Dublin City Council in conjunction with the NTA are proposing to put in safe protected cycle facilities along the Strand Road to offer safe protected two way cycle facilities which will allow for a variety of uses including commuting cyclists, safe route to school and leisure use. At present there is no cycling facilities at all along this road.
A six month trial of a 2-way separated cycle track from Merrion Gates to Sean Moore Rd is proposed. The inbound traffic lane will be removed on Strand Road. Access to all properties will be maintained. The scheme will involve minimal civil works and will be installed to allow for localised changes or removal if required.
Active Mobility is being encouraged where possible to leave capacity on public transport and on the roads for those who have no alternative. People within 10km of their destination are asked to consider walking and/or cycling as their main mode of choice for all trips.
The Strand Road cycle Route trial aims to provide a safe alternative for those travelling to work and school as well as providing a recreational facility.
The conversion of a carriageway lane for cyclist use will mean that there will be less traffic in this environmentally sensitive area, that walking and cycling in this area will be a safer and more pleasant and that the opportunity exists to then provide better links through this area and connect to the village and surrounding roads.,
Rationale for proposal
Previous schemes have examined providing cycle facilities in this location whilst also maintaining 2 way traffic. Achieving this in such an environmentally sensitive area is extremely challenging.
The beach area along Strand Road and Beach Road is an important natural heritage site as highlighted in the following documents:
- Special Area of Conservation (South Dublin Bay SAC ref. 000210) designated under the EU Habitats Directive (1992);
- Special Protection Area (Sandymount Strand/Tolka Estuary SPA ref. 004024) designated under the EU Birds Directive (1979);
- The entirety of Dublin Bay was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2015.
Schemes which maintain 2-way traffic require some or all of the following:
- The removal of all on street parking;
- A new pedestrian & cycle DART crossing/bridge and possible compulsory purchase of land at Merrion Gates;
- Reduced footpath space;
- Prolonged passage of time before any construction could commence.
This six month trial allows for a full evaluation of this option, its benefits and any unintended consequences. Changing the use of the sea side lane to a two way cycle track means almost no changes are proposed on the property side along Strand Road and the vast majority of informal parking can remain as before. It considerably reduces traffic levels on Strand Road and DCC will carefully monitor its impacts on the wider area.
This temporary scheme will run initially for a six month trial during which time data and feedback will be gathered and assessed.
- Provision of a safe protected cycle route without requiring any changes to the existing footpaths and pedestrian environment.
- 2.6 km of 2-way continuous protected cycle route would be provided between Merrion gates and Sean Moore Rd. Linkages to the routes towards the DLRCC cycle routes and into the city centre will also be advanced if the trial goes ahead.
- On Strand Road there will be one outbound lane of traffic. The traffic lane will use what is currently the inbound lane with the cycle route on the coast side
- The existing sea front car parks will remain as is.
- A right turn from Merrion Gates onto the Merrion Road will be put in place to facilitate access towards the city
- No changes on the Merrion Road are proposed and the existing turn bans etc. on Merrion Road remain in place.
- The Bus only right turn inbound remains in place at the Merrion Road Ailesbury Road junction.
- There are concerns that this change on Strand Road could adversely affect other roads in the area and this is something that Dublin City Council is very well aware of and will be monitoring extremely carefully during the trial to try to ensure that this trial is seen as being successful for the whole area.
Dublin City Council carried out a non-statutory public consultation from 21st August 2020 to 14th September 2020 on the initial proposal.
“Please share any specific concerns you have in relation to any aspects of the proposal”
“Do you have any suggestions for improvements to the proposal?”
“Are there any complementary measures that you feel should be introduced in tandem with this scheme?
2,922 submissions were received as part of the non-statutory public consultation process.
Dublin City Council compiled a Summary Report outlining the themes arising from submissions. It should be noted that any views, thoughts and opinions presented in the summary report are those submitted during the non-statutory public consultation, and are not Dublin City Councils.
In response to feedback received regarding Beach Road, DCC opened a second consultation.
During the consultation we received submissions relating to Beach Road, specifically:
- Clarification from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that Beach Rd does not currently need to cater for two way traffic for bus routes
- Objecting to the removal of the footpath for a cycle lane
- Concerns from residents of Marine Drive and Leahy’s terrace that vehicles heading to Sean Moore Rd would use these streets
DCC are proposing that the layout on Beech Road is as per Strand Road with one lane of outbound traffic, a 2-way cycle lane using what is currently the outbound traffic lane and no changes to the footpath. We are asking:
"Would you prefer this revised option with one way for traffic with the footpaths retained and the cycle lane at road level on Beach Road between Sean Moore Road and Marine Drive or the original option with two way vehicular traffic and the cycle lane using the footpath?"
“Do you have any concerns about this proposal?”
The Beach Road Options Consultation closes on January 8th, 2021
Follow on Steps:
Since the initial consultation we have undertaken the following:
- Extensive traffic, pedestrian and cycling counts throughout the area.
- Installation of two pedestrian crossings and construction of ramped area.
- Provision of additional CCTV to allow careful monitoring of roads throughout the area.
- The identification of locations and the installation of air quality monitors
- Participation in the forum set up by the Local area office and chaired by the Lord Mayor.
- Assessed in detail the various alternative suggestions put forward by various groups.