site is not residents — most spaces outside the school’s location and at the new public space are empty by night. 

There is also the provision for a large amount of bicycle parking but it is unclear what demain there is for such at this location — schools are recommended to have sheltered and secure bicycle parking within their grounds.

The Grangegorman Development Agency describes the works as follow: “This scheme proposes to increase footpath widths along Grangegorman Upper on both sides of the road to accommodate a new one way system along the road from North Circular Road towards Grangegorman Lower. The proposal also includes an enhanced public realm around the entrance of the new primary school to be constructed at Grangegorman Upper as part of the Grangegorman development.”

Details can be found here.

Clarification: Originally the refrence to new traffic-calming measures was not clear that it was referring to Grangegorman Upper, outside the school. This has been changed to include direct refrence to “outside the school” and the street name. There is one raised crossing on Grangegorman Lower at the south end of this scheme, but — outside the school — the drawing provided by the Grangegorman Development Agency, show no raised crossings, no new speed ramps, no indicated speed limited changes or other traffic-calming measures.


  1. This is only a proposal at this stage. THE GDA has have been going door to door in the area to talk to people informally about it. We are taking people’s views on board and will be having further informal consultation before it is submitted.This proposal will be formally submitted probably in mid-October at which time DCC’s formal statutory consultation process will begin. At that time all observations should be made in writing to DCC. The health and safety issues I mentioned are nothing to do with cycling. One of the main reasons for this proposal is that with two way traffic on Grangegorman Upper there are certain pinch points where cars coming against each other are mounting the kerb. There are a number of houses whose front doors open directly onto the footpath and it is a dangerous situation for these people. We would be happy to discuss this proposal further with you to get your feedback.

  2. If there is to be a Primary School in the area then they definitely need Segregated Cycling paths for the Children going to School. In fact we need Segregated Cycling paths allover Dublin. The council has got into the habit of widening Paths all over the City but still only putting in Painted lines Cycle Lanes that are just no use to anybody .

    We could do with proper Segregated Pathways along O’Connell Street but this was not done, they widened the Paths but only put in those stupid painted Cycle Lanes. Buses and Cars bully the Cyclists along O’Connell Street and other streets around Dublin.

    The Council should make it compulsory for all Schools to have Bicycle Parking in the grounds of Schools not far from the entrances and not stuck at the back of Carparks.. There also needs to be Segregated Cycle Lanes anywhere there is a School. Cars should be banned from parking up to a distance of 2 KM from Schools. This will encourage Students and Parents to walk or Cycle to Schools, and help alleviate the Obesity Syndrome .

  3. @ John, banning car parking any where near a school would wipe out a good chunk of the car parking inside the M50 and nearly all of it within the canals. It’s not realistic at all.

    Restrictions on parking directly outside schools would be hard enough to do.

  4. Perhaps if there is no free parking people will have to consider not taking the car. I know its like taking away plastic bags and asking people to bring their own…oh hang on that worked. Its all about breaking the habit. Sometimes the jolt of such tough measures work. I wish we could at least try. We had a near miss outside our school and as a result he principal simply asked drivers not to park on a 100m strip outside the school. To my amazement this is still being adhered to a year later. The jolt of the near fatality of a child is all it took.

  5. Anthony has it! I keep on saying if we want to bring about a significant modal-shift in commuting to bike and walking, simply reaching for the car keys has to be made more difficult. You start with parking exclusion zones (1-2 km) around schools for dropping off. Require school boards of management to undertake mobility planning for all.


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