Dublin to get coastal cycle route after large majority support Sandymount trial

IMAGE: An artist's impression of the planned cycle path.

— 56% in public consultation favour Sandymount trial, only 27% clearly objected.
— Plans progressing to link Sandymount route to city centre and Blackrock.

Under COVID-19 mobility measures Dublin’s southside is soon to have a continuous cycle route from Sandycove to close to the city centre via Dún Laoghaire, Blackrock and Sandymount.

The COVID-19 mobility measures are set out to offer walking and cycling as an alternative to public transport in the city while the pandemic is on-going. As part of the measures, quick-build cycle routes are mostly built with temporary fixtures such as plastic bollards.

Dublin City Council said yesterday that it intends to trial a two-way cycle path on Strand Road in Sandymount, the trial includes making the road one-way and it will take about 10 weeks  before the project will be ready.

A Dublin City Council report on the consultation for the trial said: “Having assessed all the submissions, 56% were found to be strongly in favour of proceeding with trial, 17% had some concerns about the trial but did not state if they were in favour or opposed to the trial and 27% objected to a trial. However it should be noted that DCC did not directly ask the public to either approve or disapprove of the scheme.”

Despite 56% of the 2,922 submissions received by Dublin City Council being supportive of the project and only 27% clear objections, negative media attention has already started with RTE reporting “Sandymount cycle lane to go ahead despite opposition“.

Dublin City Council said in its report that it will “carefully monitor the impact of the scheme both on Strand Road and on the wider area” including looking at the “safety of all road users in the trial area”, “traffic volumes with the trial area”, how people cycling use the route, noise and environmental data, and feedback raised during the trial period.

Trying to address issues raised, the council said it would monitor traffic, that traffic calming will be looked at in response to issues and it said that the M50 is a more suitable route to access the airport.

On fears of extra traffic in Sandymount village, the council’s report said: “Sandymount Green will have two pedestrian crossings installed over the next 4- 6 weeks which will provide safe crossings points for all users as well as regulate traffic speeds. A Traffic camera added so as to allow the DCC control to carefully monitor traffic in the Village area. In addition this location will have traffic count equipment fitted to the pedestrian crossings in order to allow monitoring in real time of traffic volumes.”

On possible extra traffic on Serpentine Avenue and Tritonville Avenue, the council said: “It is proposed to undertake speed measurements in the area to determine if and where speed warning signs should be installed and also suitable locations for additional traffic calming measures will be identified if during the course of the trial it is found they are needed.”

The city council is now looking also looking to connect the cycle route south toward Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s costal mobility route and north towards the city centre.

Draft drawings for the route on the Merrion Road between the Merrion Gates and the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown boundary can be viewed below and the council said that this design will soon be on its consultation hub. While new cycle lanes are planned on the Sean Moore Road in Ringsend.

The city council said that work will begin on the, separately planned, new pedestrian crossings in Sandymount Village.

The council thinks it will take 8-10 weeks to get the area ready for the trail, including new pedestrian crossings; ducting and island changes at the Merrion Gates; extra traffic counts; and changes to the mini-roundabouts along the Strand Road.

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I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

11 Comments

  1. Great to see this Strand development. I’ve sometimes ridden it, taking my life in my hands. The other real challenge comes after Sandymount, the East Link Bridge crossing. What’s the story for that obstacle course for cyclists??

  2. Just based on the 56% : 27% split, that would suggest that 2:1 were in favor of the route. However, when you read the report, it seems that more than 56% were in favor of the route. The report says that 17% of respondents raised concerns – but if you read what those concerns were – they consist of being worried about proper protection of the cycle-route from drivers storing their cars on it, and the concern about connecting the cycle-route up with other routes. I raised those exact concerns in my submission, and so it seems that I would have fallen in the 17% “concerned” category; and I’m most definitely in favor of the project going ahead. I didn’t read any of the concerns as being against the route, so, it seems that the numbers in favor of the trial were even more than 2:1. If we combine the 17% (concerned group) with the 56% (in favor) = 73% in favor of the project vs 27% against the project. That’s almost 3:1 in favor. So councilors who claimed that there was ‘overwhelming opposition’ to the trial were being…. let’s say …..economical with the truth. BTW, the same councilors claimed that DCC only listened to the opinion of the NTA…… which is a bizarre interpretation of the overwhelming numbers in favor.

  3. The majority of cyclists travel straight past Merrion Gates heading towards town along the Merrion Road. The plan is estimated to double the vehicular traffic along the Merrion Road putting cyclists lives a risk. This proposal if it goes ahead will cause more harm then good.

  4. I think that you forget that every one is not young and to get to Tesco or sandymount we would have to go to Booterstown to turn why not have a cycle track along the beach like Clontarf

  5. @Michael B — The point of a trial is to see what happens. If nobody uses the cycle path and it really causes “traffic chaos” then you have nothing to worry about, the trial will be abandoned.

    The plan is not estimated to double the motorised traffic along Merrion Road. That’s just what the flawed traffic modelling says — as the council’s report says, the model doesn’t include anybody switching to cycling. This isn’t what happens in the real world, where when cycle paths like this are built, people take fewer car trips and cycle more.

  6. Hi
    Were submissions for this poll coming from groups or non residents from all over the country and beyond ?
    If that is the case and anyone could have voted for the lanes along the coast then it is patently unfair on the locals

  7. It wasn’t a poll, it was a public consultation. The city council said that residents were both for and against it.

    Can you please explain how you think trialing the cycle path is patently unfair on residents?

  8. There’s a road in front of the house where I live. I don’t want it there. I was never consulted on this road. I was never consulted on whether people should be allowed to drive up and down this road. It’s unfair on me!!!!

  9. I live in the area and no one i have spoken to or asked online (residential groups) were asked to participate in this consultation. So who are the people who took part? It is all very well for those who cycle this way over the weekends to vote yes for this its another thing to live here and need to use the road daily.

  10. @resident1 hi, I’m sure residents both young and old will use the cycle path.

    Local residents associations were well aware of the public consultation for the trial. Anybody who tells you otherwise was misinformed or is wilfully misleading you. This is a high-profile trial and it got tons of attention before the consultation ended.

    I know for a fact that locals were among those who responded —- a mix of locals who wanted it, who did not, and who had mixed feelings.

  11. @resident 1, I don’t go over there at the weekends, but I do go that way every weekday. And would you prefer I do it in a car or a bike. Would you prefer that the 98% of people who drive there everyday from outside the area do it on a bike or continue in their cars as at present?

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