“We have to hurry up” providing cycle routes, says Minister Ryan

— “Big civil engineering” isn’t needed once priority is given to walking and cycling, he said.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said that the rollout of infrastructure needs to happen faster — he told the audience of a public meeting on the Dodder Greenway tonight that faster approaches are needed including on that route.

“We have to hurry up. We have to half our transport emissions this decade — it’s a challenge beyond compare, we have so many different projects that we’d blow the budget with full engineering solutions. So, we’re starting to do a lot of what we call interim schemes,” said Minister Ryan.

“What we learned through Covid is that you can sometimes deliver fast that — what they did out in Dún Laoghaire on the seafront really low cost, really quickly. Those kind of interim schemes is what we need to do, and one of the benefits is you can take it out if it doesn’t work, you can test it.”

Speaking at a public meeting on the Dodder Greenway, he said: “One of the things we are looking at to accelerate the change that needs to be made is the Dodder Greenway interim scheme. It doesn’t have to be big civil engineering. It can be low-key in a way if we can still get the priority for walking, cycling and fishers.”

The River Dodder Greenway is a 17km route spanning the areas of Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, and South Dublin County Council. The latter has advanced works or planning on most of its 9.5km of the route along the river but — besides small sections linked with flood defences — progress has stalled closer to the city.

Ryan said that there would have to be sensitive treatment around the issue of walking and cycling conflicts, and that nature along the route should be protected.

As an example of this approach, he suggested that Beaver Row, a road along the Dodder, could be made one-way for motorists to provide for the greenway route on the south bank, leaving the north bank for pedestrians and keeping in green setting there intact.

Last month IrishCycle.com reported on how Dublin City Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are refocusing their resources on the River Dodder Greenway to build quicker-build ‘interim’ sections of the project.

A city council report said that the interim scheme has “a prospective timeline of two years” and that “The delivery of the permanent scheme has been paused as it is felt that resources are better reallocated to the design of an interim scheme.”

It said that design work is at an “advanced stage” along five sections where “interim measures are achievable” — these locations are Fitzwilliam Quay to Londonbridge Road, Beatty’s Avenue to Herbert Park, Donnybrook Road to Clonskeagh Road, Clonskeagh Bridge to Patrick Doyle Road and Orwell Road to Dodder Road Lower.
The report to councillors outlined how the Dodder Steering Group, comprising officials and councillors of Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was held on March 7.

The first of the Dublin City interim sections to go to public consultation are the two sections from Fitzwilliam Quay to Londonbridge Road and from Beatty’s Avenue to Herbert Park in Q2 2023, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is expected to lodge a Part 8 planning application for the Clonskeagh Bridge to Patrick Doyle Road section.

IMAGE: A screen shot from Minister Ryan’s presentation.

IMAGE: An IrishCycle.com map showing the general location of the different interim sections.


  1. I wonder is he just worried about meeting EU quota’s of miles of cycle lanes in mainly out of the way, low volume suburban areas as opposed to the more urgently (you would think) needed safe cycling routes in urban areas, especially through towns and cities – where really nothing has changed in the last 30 years, even in Dublin- no cycle lanes in Westmoreland Street, Dame st, Quays etc., etc. and so many towns and villages that might have bits of cycle lanes outside them, but nothing but car traffic, car parking, and dangerous planning on the inside. These greenway projects seem a bit like non urgent media distractions to me. Seems like he’s trying to turn the Dodder route into a cycling motorway, when if you are really trying to get somewhere you need to go, you’re not going to use a greenway anyway- you’re going to go through Terenure etc,…and be met with… no cycle lanes.

    • I wouldn’t see the dodder greenway as non urgent. Recently I was cycling with my children from Clonskeagh to a camp in Ballsbridge. I had to come up with a very indirect route just to avoid Beaver row which is lethal for cycling. The proposals for Beaver row and Eglington road and the greenway in general would vastly improve things for many commuting and non commuting daily trips. I’d imagine its a similar case for lots of different trips that take place along its route.

  2. @ Helen, agreed, there’s a lot of potential for a continuous cycle route along the Dodder.

    @ Mark, I agree with you that there’s too much focus on km of cycle route built rather than qualify. But it’s a national-level thing as far as I know. I’ve never heard of an EU quota of miles of cycle lanes — if there is such I thing I’d honestly love to see the details.

    As for the distention between urban and suburban, the River Dodder is a very urban river and Beaver Row, for example, is under 3km from St Stephen’s Green.

    The Dodder links the a huge section of south Dublin to places like routes to UCD, and into Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, and on into the Docklands. Ballsbridge and Donnybrook are not like other “suburbs” around the canals, in terms of employment levels they can be somewhat seen an extension of the city centre.

    I cannot find an map that shows employment areas by density of workplaces/jobs but the parking zones does the same thing — around Ballsbridge and Donnybrook are high and very high demand a good but south of the canals while on the north and to the west of the city centre, the areas turn to being overwhelmingly residential very quickly: https://www.dublincity.ie/sites/default/files/2022-05/rt5224-001a-revised_-parking-tariffs-2022.pdf

    The outer section in the SDCC area is, in the grand scheme of things, nearly finished. It makes no sense to leave that disconnected from the workplaces in and around Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, and Docklands and the trip attractors such as the RDS and the Aviva etc.

    You said “so many towns and villages that might have bits of cycle lanes outside them, but nothing but car traffic, car parking, and dangerous planning on the inside” — that’s exactly what the Dodder project is aiming to do, fill in the bits that can be done quickly to allow people on the already largely build suburban route to cycle in closer to the city.

    Yes, Westmoreland Street, Dame st, Quays etc., etc need attention, these too are being looked at by the city centre project office for quicker action: https://irishcycle.com/2023/01/19/plan-to-rapidly-reallocate-dublin-city-centre-space-to-boost-walking-cycling-buses/ and one of the most advanced projects is extending the cycle path in the Docklands into the core city centre, see: https://irishcycle.com/2023/02/11/two-way-cycle-path-planned-on-south-quays-between-hapenny-bridge-and-docklands/

    As for your comment that “Seems like he’s trying to turn the Dodder route into a cycling motorway” — that cannot be further to what Ryan said and what I reported above highlights only some of what he said, ie “sensitive treatment around the issue of walking and cycling conflicts, and that nature along the route should be protected” and using Beaver Row “leaving the north bank for pedestrians and keeping in green setting there intact.”

    • @Cian – I’m curious about Eglinton Road. What’s the plan for improving this?I regularly cycle from Inchicore to Blackrock and I use Ranelagh Road and Eglinton Road as there are fewer conflict spots with motorised traffic than going through Donnybrook. Eg Road is relatively quiet but there are often cars, delivery vans etc parked inside the cycle lane making that quite hazardous.

      • Hi Mia, Eglinton Road is not part of the Dodder project. There will be no changes to it as part of this project.

        It was mentioned in the Irish Times but what was reported was incorrect.

  3. Sure- I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done but I wouldn’t have classified it as a priority given how poor cycling infrastructure, in a life threatening way, currently exists and is tolerated in town and cities where huge numbers try and commute for work by bike- Rathmines town has only got worse as far as I can see etc., ‘Greenways’ have more recreational aspirations I would have thought, rather than pushing the cycle lanes to the other side of the river away from the parks etc., Not to mention the planned talk of routes through the golf course and lanes running on boardwalks along the river seem a bit pie in the sky to me so far- lighting at night will be a huge issue I’d imagine. And it will be interesting to see whether all the kissing gates still remain on the botherbabreena route. But time will tell.


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