Cycle route proposal to go on public display

by Gazette Reporter
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Plans for a new cycle path connecting the Phoenix Park to Blanchardstown through Castleknock is to go out on public display.
Details of the 3.5km route from Castleknock Gate to pass the Blanchardstown Garda Station were outlined to local councillors at a recent area committee meeting.
During a presentation to councillors, a council official outlined the plans that are to go on public display in mid-January.
The National Transport Authority issued documents to local authorities to try and improve the level of provision and standard, which includes more routes in the greater Dublin area. One route of priority includes one through the Phoenix Park with a view to end at the Blanchardstown Centre.
“It starts at the Castleknock Gate at the Phoenix Park, through Castleknock Village, up to The Bell, turning left up to Blanchardstown Village, then right up to Snugborough Road passed the Garda station,” a council official explained.
“The route is about 3.5km long. Primarily along that route what we are proposing are facilities whereby you have the central road area with a cycleway with traffic, with flow and a footpath on the inside of that.
“As we put in the [cycle paths] there will be pedestrian facilities we can improve such as pedestrian crossings, footpath widths – which are included in the scheme,” he said.
One area highlighted was Granard Bridge at Castleknock train station.
There are plans to widen the footpath and make modifications at the bridge, which is a protected structure. To allow for this, mature trees at the location will be removed.
“We have had some consideration about that. We have had our own operations department and landscape specialists have had a look at it. While the trees are very large and substantial, they have a limited lifespan and they are coming to the end of that. We are proposing the removal of those trees [four to five],” a council official said.
The council said they “are not proposing” any off-road cycle paths at Blanchardstown and Castleknock villages but said there will be a 30kph zone as cyclists will merge with the traffic.
Socialist Party councillor for Castleknock Matt Waine said a cycle path may be an issue for residents in Castleknock Village.
“Everyone is in favour of more cycle paths and pathways, but it is a reality that it is a village that is not very compatible with cycling.
“The narrowness of the roads, the paths – I am not sure how this is going to work as it is being presented. I don’t see it as a very safe cycling facility.
“I think the removal of the trees is unnecessary. I think there is enough space [between] the boundary wall and the mature trees to facilitate a cycle path and a ramp without going near the mature trees. I don’t think there will be much support for it,” he said.
Mulhuddart councillor David McGuinness (FF) said although he welcomes the plan, putting new routes in when existing cycle routes are “poorly maintained” is disappointing for cyclists.

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