Canal cycleway work set for 2015

by Gazette Reporter

Work on a new cycle route through the city centre is expected to begin in 2015.
Cycle lanes from Portobello to Blackhorse (Inchicore) will link up current cycle lanes already in place in the city.
The new section, which is the second phase of the Grand Canal Premium Cycle Route, will see cycle lanes eventually link up Sheriff Street to Grange Castle.
Cycling in the city is fast becoming an alternative way to get in and around the area. With the expansion of the Dublin Bike Scheme it shows residents in Dublin are turning to cycling as an alternative mode of transport.
In a bid to encourage more bike users to go to and from the city, a number of Government initiatives including developing cycle routes through the city have been initiated including the Grand Canal Premium Cycle Route.
As part of this development, two sections have already been constructed and opened, with the first section running from Sheriff Street to Portobello and the second section going from Blackhorse (Inchicore) to the Grange Castle area.
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has provided a funding allocation of €100,000 in 2014 to begin the process of seeing this new cycle lane become a reality.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Transport, the funding provided will be used “to facilitate preliminary design, the planning process, detailed design and preparation of tender documents for this section of the route this year.”
Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphreys (Lab) said the proposal is a very welcomed development and it will further expand the cycleway. “It will eventually connect the canal route. This is to further encourage people to cycle and use it as a mechanism to get around Dublin.”
He went on to say that in the long-term plan there is a possibility of building cycle bridges over the canal. “This would allow for cyclists from Ranelagh and Rathmines connect to the priority cycle route.
“Cycling is good for the environment, it’s good for your pocket and it’s good for your health. This premier route will be a fantastic safe route for people going into the city and I think it will further young children and adults to use their bikes more often,” he added.
Dublin South Central TD Joan Collins (PBP) said she agrees with the upgrading of cycle routes to ensure safety but maintenance on regional roads needs to be prioritised. “We are told all the time that there is no money for A, B and C, but there is a lot of work to be done on regional thoroughfares and roads and I think they should be prioritised.
“They do sort of have equal value, the cycle routes are a huge safety feature on roads but in the scheme of things I do think, at the moment, priority should be given to roads and then cycle routes,” she said.
A Department of Transport spokesperson went on to say: “The Grand Canal Greenway Route is part of the recently published Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan, and a connection from the Grand Canal Greenway Route into the Adamstown area is also identified on the network as a secondary cycle route.”
It is expected that construction of the section between Portobello and Blackhorse should commence in 2015, “subject to funding availability and the outcome of the planning and land acquisition processes”.

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