Fingal County Council has officially opened Ireland’s first Dutch-style roundabout — it makes up part of the access roads to a new housing development in Dublin 15.
The new roundabout is on Church Fields Link Road, built as access to Churchfields social, affordable and affordable rental housing which is being developed.
Update: Locals and others who visited the site have said that workers on the development have again closed off the roundabout for now.
The roundabout is part of phase 1 of the Link Road, and wider project includes walking and cycling upgrades on other local roads and a local Safer Routes to School scheme.
Fingal County Council said: “The cycle-friendly roundabout on the Church Fields Link Road is a first for Fingal, and for Ireland. This innovative layout separates cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles providing a dedicated space for Active Travel at the roundabout.”
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Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, who is a local TD, tweeted a short video showing part of the roundabout, and said: “Delighted to be at the opening of Ireland’s first Dutch-style roundabout by Fingal County Council today.”
He added: “It’s part of the active travel infrastructure being put in place to allow the Churchfields development of 1000 units of social, affordable and affordable rental housing in Mulhuddart.”
AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: “Church Fields is a great example of how we can nurture community in Fingal through strategic planning and infrastructure. The future of Fingal requires us to examine what matters to the people of our County and to build places that support sustainable growth and healthy, happy communities.”
Matthew McAleese, Fingal County Council’s Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure said: “We are creating a network of roads, cycle lanes and footpaths that will manage the flow of people around Church Fields. The area has a young population. It is just beginning to develop, and we have a golden moment now to make it as safe and attractive as possible, so it is the ideal time and place to launch Ireland’s first cycle-friendly roundabout.“
Dublin Commuter Coalition, a sustainable transport campaign group, said: “Delighted to see (some!) local councils adopting tried and tested infrastructure for safe cycling (and safe walking & driving)! A good example to point to whenever other councils or the NTA (ref BusConnects) continue to reinvent the wheel badly with their own bespoke designs.”
When interviewed by IrishCycle.com for an article on the roundabout, Paul Carroll, a senior engineer at the planning section of Fingal County Council said: “We saw an opportunity to provide a new layout roundabout, we wanted to provide the possible highest standard and level of service we could provide for the area — there’s a young enough demographic there and there’s a school campus to the north east, so, we’d be conscious that there’d be a wide variety of different ages using it and we wanted to make it as safe and attractive as possible.”
Carroll said: “Initially we started off with the standard NTA cycle-friendly roundabout… and we were conscious that the National Cycle Manual is being reviewed at the moment and we wanted to develop something that would align with the newer version.”
He added: “We’re hopeful that this will prove to safe and attractive. There’s a lot going in its favour — it’s a greenfield site, the land was in our ownership, and it’s going to come on stream gradually, so, it’s not going to be a hugly busy road when it starts. All of that gave us a bit of confidence to go and try it. It’s different going in and retrofitting it on a busy road where you’d have other issues to try and do it that way.”
Here’s an example of a similar roundabout in action in the Netherlands:
The approximate location of the new roundabout is below or can be found on Google Maps.