Funds allocated for part of the S2S in South Dublin Bay – February 2019

Councillor Ossian Smyth (Green Party) Cathaoirleach, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has announced that €17.5m has been allocated by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the section of the East Coast Greenway between Merrion Gates and Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This is very welcome news.

It is proposed that 2.5kms of the route between Merrion Gates and Blackrock will be inside the railway line, partly on the Merrion Road and partly in Blackrock Park which is not the route planned for the S2S while the remaining section between Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire Harbour will be on the seafront which coincides with the planned route for the S2S.

NTA have also agreed with Dublin City Council (DCC) to proceed to the next stage of the Greenway between Ringsend and the Merrion Gates. This is also on the seafront and coincides with the planned route for the S2S.

DCC and DLRCC have been working independently on the preliminary stages up to now but it has been agreed that the two councils will cooperate on the next stages and that the work will be led by DLRCC on behalf of both. As a preliminary step, bird counts have commenced along the coast from Ringsend to Dun Laoghaire. The process of drafting a brief on which tenders will be sought for the full environmental study and design work has started. This is also a positive news.

In a completely separate development, Irish Rail (also with the support of NTA) have announced that it is undertaking a study of the coastal protection of the Dublin-Rosslare railway line. This study includes the 4.5kms of coastline from Merrion Gates to Dun Laoghaire which coincides with the proposed route for the S2S.

There is therefore a significant overlap between Coastal Protection Project being pursued by Irish Rail with the Greenway project being undertaken by DCC and DLRCC. There are a number of potential benefits for both in co-operating on these projects. It is not clear however what co-ordination is occurring. It is to be hoped that if it is not already happening it will happen soon.

Michael Collins for S2S