Comprehensive Cycle Network Plan published – to increase region’s cycle network 5-fold in length, to 2,840 kilometres (Údarás Náisiúnta Iompair, National Transport Authority)
Ambition for cycle network in 2021 to carry as many commuters as now take the bus – a three-fold increase
The National Transport Authority has today (April, 10) published its Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan, which sets out a ten year strategy for Counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. The draft proposals were subject to a Public Consultation last September and October, which was advertised in the national media, and which resulted in 123 submissions from stakeholders and the general public.
The cycle network outlined in the Plan will treble the existing network in urban areas from 500 kilometres to 1,485 kilometres in length, and will provide over 1,300 kilometres of new connections between towns in the rural areas of the Greater Dublin Area. In all, a network of 2,840 kilometres is envisaged compared to today’s 500 kilometres. The planned network, which consists of primary and secondary routes as well as Greenway routes (through parks, along waterways etc), comprises a mix of cycle tracks and lanes, cycleways and infrastructure-free cycle routes in low traffic environments.
The urban network is intended to attract new cyclists, as well as catering for the increasing numbers of existing city-cyclists. In this regard, the network will be designed to the appropriate quality, with the busiest routes and sections having the highest Quality of Service. In some cases, this will involve re-visiting and upgrading the current provision for cyclists to a higher quality.
The network incorporates existing cycle routes such as the Grand Canal Cycle Scheme, but also proposes significant new routes, such as the off-road Dodder Route, connecting Tallaght to the South City Centre Business District.
The network has been devised following a comprehensive study of the location and condition of existing facilities, and of the patterns of travel shown in census data and household surveys. A special cycling demand model was created for the main urban area of Dublin to assess the future demand in the busiest areas.
Announcing the Plan, Gerry Murphy, Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority said:
“There has been a significant increase in the number of people cycling in Dublin in the past few years. We want that to continue, and we have devised this integrated, long-term and diverse Plan to support that continued increase. With the bike-to-work scheme, the extension of Dublin Bikes, our own new Cycle Planner App and greater integration with bus, train stations and Luas stops, it is our vision to have as many people cycling into the city every morning in 2021 as currently take the bus. This is hugely ambitious but I believe it can be done. In short, this represents a new transport network for the Greater Dublin Area, with a target in 2021 of 75,000 cycle users each morning, which is a three-fold increase in cycling over 2011 levels. In other words, the cycle network could carry as many commuters in the morning in 2021 as are now carried by bus. This plan will inform the next decade of NTA investment in cycling across seven local authority areas in the region. It is the most comprehensive study of cycling needs ever carried out in Ireland and aims to satisfy the increasing demand for appropriate cycling routes. We will build on the resurgence in cycling by better meeting cyclists’ needs.