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Liffey Cycle Route costs spiral to “above €100m” so that cars can stay on quays

The price tag of building the 3km Liffey Cycle Route while keeping cars on the quays has jumped to “above €100m” and the permanent project will not be delivered until post-2027.

After a rejection of even a trial to remove cars from sections of the quays, expansive boardwalks would be required at Ellis Quay, Aston Quay, Crampton Quay, Wellington Quay and Essex Quay.

IrishCycle.com reported in 2019 that the boardwalks needed due to opposition to removing cars from sections of quays was likely to push the project cost to €30 million. But Dublin City Council has published a new project webpage showing a price tag of “above” €100 million.

The idea of a cycle route along the quays was put into the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017 adopted in 2010 with the promise of a continuous cycle route along Dublin’s quays within the time of the plan. While interim improvements are ongoing, the new timeline would mean that the continuous route could likely take over two decades from conception to delivery.

The project is also now called the “Liffey Corridor Project” and the project page said: “approval will also be required from the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform as the project is estimated to be above €100m”. It would is planned to include greening, full public realm renewal and bus priority measures.

The project page said: “A Consultant is currently finalising the Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) for the Liffey Corridor Project. The SAR is the first stage in the Lifecycle and Decision Gates of the Public Spending Code for projects estimated over 10m. It is envisaged that the SAR will be lodged with the NTA for approval in Q4 2022, approval will also be required from the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform as the project is estimated to be above €100m.”

Dublin City Council did not respond to requests for comment on what exactly is the estimated cost or why the costs have increased so much.

According to the project page: “Pending approval the project can then proceed to the Preliminary Business Case and Options selection stage as required by the Public Spending Code. Currently it is envisaged that the Permanent Liffey Corridor Project will be delivered on site post 2027 as part of the overall Active Travel Network plan.”

While the price tag has increased, the project length had previously been shrunk with the Docklands being rolled into BusConnects. The 3km project covers from “the Phoenix Park and Heuston Station with the Matt Talbot Memorial Bridge at the edge of the Dublin Docklands.”

The project is described as: “Stemming from the ‘Liffey Cycle Route’ the Liffey Corridor project is a proposal to transform the Liffey Quays in Dublin by developing a 3 kilometre-long active travel and green corridor…. the project aims to radically change citizens perceptions of the Liffey Quays, encourage a shift to sustainable modes of transport; improve safety for cyclists through the provision of a continuous, segregated cycle route on both sides of the Liffey Quays; and make Dublin city healthier, more accessible, and climate-resilient through public realm improvements and green infrastructure.”

A cycle route along the Liffey Quays is a critical project for both Dublin City Council (DCC) and the National Transport Authority (NTA), it is identified as an objective in the DCC Development Plan and as Route ‘N5’ of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan. Although this project had previously been driven by the objective to develop a ‘Liffey Cycle Route’, there is an opportunity to maximise value for money by integrating pedestrian, public realm and environmental improvements alongside the provision of new cycling infrastructure; thereby delivering additional benefits in terms of improved accessibility, local environment, quality of life, and climate resilience for Dublin and its residents.

The description continues: “A cycle route along the Liffey Quays is a critical project for both Dublin City Council (DCC) and the National Transport Authority (NTA), it is identified as an objective in the DCC Development Plan and as Route ‘N5’ of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan. Although this project had previously been driven by the objective to develop a ‘Liffey Cycle Route’, there is an opportunity to maximise value for money by integrating pedestrian, public realm and environmental improvements alongside the provision of new cycling infrastructure; thereby delivering additional benefits in terms of improved accessibility, local environment, quality of life, and climate resilience for Dublin and its residents.”

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2 comments

  1. Your headline says it all Cian. I braved the steel walls of death the other week travelling by bike between Tara Street and the Millenium Bridge. Nearly got creamed by a motorcyclist coming up on my left while a taxi tried to ram me off the road on my right. Never again.
    If they just removed private motor transport on the quays they’d have their solution pronto.
    BTW did you see this piece on Llubjana? In, believe it or not, the Irish Times
    https://www.irishtimes.com/world/europe/2022/12/11/ljubljana-letter-green-transport-option-makes-short-work-of-slovenian-capital/

    Reply
  2. I really don’t get this. Dublin needs a ‘circulation plan’ like they’ve done in Ghent. How are you meant to get to anywhere from this cycle path on the inside of cars! I’ve used the temporary one and you have to get off your bike, on to the footpath and wait at pedestrian crossing lights!

    Reply

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