There is to be 260km of new and improved cycle lane across South Dublin, after approval was given at a council meeting last week.
The ‘Cycle South Dublin’ programme includes 63 projects to deliver a 260km space for cycling and walking – an increase of nearly 50km from a programme that was publicly consulted on in late 2020.
Projects are broken into four council led phases and include improvements to the existing network, and then new schemes to be progressed in timescales up to an eight year period.
There would also be a fifth and separate phase of works to be delivered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) via Bus Connects. The council has been working with the NTA and the Department of Transport and the NTA has advised a commitment to increase the council’s active travel fund from €8.9m in 2020 to €20.7m for 2021, reports the Echo.
The local authority say the county’s population is set to grow to nearly 330,000 people by 2030 – an increase of nearly 50,000 people since 2016. In recent years, the council has progressed eight active travel projects totaling approximately 21km of new and improved cycle lanes.
Cllr Ed O’Brien, Mayor of South Dublin County, said traffic congestion has “grown by 11% on our main roads since 2016”, said the report.
“This results not only in lost time but also has negative environmental, economic and health impacts. Private vehicles will always have an important role to play in how people move around our county, but we quickly need to offer people high-quality public transport alternatives and cycling and walking are critical to this.”
At the meeting, councillors Louise Dunne (SF) and Pamela Kearns (Lab) expressed concerns that emergency services will be able to navigate down some of the routes, including Wellington Lane.
Mick Mulhern, Director of Land Use, Planning and Transportation at South Dublin County Council said: “As part of the public consultation, it was clear there is significant local support for this scale of work across the county. Councillors have now given us a clear steer that they want us to progress with our mission of providing people with a well-connected, and safe cycle network that offers people a credible alternative to using the car. We will now be turning our attention to progressing the design and delivery of these projects.”