Delivery of core cycle networks in all cities and towns across Ireland
A completion of BusConnects networks in all cities
Electrification for Dart + on all lines
The National Transport Authority is on track to achieving its aim of enhancing Ireland’s public transport network by 2030, while reducing emissions and developing new walking and cycling infrastructure.
Under the National Development Plan 2021 – 2030, the NTA aims to deliver at least 500,000 additional daily active travel and public transport journeys and reduce the number of kilometres driven by fossil fuelled cars by 10%. It has a target of reducing C02 emissions over the period by 51% and delivering nationwide core cycle and walking networks.
Also included in the National Development Plan is the completion of the BusConnects networks in all cities and the electrification of all lines for Dart +
Speaking at the Transport Ireland 2022 conference today, NTA CEO, Anne Graham outlined the key projects included in the National Development Plan.
Metro Link Dublin
In 2019, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and NTA published their “Preferred Route” proposals for MetroLink. Since then, work has continued on the technical design, surveys and investigations as part of preparing the documentation required to support a planning application.
It is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted in Quarter 3 of this year, subject to Government approval.
The start of construction will be determined by the timing and outcome of the statutory planning process. The design team for the project has advised that a prudent time period for the construction, systems’ installation, testing and commissioning of a metro system like this is between 8 and 9 years.
Dart + Programme
DART+ will provide a sustainable, electrified, reliable and more frequent rail service, improving capacity on the rail corridors serving the Greater Dublin Area and increasing the overall length of the DART network from 50 km to roughly 150 km.
The fleet framework agreement was signed and the initial fleet order placed during December 2021. The build time for the new fleet is approximately 30 months, with testing and commission of fleet taking a further 12 months. On this basis new DART fleet will be delivered during 2024 with the fleet entering service during 2025.
The BusConnects Dublin programme includes investment in infrastructure and fleet, along with higher frequency services and new routes serving a wider catchment.
In March 2022, in line with the Public Spending Code, the Preliminary Business Case for BusConnects Dublin was approved by Government.
The approval of the BusConnects Dublin Preliminary Business has permitted the lodgement of planning applications for the Core Bus Corridors.
The NTA is introducing the new bus network on a phased basis. Two phases were implemented in 2021 in tandem with the introduction of a new 90 minute fare.
In May 2022, Phase 3 consisting of the N4/ N6 orbital routes on Dublin’s northside was rolled out, with a further two phases to be launched by the end of the year.
The evaluation of the tender pre-qualification submissions for the overall design, build, operate and maintain contract for the new ticketing system is now complete and a short list of five tenderers has been selected. The approval of the PBC has allowed the tender stage to commence.
The existing bus fleet is being transitioned to a low and zero emission fleet. At the end of 2021, a total of 221 new hybrid diesel-electric buses had been introduced into the bus fleet in the Dublin Metropolitan Area
NTA is proposing major investment for bus services and infrastructure in Cork. We recently unveiled a €600m investment in BusConnects Cork which will include the creation of 12 new Sustainable Transport Corridors to help meet the needs of a growing city while accelerating the journey to a net-zero future. A consultation process on this is due to get under way very shortly.
Separately, work on redesigning Cork’s bus network – that’s routes, frequencies and timetables – is proceeding well. A second public consultation on our proposals took place at the end of last year, and a final revised bus network for Cork will be published in the coming months.
Cycling and Walking
NTA will be allocating funds to Ireland’s local authorities to support investment of over €250m on walking and cycling infrastructure in 2022.
Funding is also being directed to rural local authorities, with some 1,200 walking and cycling projects being developed. It’s aimed that this will bring a renewed vibrancy to our regional towns and villages.
NTA CEO Anne Graham says ‘As far as sustainable transport is concerned, the coming decade is set to be most transformative in the history of the State.
In the NTA, we believe we have a critical role to play in building a sustainable future for Ireland are committed to meeting all our responsibilities in the years ahead. I know that NTA is up to that challenge, and I believe the people of Ireland are too.’