First images of bendy detour for cycling in Rathmines under BusConnects plan

First images showing the detour the National Transport Authority plans to provide for cycling after they remove cycle lanes in Rathmines, the most used arterial cycle route in Dublin.

As this website reported previously, traffic counts show that in the AM peak last year, there was 1,637 bicycles and 1,325 cars/van, even with the traffic counts happening in November.

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But the NTA is suggesting to remove cycle lanes as a bus priority measure as part of the infrastructure elements of BusConnects. Consultation on the route is expected next year. Consultation has already started on four routes on the north side.

The Census shows that more commuters who live off the Rathmines Road, Rathgar Road, Harold’s Cross Road, Ranelagh Road, and Sandyford Road routes use their bicycles than get the bus.

The idea of removing cycle lanes on the Rathmines Road has even prompted Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) and Cllr Patrick Costello (Greens) to pick up’s suggestion of using bus gates and upgrading the cycle route in Rathmines to cycle paths — the councillor had proposed it should be debating at the local area council meeting.

The new images were posted today by a member of the public who has been shown the plans and photos of them were posted on a thread on BusConnects.

The detailed drawings show a far more bendy route than previous outline of the detour:


  1. These drawings are a mess and a complete joke. Absolutely no cyclists is taking this bendy route. Cyclists are also not going to be forced out of one of the key district town centres in Dublin for a Bus Lane. If the NTA want two bus lanes then they can remove a traffic lane instead of the cycle lanes. No way are they removing some of the most well used cycle lanes in Dublin.

  2. Do you know if the idea in implementing these BusConnects routes is to ban cyclists from the new bus lanes? The quiet route might be good for less-confident riders who prefer to be away from traffic, but I can’t see many bicycle commuters going on the bendy detour.

  3. Approximately 1,300 students and some staff reside at the Trinity Hall residential campus and they use Rathmines Road to get to and from the College Green campus and the medical campus at St. James’ hospital.
    They shop and socialise in Rathmines by bike.
    TCD is a founding signatory to CyclingWorks Dublin.
    The movement hierarchy is pedestrians then people who cycle. This principle is written into the City’s Development Plan (2016-’22). Public Transport comes third.
    Ch. 8.1 in DP:
    “Sustainable forms of transport such as public transport,
    walking, and cycling are strongly promoted
    in this plan, which takes a pro-active
    approach to influencing travel behaviour
    and effective traffic management”.
    Shunting people who cycle off desire-lines is not catering for cycling.

  4. Indirect route for bikes – check
    Extra blind bends for bikes- check
    Cutting off bike access to lots of homes, businesses and schools – check
    Extra bridge that will probably be impossible to build – check
    Car access maintained – check

  5. This is utterly ridiculous. People on bikes need to be prioritized over people in private cars. Remove a lane of car traffic before touching a cycle-lane.

    And that should just be across the board, let-alone on a route like this which is HEAVILY used by people on bikes.

    Who the feck thought this was in any way a good idea? Clearly whomever proposed this hasn’t even looked at the route from a cycling perspective, or even worse they did, and just decided to f*ck all the people on bikes. All this is downright scary considering that a lot more of busconnects has yet to be revealed.

  6. There is no point in cycling in cities unless cyclists are actually treated the opposite to this and given actual priority and we get the quickest routes.I will go back to my car if I have to take this or any other absurd excursions. This proposal exposes a double-dealing govt that alleges it wants to encourage cycling but it is actively discouraging cycling (via their NTA mates). I will definitely return to my car to pollute and clog-up Rathminjes road if this stupid idea is pursued. Rathmines has an absolutely massive cycle population and frankly I genuinely think there would be a “Yellow Jacket” outbreak of protests in Rathmines if this stupid idea goes ahead.

  7. I don’t particularly want to take a big detour and I think this is a bad idea but I have some questions.
    How do they plan to indicate that cyclists aren’t allowed to use this? Lots of people are going to assume this is no different to any other bus lane.
    Have they thought about what to do if the rule is widely ignored, which it is likey to be in my opinion. Ignoring rules that seem inconvenient or stupid is neither unique to cyclists or something cyclists are immune to.
    Car lanes are being maintained (nobody is in any doubt about what the REAL hierarchy of transport is) but have they thought about what happens when cyclists choose to use the car lane instead of the cycle lane? I heard a vague thing about forcing cyclists to use these off route lanes somehow but what about people who want to cycle to somewhere on the bypassed section. How are they to get there without using the car lane? Is this plan not making things more dangerous for cyclists who are starting or ending their journey in Rathmines?
    Has there ever been a study to determine what actually slows busses down? Cyclists, taxis, delivery vans, private cars breaking the rules… Surely there was some cost benefit analysis
    done before making this decision. Npot having one would be downright incompetent. So how much time will banning cyclists from this route save and how likely is the detour to put people off cycling through Rathmines at all.

    I have no doubt if the plan was to ban cars we would have the usual suspects making the usual apocalyptic claims. What’s the mode share on Rathmines road at the moment?

    • Just for clarity: The NTA haven’t so-far said that cyclists wouldn’t be allowed in the bus lanes but when many there’s a know. alternative cycle route — no matter how impractical it is — many bus and taxi drivers drive very poorly around cyclists.

  8. Eric asked what the modal share is on Rathmines Road. I did a traffic count at Portobello Bridge in June.

    Within the 30 minutes 08:16 – 08:46
    Total crossing the bridge from the south only (not East – West) = 753.
    Bikes = 491… (65.2%)
    Cars, trucks, vans, taxis = 224… (29.75%)
    Buses = 20… (2.65%)
    Motorbikes = 17… (2.25%)

    I only counted the traffic crossing the canal from the south, coming into the city. I didn’t count the East-West traffic. If I did, the modal share for people on bikes vs cars would be even higher.

  9. Yes the bizarre presumption is that cyclists are all only using Rathmines Road to pass through-that no one actually lives on Rathmines road. But we all know that Rathmines road is exceptionally high density- packed full of people – especially cycling types , students etc, Full of flats & apartments thousands of them squashed into those big houses. Are such people expected to dismount and then carry their bikes- in addition to their sports gear, groceries or whatever other baggage they are likely to be carrying on their bikes or on their backs, along Rathmines road? What if such people sustain injuries doing that? Will the RTA pay compensation. They would want to think about this again. Who came up with such an Idiotic idea to begin with?

  10. Thanks Citizen Wolf. That’s a way bigger mode share than I would have imagined. That should really show that it makes so sense to send cyclists out of their way for the convenience of cars. I don’t have any problem with prioritsing busses. Those 20 busses could have been transporting well over a thousand people. However I question how much the bus would actually gain by removing cyclists from their way. If in fact there is no plan for these to be special non-cycling bus lanes then the whole thing is a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.

  11. A few too months early for April 1st, but without the underlying humour of those sort of jokes. It is hard to think of a more ill-conceived and unjust design. The powers that be show the motorist and his polluting inefficient mode of transport remains a higher priority than the 100% efficient, clean, two wheelers that make more use of the Rathmines route already. I worry too that the general Dublin bus route re-design will mean even more motorists, who’ll be accommodated. Rant over.

  12. So it’s going to go THROUGH St Mary’s College? That’s crazy how will the safety of the children be secured with cyclists whizzing by every few seconds?

  13. The clear, obvious, sensible and long-term most sustainable option is to give cars the detour & have separated bus and cycle lanes on Rathmines road.

    I think the concept of “Yellow Vest” protest would enter into a whole new level if this goes ahead. The area is packed with “protest-ready” residents almost waiting for a good excuse to protest as it is and most of them are cyclists. Just imagine that lot combining? Good luck NTA, You haven’t a hope of banning cyclists from Rathmines road.


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