THREE MAJOR CYCLEWAY PROJECTS WILL BEGIN CONSTRUCTION

Dublin City Council will begin works on three major cycleway projects in the city centre this year, at an estimated cost of between €35m to €40m.

Works on the Clontarf to city centre cycleway – one of the busiest cycling spots in the city – will begin around August, a council spokesperson said.

While the Fitzwilliam street cycle way – which will see car parking spaces being moved to act as a buffer between cyclists and moving traffic- will also begin this summer.

And the royal canal way project, which will be a segregated, mostly off-road cycling route from Sheriff Street to Ashtown, has already begun.

All three routes will be segregated “as much as possible”, a council spokesperson said.

A preliminary cost estimate across all three projects is in the order of €35- to €40 million, however these figures are subject to change as we go through a procurement process and are only an estimate,” the spokesperson added.

Everyday, between 7am and 10am, over 1,000 cyclists travel inbound to the city centre around the Fairview/Clontarf area.

At Fairview, under the new plans, cycle lanes will be Dutch-style – slightly raised and separated from the road. A completion date has been set for 2021.

“This project also includes upgraded off-road cycle facilities in Fairview park,” a spokesperson said.

Cllr Ciaran Cuffe, chairperson of the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee said the three projects represent progress for the city’s cyclists, but he added that “progress is very slow”.

“We’ve had the greater Dublin cycle plan now for five years now but we are dependent on money and staff from central government and the slow progress is frustrating.”

“A lot of people approach me and say ‘I’d love to cycle but I just find it too difficult’. And there is a gender divide there that men often take risks than women wouldn’t. It’s about reaching out and eventually making it easier for women and children to cycle.”

Colm Ryder from the Dublin City Cycling Campaign agreed that “the big thing is to be able to encourage people of all ages to cycle”.

He said that aside from the major cycling projects planned for the city, there are also “quick wins” taking place like improvements at junctions of side roads and improved signage.

In June, Dublin City Council will host Velo-City, a major world cycling conference which will bring experts on cycling and the provision of infrastructure, cycling promotion and health benefits, to Dublin.

Meanwhile, design work is ongoing on three more routes: the Dodder greenway, Ranelagh to city centre, and the Canal Way extension from Portobello.

The council spokesperson added: “The city council hopes the Liffey cycle route, which will provide mostly segregated cycling, will be made public shortly. The Bus Connects corridor project will also provide cycle facilities on all 16 main corridors in the city over the next number of years.”

He added: “The city council is currently equipping numerous junctions in the city with specific bicycle detections to improve safety and have trialled temporary lane separators for cycle lanes to help better protect cyclists.”

Irish Independent