Booterstown to Dun Laoghaire Cycle Route- May 2014

Finally, over ten years after Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council first adopted the S2S proposal and included it in its development plans, the first practical steps are being taken by the Council to upgrade the cycleway along a small but important section of the route. The section of cycleway that is proposed to be upgraded goes from the Martello Tower at Seapoint to Dun Laoghaire Harbour and is approximately 2 kms long.

The proposal has been included as part of plan for an improvement in the cycle way from Booterstown to Dun Laoghaire. Details of the plan can be found on the Council’s website at,10380,en.pdf . The Council have invited comments on the plan which should be sent to or the main transportation section.
The improvement of the cycle network generally is to be supported and the proposal to put part of this route on the seafront at Seapoint is very much welcomed. The manner in which it is implemented is crucial and this will not become clear until the detailed design stage of the process is reached. The route has a number challenges:
• The start of the route is at Booterstown Dart Station beyond which cyclists will have to negotiate the Merrion Road.
• The section between Blackrock Park and Blackrock Dart Station is less than one meter wide and is shared with pedestrians. It is simply not viable as it stands.
• It is difficult to see how a segregated cycleway can be accommodated at Idrone Terrace without removing the existing parking facilities on one side of the road, which may be seen as detrimental to the commercial viability of Blackrock.
• The proposed section on Seapoint Avenue is part of the N31 serving Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It is narrow and carries high volumes of traffic, including large trucks and coaches accessing the Dun Laoghaire town centre and the ferry.
• The area around Seapoint Martello Tower incorporating the traditional bathing area and access to the foreshore has enormous potential as an amenity. The access to the existing cycleway at this point is very steep and the manner in which this is resolved and integrated into the existing landscape will be challenging.
• The section of the existing route alongside the Coal Harbour is a little more than 4 meters wide and currently has to cater for two way vehicle traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. It will need to be widened by means of an extended boardwalk.
• The change of level and the confluence of heavy traffic at the Coal Harbour Bridge make for a very unfriendly, if not unsafe, section for cyclists and pedestrians. The Council should be urged to utilize the disused section of railway track under the bridge to provide a level, segregated, section of cycleway and pedestrian route to resolve these issues.

Overall, it should also be remembered that this is a proposal to improve the cycle network only and does not therefore have any proposals to improve facilities for walkers who wish to enjoy the amenity of Dublin Bay, such as that provided by the Sutton to Sandycove Promenade and Cycleway. The difficulties inherent in providing level, traffic free cycleways on existing roads such as Seapoint Avenue and the Merrion Rd also reinforce the compelling case to for the S2S proposal. The point is made in the overall study of the cycle network in the County which rates the attractions of the S2S as “A1” whereas parts of this route are rated as “C”.
Overall the Council is to be commended for seeking to improve the cycle network and this proposal is welcome in that context. It should not however be seen as an alternative to the S2S project or used to divert efforts to promote that project which complete the 22 km long seafront cycleway and promenade around Dublin Bay.