Dublin City pushes ahead with plan to cut short one of its busiest cycle paths at Portobello 

Dublin City Council is continuing its plan to shorten one of its only continuous cycle paths by 80 metres at Portobello Harbour and replace it with shared space between people walking and cycling.

The Grand Canal Cycleway route north of the canal at the location is marked as a Utility Greenway for commuter use in the NTA’s 2022 Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan and a primary cycle route on the council’s own active travel plan, which was also published in 2022.

The project is planned to go to “Part 8 planning in the coming days” or next week after it was presented to the South East local area committee of the council yesterday afternoon. Construction of the project is hoped to start next year.

The project to redesign the harbour area was originally named ‘Portobello Harbour Plaza’ but has since been renamed “Portobello Harbour Park.”

As previously reported, the project is being managed by the city council’s parks department, which has repeatedly expressed a firm preference against cycle paths.

The park department’s preference is in stark contrast to that of disability groups, cycling groups, and national guidance on cycle routes. For example, the Cycle Design Manual states: “Footpaths should be clearly separated from cycle lanes and tracks wherever practicable. This reduces potential conflicting movements between pedestrians and cycle traffic and provides a more comfortable facility for all users.”

Minor changes to the area’s layout have occurred since the designs were presented to the public last year. The changes, pictured below, mainly relate to a slightly wider area for people walking and cycling and some planting areas being made smaller and/or moved.

The Dublin Bikes station at Portobello Harbour is also to be relocated to Lennox Street, meaning it will be at least over 100 metres further away from Rathmines Road than it currently is. Eddie O’Gara, landscape architect at Dublin City Council, said advanced works are taking place so that the station is open ahead of the construction.

O’Gara said that “defendable spaces” or “vulnerable user routes” were being provided along the edge of the area for vulnerable pedestrians.

Cllr Claire Byrne (Green Party) welcomed progress on the project. She said, “The shared space was one of the issues that came up with residents, so I’m really glad you found a solution to that.”

Cllr Mannix Flynn said he had concerns about bikes’ possible speed, especially delivery riders and cargo bikes, but he thought the plan was “exceptional.”

O’Gara said that the area would look more like a place rather than a traffic route and that faster cyclists would be more likely to use the south bank of the canal.

MORE: Portobello Harbour Park May 2024 Draft Part 8 Information Pack
WATCH: South East Area Committee meeting.


  1. That’s disappointing. Seems like the extra space is also only at the initial part near the cycle lane, but will be narrow going around the bend so on a busy day it will be tough to navigate even at slow speeds.

    Something faster is better than nothing though I suppose as it can always be iterated upon. I wish the progress would just be quicker overall.

  2. It’s a strange situation in general that the grand canal cycleway has been open from Portobello to Grand Canal Dock with great success for more than a decade with zero plans to extend it westwards. It’s probably Ireland’s busiest cycle path and it would get massive usage if extended to Suir Road Luas stop. It’s hardly an insurmountable engineering challenge but DCC seem to regard it like building the Suez Canal in the 19th century.

  3. All the more likely cycling will be banned entirely a few months later as there will doubtless be accidents and complaints of speeding e-bikes. Maybe that’s their plan.

    The route to Heystbury st or Synge St is a handy quieter route into the City for cyclists. Especially for avoiding all the glass always on Camden St.
    I thought that was the planned cycle lane route anyway in the Busconnects plans for Rathmines to city centre.

  4. As far as I know there’s a quick-build protected route planned for Suir Road to Portobello. Can’t come soon enough. I love the advice to faster cyclists to cycle along the south bank of the canal. i.e., navigate that awful intersection at Rathmines bridge where the camber and layout of the road forces westbound motorists into the cycle lane just past the bridge.


Leave a Reply

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