A segregated cycle route on Dublin’s quays — which is in pre-planning for nearly 7 years — is delayed again because the National Transport Authority said that it wants to be as thorough as it can possibly be before a definitive decision is made.
The authority took the route choice decision from the council because of continuous delays, but now the report from the NTA’s consultants, which was due in April, is delayed. A “preliminary assessment” should be ready the end of June but the report won’t be made public until the third quarter of the year.
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party), chairman of the city’s transport committee, said: “I’m disappointed by the delay, and the manner in which the NTA cut local elected representatives out of the loop at this stage of the decision-making process. The Liffey Cycle Route has been delayed by local concerns and some scare-mongering, but I have no doubt that a decent compromise for the route can be found that will meet with public approval.”
Cllr Paul Hand (independent) said: “I am extremely disappointed with the continuous delays with the Liffey Cycle Route and would ask that the NTA come up with a plan which is safe for cyclists and one which promotes a modal shift to more sustainable transport modes.”
He said the route was “hugely important” in terms of both safety and getting more people cycling.
“I represent Chapelizod on the Council and many of the residents that cycle in to work there are wary due to the lack of safe cycling infrastructure. Unfortunately a ghost bike was erected on Conyngham Road [after a death there last year], a reminder of how dangerous it can be to cycle.
Cllr Hand added: “But that danger is drastically reduced when safe cycling infrastructure is installed and in that regard the Liffey Cycle Route is sorely and urgently needed.”
Kieran Ryan of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “The Dublin Cycling Campaign is extremely disappointed with this further delay to the Liffey Cycle Route. We were expecting the NTA’s review of the project to be concluded by April and we do not understand why that deadline has been missed. We have been waiting seven years for the design of the route to be finalised. Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to cycle along Dublin’s Quays everyday without any physical separation from cars, buses and trucks.”
Ryan added: “We will be taking further action in the coming weeks to demonstrate cyclists’ dissatisfaction with the slow rate of progress on the Liffey Cycle Route.”
Dermot O’Gara, a spokesman for the National Transport Authority said: “We want to be as thorough as we can possibly be, at each stage before a definitive decision is made.”
“It is the intention of the NTA to consult with Dublin City Council on the draft report before finalising the report and publishing it,” he said.
Asked who the consultants will be in contact with the to make the choice, the NTA said: “The consultants’ assessment will be guided by the standard requirements of the Public Spending Code / Capital Appraisal Framework.”
The NTA said the consultants have been contracted to:
- Undertake the role of Designer and Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP).
- The undertaking of a review of all options previously identified (by DCC and in response to DCC public consultation) for the Liffey Cycle Route;
- A review of constraints associated with the project
- The identification and outline design of any other feasible options for the Liffey cycle Route not already identified, (including feasible combinations of other previous options)
- The undertaking of a comprehensive options assessment process;
- The completion of an Options Assessment Report;
- The development of a concept engineering design for the preferred Project option;
- Stakeholder consultation in relation to the Project.