Friday 13 February 2009

Dublin City Council presents plans to build 22km cycle route around bay

PLANS TO build Europe’s longest urban seafront promenade and cycle path, extending 22km from Sutton to Sandycove, have been revealed by Dublin City Council.

The initial designs for the long-awaited Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) cycleway, which was first proposed in 2002, were shown yesterday to city councillors.

The eight metre-wide path, which will run next to the coast for most of its length and will form part of the city’s flood defences, will be developed in four stages.

The first, S2S north, will close the gap in the current promenade and cycle path running from Clontarf to Sutton. This path was put in place by the council in the early 1990s but a gap was left between the Bull Wall and the Wooden Bridge because no solution could be found to building on the environmentally sensitive lagoon area.

The new design solution is to combine a pile-supported promenade, retaining wall and cable stayed cycle facility. The environmental impact assessment has recently been approved by An Bord Pleanála.

The next section of the route is the S2S city centre link, connecting Alfie Byrne Road to Sandymount. Minister for the Environment John Gormley allocated €3 million to the project in his carbon budget last October.

In addition to a direct route from Clontarf, through East Wall across the East Link Bridge to Ringsend, there will be additional cycle links to the city centre and new crossing points for bicycles.

The third part, which will cause the council the most logistical difficulties, is the S2S south. The council has divided this stretch into four sections: section A: Seán Moore Park to Merrion Gates; section B: Merrion Gates to Brighton Vale; section C: Brighton Vale to Dún Laoghaire West Pier, and section D: West Pier to the East Pier.

While the first part of the route has an existing promenade, the Dart meets the coast at the Merrion Gates, effectively blocking off any promenade access. There are also houses backing on to the sea at several parts of the route, as well as EU-protected habitats for birds and other wildlife.

The final section, from Dún Laoghaire to Sandycove, will be developed separately by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

No date has yet has been given for the route’s start or completion.

Irish Times

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