Royal Canal Greenway delay in Dublin City could push construction start into 2022

A delay in the Dublin City Council section of the Royal Canal Greenway has once again been confirmed after the project to upgrade the path along the canal has been subject to a number of delays.

In 2012 then transport minister Leo Varadkar said the coast-to-coast Dublin to Galway greenway would be open by 2020, but only the section between Maynooth and the River Shannon opened by this deadline. The Athlone to Galway — which is mostly not in State ownership — section was opposed by landowners and only recently re-started consultation.

In County Dublin, the Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council sections are in full State ownership but have also been subject to delays due to a number of different reasons. The Dublin 15 section has just undergone public consultation with conflicting views if the north or south bank of the canal should be used in the Deep Sinking section.

In the Dublin City Council area, the yet-to-be upgraded sections were approved by councillors in 2015, but the project has been hit by delay after delay.

The council has their section of the greenway broken up into four phases — the short section of Phase 1 in the Docklands opened about a decade ago as part of the canals route which included the urban Grand Canal cycleway, and Phase 2 between the Docklands and North Strand opened last year and the final touches to the landscaping is nearly finished.

Phase 3 between the North Strand and Cross Guns Bridge in Phibsborough, and Phase 4 between Phibsborough to Ashtown have been delayed, again.

Back in January, this website reported how Phases 3 and 4 were due to be started by August and September of 2021. Now two phases are further delayed, and Phase 4 is due to go back to Part 8 process which requires statutory consultation and approval from councillors.

Kevin Baker, chairperson for the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “Bad news for Royal Canal Greenway Phase 4, Phibsborough to Ashtown. The council are going to start a new Part 8 planning process as they want to change an aspect near 6th Lock. I don’t expect them to start construction this year as a result.”

In the July Covid mobility report — which includes updates on longer-term projects — to Dublin City Council councillors, confirmed the delays.

The report, signed off by Brendan O’Brien, Executive Manager covering traffic, and John W Flanagan, Assistant Chief Executive and City Engineer, said: “Phase 3: Tenders leading to the appointment of a works contractor were received at the end of May 2021. It is anticipated that a Contractor appointment will be made in Q3 2021. This is as reported last month.”

The report added: “Phase 4: The designs for the amending Part 8 for the section between the 6th Lock and Coke Oven Cottages is complete. A presentation of the Part 8 process will be made to the Central Area Committee in July 2021. It is schedule to have a works contractor on site in Q4 2021. The overall schedule remains unchanged from the last report.”

The previous report, from June, said: “Site investigations are still ongoing. During May, the project team continued developing designs for the amending Part 8 for the section between the 6th Lock and Coke Oven Cottages. It is anticipated that the Part 8 process will commence this month. The project is still on schedule to have a works contractor on site in Q4 2021. The schedule remains unchanged from the last report.”

Cian Ginty
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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Varadkar’s idea of trapping cycling families between a 20ft drop above deep water and a railway line is absolute lunacy.
    On the north bank there are routes off the planned broad cycle path into the suburbs, making it safe. If it’s diverted to the south bank, with no escape and with the rail line beside it, it will be very unsafe.

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