— Croppy Acre site survey finds no evidence of items of archaeology value
— “Huge enthusiasm” but “very real concerns and limitations” says Cllr Cuffe
A much delayed Liffey Cycle Route — which was originally due to be built by this year — was delayed once again it was confirmed last week. An preferred option for the segregated cycle route has yet to be made public and this will be followed by further public consultation before construction.
Last October the Dublin City Council transport committee was told that an “emerging preferred option” for the project would be presented to the February committee meeting, but that meeting last Wednesday was told that such an update won’t be made available until the committee’s next meeting In April.
The project was orignaly due to be built within the lifetime of the current city development plan, but that is due to be formally replaced in November and there’s little sign of the cycle route being finished by then.
The project could be a backbone part of a network of cycle routes suitable for all ages and abilities in central Dublin — it would link transport hubs and residential areas with the Phoenix Park, business districts, shopping areas, third level colleges and connect a number of planned segregated cycle routes.
The Liffey Cycle Route received strong public support in public consultation, with over 80% of 1,200 respondents to widely-publicised consultation supporting two-way cycle options. However, objections came from a limited amount of businesses in the city centre and from some businesses and residents on Benburb Street where there is a possible option of a bus detour due to constraints on the quays parallel to Benburb Street and the bottom of Smithfield.
There was also objections that the Croppy Acre memorial park between Collins Barracks would be affected and the architectural heritage of bridges along the Liffey could be compromised.
Christopher Manzira, senior executive engineer with the city council said: “In terms of the Croppy Acre we have done further archaeology investigations to establish whether there was any items of archaeology value architectural within the top metre of the park — the report that we got was that there is no items of archaeology value so it obtains opportunity for less obtrusive work close to the surface if we were to bring a cycle track through Croppy’s Acre.”
Separate independent advice said that the council should not interfere with structure of the historic Mellows Bridge, which links Queen Street to the south quays and Bridgefoot Street. It is the oldest standing city centre bridge on the Liffey.
Manzira mentioned the bus detour route issues but he did not outline any work the council has done on this problem. The bus route detour has been complicated not only because of objections but also because an apartment block is under construction on the original bus tour re-routing option.
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party), the chairman of the committee, said: “I think we’re all looking forward to a further report on this. I think there is huge enthusiasm for the scheme but there are very real concerns and limitations on both the road space and concerns of residents and the retailers alongside [the route].”