Should Dublin have spent another decade debating Clontarf to City Centre Cycle and Bus project?

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: The Clontarf to City Centre Cycle and Bus project is one of the most debated sections of road design — it is under 3km long but has taken over a decade of debate to get it to construction stage.

And — as this website has mentioned before —it is called a cycling and bus project, but it’s actually a major boundary-to-boundary street renewal. It including repaving of the footpaths and roadway, new greenery, public realm improvements, and water main replacement.

A variation of this question keeps coming up: “Can anyone explain why the cycle path under construction wasn’t inside the park?” Here’s well-known journalist and commentator David Davin-Power asking in as part of a series of quote tweets he posted:

At one stage this website even suggested that a solution to an impasse to about saving the trees lining Fairview park could be having a two-way cycle path along the park side of Fairview.

Even if a two-way cycle path was put in on the park side at Fairview, given the size of the road and the need to reallocate priority to sustainable transport, it would still make sense to install a with-flow cycle path on the building side so that people on the building side wouldn’t have to cross twice to get to the Malahide Road or the Howth Road.

At the end of the day, we are where we are. There’s still issues surprisingly on-going with the project (more on that in a different articles, soon), but the basic structure of the project shouldn’t be up for debate at this stage. The project has Part 8 planning approval.

Now, after approval and more than a decade of debating, some people have to move on. At some point these types of questions seem more belligerence than anything constructive.

Above Davin-Power also puts the issue the cycle route planned for Strand Road in Sandymount into the mix.

The Appeal of Court in Dublin is apparently taking a hard look at the High Court judgement on Strand Road. The three judges should do so because, as this website covered last year in a long-read article, parts of High Court judgment reads like a transcript of Newstalk show.

A similar UK High Court judgement was overturned by the UK Court of Appeal — it’s far from clear if the Irish appeal court will take the same action, but the parallel are massive. The High Court judge brought a huge amount of seems more like feeling rather than law into key issues such as the council is or isn’t allowed to do without using planning processes it didn’t use.

The High Court judge took issue with Dublin City Council planning to implement what are fairly minor works compared to what’s allowed by law (namely Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1994 as amended by the Section 46 of the Public Transportation Regulation Act, 2009).

Davin-Power isn’t a fool and he’s not questioning just one project.

Anyway, back to Clontarf… here’s another telling comment from Davin-Power if you look at all the context — at the stage he posted the third quote tweet below, he had in-depth reasoning why the cycle route isn’t confined to that in the park.

Not just from Conor who he quotes below but from others too. But the pretence if kept up that the question is unanswered. Make of that what you will…

My question to Davin-Power: Should Dublin have spent another decade debating Clontarf to City Centre Cycle and Bus project?


  1. Isn’t it obvious to most people by now that to create safe infrastructure for bicycle users, i.e. including the elderly, the young, the very young as well as other vulnerable bicycle users, is to follow best practice?

    There are now ample examples and models of safe integrated infrastructure abroad that have shifted large portions of inconvenience away from the aforementioned onto the motorized vehicle driver.

    Until we understand that this is necessary for urban (and rural) zones to function well, for the greater good, we will continue debating whether bicycles and public transport should be or not shunted out of the way so that inefficient, large private transit can continue to dominate.


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