Cancelling permanent Liffey Cycle Route project “actually really good news”, says campaigner  

Cancelling the permanent Liffey Cycle Route project — a plan which relied heavily on expensive boardwalks — is a good thing, according to a former chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign.

Even relying on long sections of expensive boardwalks, the project still would have included narrowing sections of existing footpaths and installing sub-standard-width cycle tracks so that both bus lanes and general traffic lanes could be continuous.

The boardwalk plan was drawn up after councillors baulked at the idea of removing cars from the north quays near Smithfield. The boardwalk idea centred around a solution for pinch points: pedestrians would be moved onto a series of boardwalks, and cycle tracks would take the space of the existing quayside footpath.

Kevin Baker, who is still an active member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and is focused on infrastructure, said: “A cancelled cycle route might seem like bad news, but it is actually really good news.” 

He made the comments after the Business Post reported today that Dublin City Council confirmed to it that the permanent project had been cancelled. The project was developed in 2019 alongside interim measures, which are still being implemented.

The interim measures built to date have been both welcomed as an improvement and heavily criticised for their lack of continuity and issues with junctions and cross-over points, such as at the Four Courts and a junction near Heuston Station.

The interim measures are also set to be beefed up before being formalised as part of the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan.

The council told Business Post that reallocating space would be the “most effective” way of providing a cycle route along the quays, what it sees as the “backbone” of the city’s active travel network.

Baker said that the project had morphed into a mega project with a price tag of over €100m and a renaming to the Liffey Corridor Project to reflect its wider remit, including a large-scale public realm redesign and bus priority measures.

“This cancelled project was an over-engineered solution to a political problem around how we allocate public space. We have better options now,’ Baker said in a thread posted on Twitter tonight.

He said: “The council is looking at using traffic management to make the space for walking, cycling and buses without complex boardwalks or heavy engineering. This includes making more space for cycling on the quays.”

In the thread which goes into the history of the project, Baker said: “Why spend €100m when there are now far better options? You don’t.”

He said that by using quicker-build methods, the city is now “improving the lives of Dubliners today and not in some hopeful 2027 future. This gets more people cycling now”

“This is why I’m glad the permanent €100m Liffey Cycle Route plan is dead. Today we’re making significant progress using simpler and cheaper approaches,” Baker said.

Before today officials had said that the project was paused rather than canceled, but the City Centre Transport Plan includes a two-way cycle path on Bachelor Walk.

The interim project is continuing with an extension of the two-way cycle path in the south Docklands, which is currently being built as far as O’Connell Bridge.

The reduction of through traffic planned under the new transport plan at locations such at Bachelors Walk will allow for cycle paths, but there is currently no resolution to the main pinch point, which has held the cycle route up for well over a decade — the narrow section of the north quays between Blackhall Place and Church Street.

Leave a Reply

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