Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly and Dublin City Lord Mayor Andrew Montague have officially opened the Canal Way Cycle – one of the best off-road urban cycle routes in the country.
The 3.6km off-road cycle route is the first part of a planned cross city, off-road cycle route and runs from Portobello to Sheriff Street along the Grand Canal. It passes Leeson Street Bridge, Dublin’s Docklands and over Samuel Beckett Bridge. To date, €5.5 million funding has been allocated to the route and is part of a plan to link the two canals in Dublin with a cycle way.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Kelly re-iterated the intention to target 10% of work trips being made by bike by 2020 which will hopefully result in an extra 125,000 people commuting by bike.
Minister Kelly said: “This will make Dublin much more cycle friendly and I am delighted to be here to launch such a project. This is among the best off-road cycle routes within a major urban area in the country and will benefit both commuters and tourists alike. We remain ambitious for cycling in Dublin and in the country nationally and we hope to have an additional 125,000 people commuting to work by bike by 2020,”
Lord Mayor Montague said: “The numbers of people cycling in the city have increased by over 40% in the last four years. Dublin City Council is responding to that demand and facilities like the Canal Way and dublinbikes create a more cycle-friendly city. Measures including the truck restrictions brought in with Dublin Port Tunnel and the 30kph zone in the city centre also improve the environment for all road users. As the Canal Way Cycle Route is off-road it’s ideal for families, young people and also visitors. Cycling is a healthy, cost effective and easy way to get around Dublin and I am sure the route we
are opening today will be very successful.”
The Programme for Government commits to continued investment in the National Cycle Policy Framework. The policy framework outlines the importance of creating a culture of cycling in Ireland if cycling mode share is to increase, and it notes that a National Cycle Network of safe and high quality routes will be a key element in creating such a culture.
The cycle route runs from Portobello to the junction of Upper Sheriff Street and Seville Place and the overall design envisages a link between the Canals route on the north side of the River Liffey and ultimately with the Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) route ….. so it doesn’t end here
The Minister also highlighted that new legislation was procured to give a legal basis for the new lights, signs and road markings installed along the route. The Road Traffic Signs (Amendment) Regulations was enacted in January and provides a legal basis to facilitate the operation of the cyclist signals and their observance and enforcement under law. For the first time ever cyclists in Ireland are provided with their own dedicated green cycle signal in the traffic signal sequence.
“We have to create a more cycle-friendly culture in Dublin and in the country nationally. Part of that is investing in infrastructure which we will continue to do so that we can have more cycle ways such as the one we are formally launching here today.”