Dublin should build Metrowest’s bridge now — for walking, cycling, buses ahead of a metro

— For cycling it would link D15 area to D20 and D22 areas.
— Currently, there’s an 8km gap with no walking or cycling crossing of Liffey.

Comment & Analysis: New orbital bus routes were recently launched in west Dublin, but the new W4 route takes quite a convoluted route via the M50 between the Liffey Valley area and Blanchardstown. Building the Metrowest bridge across the River Liffey could help walking, cycling and buses ahead of any orbital metro line.

...I'm sorry to disrupt you while you're reading this article, but without messages like this, IrishCycle.com's reader-funded journalism won't survive. With 676k views so-far this year, it's not just "avid cyclists" that this website reaches. But the number of subscribers is around 0.6% of readers. This large gap between readers/subscribers is standard for non-paywall reader-supported journalism, but IrishCycle's journalism needs more support. Don't delay, support monthly or yearly today. Now, back to the article...

The W4 route will also get stuck in traffic any time the M50 backs up, making it only as reliable as the M50 itself which is getting more and more over capacity.

IMAGE: The W4 orbital bus route.

MetroWest or some variant of it — be it a Luas, Metro or Dart line — should already be back in planning. It makes no sense that transport authorities are continuing to say that the M50 is over capacity and also saying that there’s no case for such a railway line at the moment.

Such a line would link up large residential and employment areas, and link existing train lines due to be upgraded to Dart lines, and existing and planned Luas lines. Such a line would also service areas planned for new housing with public transport rather than leaving more people in west Dublin car-dependent.

But even authorities want to maintain that there a metro line should not be built straight away, the bridge could be built for buses, cycling and walking.

Despite Lucan and Dublin 15 growing out over the years, there’s an amazing situation where currently there’s an 8km gap with no walking or cycling crossing of Liffey. The bridges at both ends — Chapelizod and Lucan villages — are also poorly suited for bus or cycling links for different reasons (narrow historic bridges congested, quite a distance away from the main urban centres in west or northwest Dublin etc).

A new bridge would not be cheap but huge investment has gone into expanding the M50 which has led to predictable results of more traffic and reinforcing the cycle of more and more car dependency in west Dublin. A new bridge could play a part in helping break that cycle of car dependency.

For cycling, it would allow a huge number of connections. These are just examples of 5km distances — ie around a 15mins cycle — using the bridges. Push that out to 20 or 30 minutes, which are common commuting times by bicycle, and the range is even further. Cycling could also help connect people around Liffey Valley and Lucan to Maynooth line train connections.

IMAGE: An artist’s impression of a design for the Metrowest bridge.

3 comments

    • Looking online it seems like they are doing works to conserve/preserve it, not do anything to bring it into use. Would make sense. Likely a comparatively low cost way of opening up the park/strawberry beds to Palmerstown

      Reply
  1. I despair when I see such infrastructure concepts in 2007, and how they gather dust while the roads of the city have been ever-more clogged by a car-dependent society that glorifies the car-sales numbers.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.