Work starts on Royal Canal Greenway beside Dublin Docklands

Work has started on Phase 2 of the Royal Canal greenway in Dublin which will link the North Docklands with North Strand Road.

Dublin City Council has yet to answer when the works are due to be finished.'s reader-funded journalism won't survive without your help. With over 762,000 views so-far this year, it's not just "avid cyclists" who read this website, but, if you want it to keep going, more support is needed from readers like you. Now, back to the article...

As this website reported just over a year ago, the long-delayed construction was due to start September 2017 and then put back to Quarter 2 2018 — but words on the ground only started in the last two weeks.

The city council’s section of the greenway — which is part of the planned coast-to-coast Dublin to Galway Greenway — is due to be built in four phases. It passes areas such as Drumcondra, Glasnevin, Phibsborough, Cabra and Ashtown.

According to the plans published by the council a few years ago, Phase 2 will start across the road where Phase 1 ended at Sheriff Street Upper beside Spencer Dock.

It will start with a shared crossing before the cycle path and footpaths separate with a large grass area between them. Most of the relatively short section will continue like this before becoming shared again on the approach to a shared bridge which will ramp up to both cross a railway and bring the route up to the level of North Strand Road. See drawings and montages below for more details.

The start of a segregated network

Phase 2, which has just got underway, will link the Docklands to the North Strand Road, one of the most popular cycle routes for entering Dublin City Centre.

Work is also due to start this year on the Clontarf Cycle Route, which will include cycle paths on North Strand Road. Combined, the Clontarf Cycle Route and the canals cycle routes are expected to provide an almost fully segregated route between the city centre side of the Rathmines Road to Sutton on the northside.

Phase 1 built in 2011

Phase 1 was built as part of a route which starts on the Grand Canal at the city side of the Rathmines Road — the route becomes less coherent in the Docklands as it both uses shared roads and crosses Grand Canal Square with little markings and no way-finding signs. It remerges as a marked cycle path on the south bank of the Liffey and crosses the Samuel Beckett Bridge and ends at Sheriff Street Upper.

Originally in 2011 this section of the canal route was supposed to have a bridge across the Royal Canal into the East Wall area and directly onto the S2S costal route, where it starts beside the entrance to the Eastpoint Business Park. But objections led to councillors getting cold feet about the plan, the council had to hand back €4 million to the Department of Transport, and there’s now no plans to build the link into East Wall.


Draft drawings for Phase 2 as published in 2016:


  1. Hi Cian, thanks for this. Is there any development on the Royal Canal greenway beyond Castleknock towards Coolmine, Clonsilla, Leixlip and Maynooth? I cycled from Ashtown all the way back to Leixlip Lousa Bridge at the weekend; there were plenty of rough bits only just about passable on an off-road bike, so would be great to see that finished soon as possible as it would be a superb cycle commuting route for folks in Leixlip and North Kildare generally to north Dublin. I understand a sign has been put up to complete the Grand Canal greenway from Lucan to Hazelhatch so it seems there’s progress there. (I live in Celbridge)

  2. Yay! This has been coming about for a while, and we are delighted it has commenced. The other sections in Dublin City as far as Ashtown have all gone through Planning and await full detailed design before going to contract. The section from Castleknock to the Dublin border is being developed by Fingal Cc and is the most difficult of all the sections, but has yet to get an agreed design

  3. John Cradden – South Dublin County Council are just about to close their consultation on the Hazel Hatch to Adamstown section of the Grand Canal….tonight at midnight 4th February

  4. I can’t wait for this to be done from the LUAS Broombridge to Ashtown! I don’t know if there will be enough space to have such separation between cyclists and pedestrians but we definitely need a better path and proper lightening!

  5. I had a leaflet through my door announcing the scheme commencement which included an engineering drawing of the cycle bridge from Newcomen Bridge over the Irish Rail lands. This showed it looping out towards Connolly once over the tracks and then back under the bridge. Presumably to minimise gradient. Any idea which set of drawings are correct?

  6. So we have a greenway which joins arthurs way at Hazelhatch which has gates which are usable by all types of bikes be they cargo tandem tricycle recumbent and towing trailers and at the other end joins the grand canal greenway at adamstown where there are kissing gates or barriers which ensure that only fit people on standard bikes (and not fitted with touring panniers) can access the route .Lets hope the new section follows the greenway in Co kildare ie arthurs way and not the way we have in co dublin which is closed to a large number of cyclists and would it not be heaven if we could say goodbye to the horrible quarry dust and have a bonded surface which would be easier to cycle on and would not destroy every bearing on a bike.

  7. hi i cycle from Ashtown to the Northstrand and then on up to Coolock where i work. The surface around Lock 7 is awful and there is no lighting from here to Phibsboro but from Drumcondra to the North Strand i puncture regularly as the glass on the path is awful along with the amount of rubbish and dumping. Can anything be done about this? I did highlight the lighting and surface issue with the council last year but nothing came of it. Who would be responsible for sweeping and cleaning it?


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