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Clontarf to City Centre cycle route redesign given strong welcomed

— Dutch-style junctions subject to NTA approval.

A planned cycle route between Dublin City Centre and Clontarf has been redesigned to comply with planning permission conditions set by city councillors that there be greater segregation between bicycle users and buses and general motor traffic.

The new design uses one-way two-metre wide cycle paths on each side of the road. Drawings show how the paths are kerb-protected and, in some locations, have the added protection of buffers of trees or parked cars.

Dutch-style segregated junctions planned as part of the design are marked as subject to review by request of the National Transport Authority.

It would be the first time Dutch-style segregation would be used in Dublin, although the traffic sequences to be used has let to be revealed. In the Netherlands, many cities have already started to phase out conflicting turns, where the cycle path and turning motor traffic have green lights at the same time.

Dublin City Council are also looking to extend the project to link it to the quays. The route as approved currently runs from Clontarf to Connelly railway station, plans have been developed to extend it from Connelly to Custom’s House.

If this route, the Liffey Cycle Route and the Royal Canal Route are built, Dublin would see the start of a segregated network stretching from Sutton to the Rathmines Road, from Ringsend to Chapelizod and Castleknock, and from the Docklands to Ashtown (and onto Athlone, in the midlands, via shared greenway paths). The routes would intersect along the quays at the River Liffey and where the Royal Canal meets North Strand Road.

The redesign of the Clontarf to City Centre Route fits the planning conditions which a majority of councillors attached to the project. This included that bus stops locations be reviewed and be redesigned to segregate buses and bicycles; that there will be full segregation of bicycles and motor vehicles at the major junctions; and that the widths of cycle paths should be in line with the National Cycle Manual.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign said it welcomed the redesign and that it is “extremely satisfied” with it.

On its website, it said: “The Dublin Cycling Campaign lobbied intensively for these three conditions to be adopted, as the previous design would have led to cyclists interacting with buses at most of the bus stops along the route. The previous design also offered no protection for cyclists at major junctions, which include notoriously hostile intersections at Portland Row, Malahide Road, and Howth Road.”

It said: “Dublin Cycling Campaign is extremely satisfied with the revised design of the project. Along with the excellent cycle route, we are also delighted to see improved pedestrian facilities and proposed upgrades to the public realm along the entire route.”

“Pedestrians will benefit greatly from the revised design too. There will be new pedestrian crossings along the route, especially in Fairview where there are currently long stretches without any means of crossing the road on foot. The junctions at minor roads will also be redesigned to give continuity to cycle tracks and pavements, reminding drivers going into or out of the minor streets to yield right of way to pedestrians and cyclists. The bus stop islands will also make life easier for pedestrians, meaning they won’t have to navigate through crowds of people blocking the footpath at bus stops,” the campaign added.

I Bike Dublin also welcomed the redesign. A spokesman for the group said: “We are happy to see the improvements and we hope all uncertainties are clarified and cast on stone soon.”

He added: “It is perplexing though that two revisions of the same project can go from very poor for active travel to one of the best street designs we have seen for Dublin. These provisions should be part of the project from the very start.”

Revised drawings:

These are the drawings from Connelly Station to the S2S at Dublin Bay, via North Strand Road and Fairview — shown are the original Part 8 design beside the revised design which sets to comply with the conditions set by councillors when the project was approved.

Note the close-up images show some of the junctions and other details of the wider drawings: is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty


  1. I have to say I’m very happy with the quality of the design here. There are a few minor things issues but on the whole this is one of the best cycle path retrofit designs I’ve ever seen. It particular I’m very happy to see corner islands added at junctions. I see that the junctions still need to be reviewed by the NTA but hopefully they will approve too. This design also removes many hazards for pedestrians too. Hopefully this is the standard of road design that we see from the Council from now on.

    It would also be great to see this scheme extended down to the quays to link into the (please can we build it) Liffey Cycle Route. That’s what a network would start to look like.

  2. Did the same company issue both revisions of the project? The contrast in almost unbelievable. Would it make sense to interview them and enquire what were the limitations in the first place?

  3. A welcome development however it is not quite to the Dutch standard and it could be. Drg.2 suggests the traffic signals are between footpath and (off-road) cycle track. As per Dutch practice, the signals should be on the other side of the cycle track with off-road cyclists given priority over pedestrians and left-turns for cycles being free-flow. Already done for the Wicklow Town ring road & port access road on the R750 which was built 10 years ago.

    • @T Dunne good spot, although for drawing number 2, having the pedestrian crossing the full way across the roadway and cycle path is normal in similar high-volume pedestrian crossing outside Amsterdam Centraal:

      However, what you are saying does partly apply to the major four-arm and T-junctions — these should be marked as zebra crossing between the roadway buffers and the footpaths.

      The Dutch give pedestrians priority in such locations in similar contexts but it’s zebra marking without beacons which are used.

      England has followed the Dutch and allowed zebras without beacons across cycle paths at floating bus stops / bus stop bypasses etc.

      And as we allow unsignlised crossing between bus stops and footpaths, we should allow the same between footpaths and road-side buffers, at least where the buffers are a decent width and outside of very central areas (ie not at Connelly or O’Connell Bridge etc).

      Re the Wicklow ring road — that’s a good design and the reason I said first time in Dublin rather than first time in Ireland. Although one thing with that also lowers the Wicklow scheme below Dutch standards — the turns into the side roads are nonexistent, non-protected and not allowing for free-flowing movements.

  4. Well done to you Cian and all involved at dublin Cycling in campaigning to raise the standard!

    Two small points,
    Hopefully this sets the standard for the Bus Connects design, we’ll know in a few weeks I think!
    I can’t see any left turns from Fairview on into the city, surviving Bus Connects, and outbound back to Fairview.

  5. @Citizen Wolf The article in the times says construction is expected to start next year and it will take 2 years

  6. I realise I could probably pick at this in places, but it’s such a huge step forward. Slightly disbelieving what I’m seeing but I really hope we can make this work.


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