COMMENT & ANALYSIS: The Grand Canal Greenway from Inchicore to Adamstown in Dublin opened in 2010, but restrictive barriers blocked many types of bicycles and have limited its popularly for legitimate use.
Authorities have shown little concern of users’ experiences that the barriers act as a focal point for anti-social behaviour and don’t stop horses or scramblers. Under pressure, Waterways Ireland and South Dublin County Council have messed around with the barrier design for years. The current situation is a mix of barrier types– a reader, Xavier Maher, sent us his story after trying it out:
Early last year I contacted South Dublin County Council regarding access to the Adamstown to Inchicore greenway and about the gates and I was told they would be open by Summer 2018 — they weren’t, but when I was at the recent Liffey cycle one of the other cyclists said the gates were now open, so, on Saturday I set off to cycle into Dublin.
The first gate from the Adamstown end was locked but rather than admit defeat my wife and I manhandled our semi-recumbent tandem through the small gap and continued on our way. The next few gates as far as Clondalkin were half open and easily negotiable but from 9th lock road into Inchicore all the gates were locked.
Not all the gaps in the gates are the same size. Some can be passed with care and gentle leaning and moving the bike side to side. Some need lifting which for two cyclists with a combined age of 135 years is not that easy.
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The worst of all was at Kileen Road where there is only a kissing gate and no gap — this required reversing the tandem into the gate and then both of us lifting the front up high enough to swing over the gate. Looking back I should have given up and returned at this stage as I hurt my back lifting the bike, but I wanted to see what way other gates were.
It is a disgrace to see a publicly owned and funded resource like this closed to any cyclist who used anything other than a standard bike at the whim of Waterways Ireland. I have numerous bikes (pictured below) that cannot fit through the gates including a touring tandem, tricycle, cargo bike, and long wheelbase recumbent. These are home-built but the same applies to shop-bought bicycles of different types.
How do we get this great amenity opened for proper use? It is a waste the way it is now.