Options for space for cycling on the Tom Clarke Bridge (formally the East-Link Bridge) — or on a new structure beside it — are currently under assessment by Dublin City Council.
“We’re currently assessing how to put in proper pedestrian and cycling facilities on the Tom Clarke Bridge. That may be a seprate bridge beside the Tom Clarke Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians,” said Brendan O’Brien, director of traffic at Dublin City Council.
The comment was made to local councillors at a meeting of the central area committee of the council. O’Brien was giving councillors a presentation covering the Liffey Cycle Route.
The bridge is generally viewed to be cycling-unfriendly due to the heavy traffic, including large volume of trucks, and a lack of segregated space. But the detour around the bridge is up to 2.7km, including large sections of roads without dedicated space for cycling.
The Tom Clarke Bridge — which acts as a type of eastern bypass of Dublin city centre — opened to traffic in 1984 under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The bridge returned to the full ownership and control of Dublin City Council at the end of 2015, but the council has opted to maintain the toll to fund maintenance of the bridge and to fund community groups which operate in residential areas around the toll road.
The signs on the bridge for cyclists to dismount are just a request for people to do so, they are understood not to be legally binding — mainly because the text of the sign says it is a request.