Dublin City plans to remove part of Grand Canal cycle path, replace with shared space

— “Preferred design” has very limited consultation until June 8, 2023.

Dublin City Council plans to remove a section of the highly popular Grand Canal cycle path, and replace it with a “share with care” area at Portobello Harbour.

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The project is being run by Dublin City Council’s Parks department which has a history of being against cycle paths despite the general public, disability campaigners and cycling campaigners all favouring segregating pedestrians and people cycling.

The shared space which is planned looks to be insufficiently wide at a number of points for the level of walking and cycling at peak times in the area.

There is already a shared section of the Grand Canal cycle route across a plaza-like area, on Grand Canal Square, which has proved to be problematic with walking and cycling squeezed into pinch points caused by the placement of planters and seating — a design which is repeated on the plans for Portobello Harbour.

Another shared area on the route is on the west side of Leeson Street and that is also widely viewed as very problematic.

There are also concerns that the share space would enable and encourage cyclists to continue along the canal bank west of Portobello Harbour, while the current cycle path pushes people cycling towards using the streets around the block.

A local resident, Niels Warburton, said: “The initial plans for the Portobello Harbour Refurbishment were shared with the community today. The current plans includes a lot more greenery and space for incidental play for kids. Lots to like in the plans. I have some concerns with converting the current short section of two-way cycle path to a shared pedestrian cycling space. Shared spaces like this on a busy route and typically disliked by both pedestrians and cyclists.”

He also added: “Also not clear where the current Dublin Bikes stand will move to. This is heavily utilised so needs to not be moved far.”

Kevin Baker, a cycling campaigner focused on infrastructure and a former chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “This plan would be bad for pedestrians, cyclists and people trying to use this public space. This is one of the busiest cycle routes in the city and the council want to cover it into a ‘share with care’ area for cycling, skateboarding, relaxing and walking. That’s conflict.”

The public consultation ends on June 8, 2023, and details can be found at consultation.dublincity.ie.


  1. As the Grand Canal segregated two way cycle track currently starts/ends at Portobello Harbour then it is probably not such a big deal. It would be different if the cycle infrastructure continued west, but it doesn’t.

    • Looks to me like they are removing cycling entirely from the area going West of the bridge- no sign of general bike parking, dublin bikes, easy route to Lennox st / Stamer st – always a safer cycle route I find into the city for avoiding glass (Camden St etc.,).

    • @Go Dutch, I regularly commute eastwards from Inchicore and westwards to Inchicore. There are countless hazards, parked cars, shite surfaces & disappearing cycle lanes on the stretch between Harolds X Bridge and Suir Road Bridge. At least the ‘no big deal’ cycle track offered a wee bit of protection, segued rationally to and from the small nexus of streets on the north of the canal which form some sort of green corridor between Portobello & Harolds Cross bridge. Now it’s just going to be madness for yet another length of the canal.

      • There should be a segregated cycle lane on the other side of the canal. This is one of the most pointless pieces of lane in the city it’s almost as bad as the two way lane at trinity that leads onto a giant one way street (westmorland) a park for everyone is a much better use of space. I can’t believe people are trying to save the tiny lane (end of cycle path) I cycle everywhere and I find this lane pointless. The rest of the canal route is amazing and this lane should extend all the way along the canal not just end at the lower deck. It’s not like they’re putting a road in its for a park.

        • @Kevin — I’m not sure why a cycle path cannot run along the edge of the greened plaza, I’d hardly call it a park.


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