The National Transport Authority (NTA) has today unveiled details of phase one of the BusConnects Core Bus Corridors project with the publication of the Emerging Preferred routes for four of the sixteen previously announced routes.
Routes in phase one of the project include Clongriffin to the city centre; Swords to the city centre; Blanchardstown to the city centre; and Lucan to the city centre. A public consultation is now underway on the Emerging Preferred Routes on those four corridors.
Announced in June of this year as part of the BusConnects programme to transform Dublin’s bus system, the Core Bus Corridors project will see the provision of 230kms of dedicated bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes on sixteen of the busiest bus corridors in Dublin. Currently, on the busiest bus routes, bus lanes are only in place for one third of the corridors. This means that for most of the journey, buses are competing for space with general traffic and are affected by increasing levels of congestion.
On the four corridors unveiled today, annual passenger growth in Dublin Bus services has increased by up to 14% in the period 2015 to 2017 with millions of passenger journeys taking place on each of these corridors each year. We need to respond to the congestion issue and create journey time savings for both existing and new bus users.
Given the scale and extent of the Core Bus Corridors project, the NTA is undertaking the public consultation on the corridor proposals on a phased basis. The Emerging Preferred Routes for the first group of four corridors are being published today.
Phase two will get underway in mid-January and will run until the end of March featuring the following six corridors:
- Liffey Valley to City Centre;
- Clondalkin to Drimnagh;
- Greenhills to City Centre;
- Tallaght to Terenure;
- Kimmage to City Centre;
- Rathfarnham to City Centre.
Phase three will get underway in mid-February and will run until the end of April featuring the final six corridors:
- Ballymun to City Centre;
- Finglas to Phibsborough;
- Bray to City Centre;
- Blackrock to Merrion;
- UCD Ballsbridge to City Centre;
- Ringsend to City Centre.
All of those property owners potentially affected by today’s phase one announcement have been notified by post and a one-to-one meeting is being offered with each of those potentially impacted. Community information sessions will also be held along the four routes in early January 2019, with the consultation period being extended to Friday 15th February 2019 to take into consideration Christmas.
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “As part of the development of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), the NTA identified the key sixteen routes where the demand for travel necessitates significant levels of infrastructural investment in order to minimise delays to bus services. The delivery of continuous bus lanes along Dublin’s busiest bus corridors became a core pillar of the BusConnnects programme. Through the National Development Plan 2018-2027, funding is now in place to progress with the project.”
“With the city set to grow by 25% by 2040, the level of congestion will increase, and people’s quality of life will be eroded unless we take the appropriate actions now. The long-term viability of the city, its environment and all the surrounding communities and counties will suffer. Unless we transform our transport infrastructure, travelling by bus will become slower, less reliable and more frustrating for the increasing numbers wishing to use sustainable transport in and out of the city.”
“Moreover, cycling across the city will also become more hazardous for the increasing number of cyclists in the city. People want to cycle, and they also want the cycling option for children to be able to cycle safely in their local areas and communities. Over 200kms of dedicated cycle tracks and lanes will be delivered as part of this project, transforming cycling for everyone and making it a genuine option for people – for work, for leisure, for weekends and to school and college.”
“The BusConnects Core Bus Corridors project provides a solution to the challenges of congestion, sustainability and safety. By putting in place modern infrastructure to allow continuous bus priority and segregated cycle lanes, we can meet the future transport needs of the people of Dublin. This project will create journey time savings of up to 40-50% of the current times people have to spend on buses.”
“Our announcement today is the first in a three-step process giving details of the Emerging Preferred Route for each corridor. Although the Core Bus Corridors project is ambitious, it is needed now more than ever. Some of the decisions that need to be made may be difficult, but they are being made to enable bus journeys to be fast, reliable, punctual and convenient for passengers in Dublin.”
“We are acutely aware that a project such as this will have impacts for people who live on these bus corridors. As such, the 345 property owners who may be potentially affected by the first four corridors have been notified and we are in the process of engaging each of those in one-to-one meetings. The proposals we have put forward are not fixed or finalised. Only when we have engaged with those affected and with the general public will we decide on final preferred routes for each corridor.
“Today marks the beginning of a two-way dialogue with community residents and leaders. During the course of the project we are committed to establishing a Community Forum along each of the sixteen routes that enables us to listen directly to local concerns and to keep them informed and engaged.
“As part of that dialogue we intend to explore how we can create attractive local environments at key urban centres along each corridor. Through careful design we want to enhance those key centres with the provision of attractive landscaping, lighting, seating and other features that are appropriate for the areas. To achieve this, we will engage extensively with the relevant local authority and with local communities.
“The public consultation is an opportunity for the people of Dublin to have their say on each of the Core Bus Corridors proposed. We want to hear from them and whether the proposed route layout will work for them and, if not, what changes would they choose to make. Because it is important for people to realise that something needs to be done and not doing anything is not an option when it is expected that the 1.2 million population in the Greater Dublin Area will grow to 1.5 million by 2040.”
For further information on the four Emerging Preferred Routes announced today and details on the public consultation process, visit: https://busconnects.ie/initiatives/core-bus-corridor-project/.