Save the Liffey cycle route – Keep it on the Quays

Published by Conor Mulvihill on

15th of June 2016

Proposals to outline a segregated cycle path along the Liffey quays from the Phoenix Park to Dublin docks are to be significantly altered. Dublin City Council have been working on these plans since 2012, but is now planning for the cycle lanes to be located away from the quays and onto back streets for the first quarter of the route. The originally planned section provided a small part of the riverside that gave a safe and attractive cycle route for the north and south quays. Cycling campaigners have highlighted how redirecting this route into Smithfield will detract from the route and will leave many cyclists and other objectors dissatisfied.

Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Smyth outlined how not having the path alongside the full length of the city quays was a “lost opportunity”, while Independent Mannix Flynn stated how it had been a “huge waste of time and resources”. Green Party Cllr Ciarán Cuffe said a “very visionary proposal” had been wasted.

Cycling advocates have also highlighted the current layout of Dublin’s bike lanes cyclists are being forced into confined spaces where they are left dangerously vulnerable facing large buses and aggressive road-users is at best ridiculous and at worst lethal. Furthermore there are other various hazards associated with cycling in these lanes: randomly parked cars, randomly moving cars, bus stops, constructions signs, smashed glass, pot-holes and even the odd pedestrians who for some reason prefer to walk in the bike lane instead of their side of the pavement. The bike lanes themselves are also quite problematic being narrow ending abruptly and turning back into a ‘parking lane’ come 7pm.

The number of people who commute daily has steadily increased and, according to the latest Dublin City Council and NTA report, a record 11,000 now cycle into the city every morning. According to, there are around 120km of on-road cycle track in the city, 50km of bus lanes that cyclists can use and about 25km of off-road cycle track. Supporters of the cycle lane have used these figures to demonstrate how the quality and safety of these lanes need to be significantly improved.

Campaigners have argued that having the route alongside the Liffey is the most practical strategy because it connects residents, commuters and tourists to the city centre’s main waterfront, it’s more appealing to users and it provides a more efficient passage towards the southside, including Heuston station, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Guinness Storehouse, and hospitals and other large employers who advocate their staff to cycle.

A petition has been created demanding the plans of the Liffey Cycle Route on Dublin’s quays to be implemented. It asks people to say no to plans for a backstreet detour, and yes to a Dutch-style two-way cycle path which contains part of the quays and a new riverside park. It outlines how option 6 is highly efficient and provides the best route for the city. If you wish to save the route by signing the petition and emailing and your local city councillors to show support for this route to stay on the quays.

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Categories: News

Conor Mulvihill

Conor is Communications Assistant with the Irish Environmental Network. His background is in science and he has a masters in international relations.