New cycling and walking route in Fingal gets An Bord Pleanála approval

Published by Niall Sargent on

July 28th, 2018

An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for a cycling and walking route between Baldoyle to Portmarnock in Co Dublin has been welcomed by politicians and cycling campaigners.

The route composed of just under two kilometres of pedestrian and cycle routes will run alongside the new Racecourse Park parallel to the existing coastal road.

Once built, the route will mark the first stage of a major Greenway project along the Fingal coastline from Baldoyle to Malahide.

The project also calls for the use of toucan crossing facilities on the Coast Road at either end of the proposed scheme, and the installation of a controllable, intelligent public lighting system.

The project will also involve the construction of a new bridge over the Mayne River and a signal controlled junction with pedestrian facilities between the Coast Road (R106) and Moyne Road.

Green Party Councillor for the Howth and Malahide Ward, David Healy, welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s approval of this “important link” for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Healy said that it was “very positive” to see ABP take on board his call for reduced lighting along the proposed route to “take proper account of the impact on bats and on the visual character of the Green Belt”.

The planning authority’s decision stipulates that lighting must be placed on bollards at 16-metre intervals as opposed to being placed on six metres high poles as originally proposed. The light must project towards the path and land, away from Baldoyle Bay and is subject to nightime dimming.

Social Democrats Councillor Cian O’Callaghan also welcomed the “very positive news” that will provide “continuous, dedicated cycling and walking infrastructure” near the Fingal coastline.

“Over the next few years these new routes will connect with infrastructure coming on steam such as the Malahide Castle to Newbridge House cycling and walking route,” he added. “This new infrastructure will benefit commuters, local residents, visitors to the area and tourists.”

The Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) said that as well as providing a major public amenity, the move will create a vital segregated route for people going to work and school away from the many “hostile” roads between suburban towns in Fingal.

The group highlighted the lack of a footpath along the majority of the coastal road between Baldoyle and Portmarnock as a clear example of a lack of protection for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Fingal has been lagging behind in the provision of cycling infrastructure, but we hope they will now catch up relying on the same design quality as for this route,” DCC said.

“We look forward to the imminent application for the crossing of Broadmeadow Estuary and the publication of the design work being undertaken for the overall Sutton to Malahide stretch.”

The Baldoyle to Portmarnock project will now go to tender and it is expected that the project will take one year to complete.

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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London