— Temporary route to be mix of inland and coastal two-way cycle path.
Dublin’s south side is to get its first significant section of the Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) cycle route as part of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s post-lockdown mobility plans.
The plan — which work will start in July — includes making some streets between Blackrock and Sandycove at Forty Foot bathing area one-way for motorists, which makes space for a two-way cycle path.
For the sections not on the coast, it’s likely campaigning and planning will continue to provide a route between the Dart line and Dublin Bay. But — for now — a quick build cycle path will be build by the council.
The move by the council follows a petition and local residents calling for a quick-build route to be built at least between Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire — however, now, after a COVID-19 related boom in cycling in the area, the council is going one step further and is providing a route as far south as Sandycove.
Car parking will be maintained and so will bus access in Dún Laoghaire as the cycle route will go around the sea side of the Dún Laoghaire’s Dart station.
In a press release, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it had been “assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and identifying public realm and mobility interventions needed to safely reopen our county. A new plan by the Council, ‘Coastal Mobility Interventions’, is aimed at promoting and facilitating a necessary shift to walking and cycling along the strategic coastal transport corridor within our county.”
The council’s plan centres on what it describes as the installation of a 3.6 km section of temporary, segregated 2-way cycleway from Newtown Avenue in Blackrock to the Forty Foot bathing area in Sandycove.
That route using temporary measures will link up with an existing route in Blackrock Park and local streets in Blackrock to form a 6.6km route which is a mix of segregation, local streets, and paths in the park.
The council said that the plans were centred on the “health and safety of people” in its area and making walking and cycling “safe and enjoyable for all ages and abilities”. The council said the plan is in line with Government advise for people to walk and cycle, and it will help “to ease the limited public transport capacity can be prioritised for essential workers, those needing to complete essential journeys.”
The Cathaoirleach of council, Cllr Una Power, said: “This is a very exciting initiative to improve walking and cycling infrastructure along one of our coastal routes. Over the last few months we have seen how important our public realm is to us and I’m really hopeful that this will be a great way of making it better for everybody of all ages and all abilities to access our county.”
Director of Service for Infrastructure & Climate Change Robert Burns said: “The road safety risk is a matter of serious concern and dlr as a local authority and a road authority is of the view that it is now necessary to make an important intervention along these sections of coastal road to safeguard the health and safety of people walking and cycling in DLR, who are the most vulnerable road users.”
The council said that it will continue to work with the public and business on feedback and that its design team is currently finalising the design details and “engaging with stakeholders including the Gardaí, NTA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Dublin City Council Traffic Signal Controls and the local community and businesses.”
The council statement said: “It is expected that works will start in early July 2020 and will take about 3 to 4 weeks to complete with certain phases of the temporary cycle route being opened earlier during that period as works are completed. dlr is being supported technically and financially by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in implementing these interventions. “
The council added: “This is also an opportunity as a society to reflect on the use of public space and to possibly reimagine our use of, and relationship with, that space, so that we can reopen our society and county with renewed hope as we recover from the exceptional challenges posed by Covid-19.”
Cllr Kate Feeney (FF) said: “Really excited to see this rolled out. Over 3km of segregated cycle route from #Blackrock to #The40Foot. This will mean so much for safer cycling within the county.”
Cllr Barry Saul (Fine Gael) said: “Good to see more plans for rolling out cycling infrastructure in Dun Laoghaire.”
Cllr Séafra Ó Faoláin (Green) said: “Wow – it’s happening – this is incredible, a two-way cycle lane from Blackrock to the Forty Foot. I can’t overstate my thanks for the work on this @dlrcc – they have really excelled this time.”
DLR Cycling Group — a branch of the Dublin Cycling Campaign — said: “This is the best news we could have hoped for! Particular thanks have to go to @SeanBar33318146, @Chickpeafan and Ciaran O’Connor for advocating tirelessly for nearly a year. @S2Sdublin and @age_cycling too for starting the focus on the end goal of the S2S too.”