Renewed Prospects for S2S in 2015 – January 2015

Just when it appears that everyone in authority has forgotten about the Sutton to Sandycove Promenade and Cycleway, something unexpected happens.

The National Transport Authority with the support of Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have recently appointed consulting engineers AECOM + Roughan & O’Donovan (AECOM-ROD) along with Scott Cawley (Ecology Consultants) to undertake a new design and environment scoping study of the the proposal. The study is focussed on the only remaining 4kms which is missing on the seafront in the South Dublin Bay. It covers approximately 1km at Sandymount to link Sean Moore Park with the promenade at the Beach Road and approximately 3km from Merrion Gates to Seapoint.

The appointments follow on the completion of a study and proposals by the NTA for the future development of a network of cycleways for the whole of the Greater Dublin Region which were published in 2013 (Draft Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan (NTA, 2013).  It identified a number of potential “Greenways”- routes that could be established in scenic or otherwise undeveloped areas and which could act as route for leisure as well as commuter cycling.  One such Greenway, known as the East Coast Trail is proposed to run along the coast from Drogheda to Arklow.  The section in Dublin Bay, coincides with the route of the S2S which was first put forward in 2001.

It is understood that the new study is already underway. It is expected that a draft will be published in March 2015 and members of the public will be invited to comment on the findings and recommendations.

In an unusual act of solidarity, Councillors from across the political spectrum in both Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councils have agreed to form a joint committee to support the project.

This is a most exciting and welcome development. The issues, most particularly those to do with the designation of South Dublin Bay as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and an Area of Special Protection (SPA), remain to be resolved. The study now commissioned by the NTA however represents the best opportunity to find solutions that will allow this wonderful project to proceed and we should be grateful to the NTA for taking this initiative. There is little doubt that a positive outcome would be welcomed by the local communities and those citizens with an interest in promoting cycling and healthy living.

S2S Admin Team January 2015