Review of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area

The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035 was adopted by the Government in 2016.

That Strategy set out to contribute to the economic, social and cultural progress of the Greater Dublin Area by providing for the efficient, effective and sustainable movement of people and goods. In other words, it is about making the Dublin region a better place for those people who live and work there, and for those who visit.

It is doing that by providing a framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the Greater Dublin Area. It has also provided a transport planning policy around which other agencies involved in land use planning, environmental protection, and delivery of other infrastructure such as housing, water and power, can align their own investment priorities.

It has been an essential component, along with investment programmes in other sectors, for the development of the Greater Dublin Area which covers the counties of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Major projects provided for in the strategy include:

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has now started to review the 2016 - 2035 Transport Strategy. This review will assess the implementation of the current plan, and look to produce an updated strategy which will set out the framework for investment in transport infrastructure and services, taking us to 2042.

Of course no transport strategy can ever be a standalone document. A transport strategy will always be part of a larger picture of overall national policies that must work towards a single set of overall objectives. To a large extent, policies and objectives around issues such as land use, development, population distribution, investment, sustainability, and climate action for example, are determined by other state agencies and authorities, but must be fully reflected in any transport strategy.

In this instance, the revision of our transport strategy will be consistent with the spatial planning policies and objectives set out in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) as adopted by the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, and finalised in January 2020. These objectives in turn are consistent with the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan as set out in Project Ireland 2040.

Our Strategy will also be based on national policies on sustainability as set out in climate action and low carbon legislation, and in climate action plans. The potential impacts of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, beyond the short-term, will also be taken into account.

We now need your help. We need to know what you think should be considered in the preparation of the new Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area.

Why are we doing this?

The Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy was adopted by government in 2016, but there is no doubt that we are in a different and rapidly changing world compared to even four years ago. However, this provides us with an opportunity to assess the existing plans, to re-examine assumptions, and re-prioritise solutions.

And while we are living in times of some uncertainty, we now have a chance to strengthen the Strategy that will be fit for purpose well into the future.

We need to ensure that the policies and proposals we bring forward are the ones that are the most relevant and most focused on transforming people’s quality of life by making it easier for people to get around.

In particular we need to consider:

The NTA is required by legislation to review the strategy every six years and by starting this review now, it enables us to get all of the data, information and views of the public and stakeholders in time to complete this task by early 2022.

Next year, we will publish a Draft of our revised Strategy. That will include specifics on all our proposals for the region, investment plans, projections, transport modelling, etc. At that stage we will be inviting members of the public to consider the plan in detail; assess it in terms of future transport needs at regional, local and even household level; and provide us with feedback on what we are putting forward, so that we can get a sense as to whether we are on the right track when it comes to making Dublin a better place to live in, to work in, and to visit.

But for now, we want to get an overall sense as to what people’s priorities are in relation to transport in the Greater Dublin Area.

Transport Strategy Progress Report

Since the Transport Strategy was adapted by Government in 2016, the NTA, along with the Councils, other transport delivery agencies and transport operators, have worked hard to build and develop the projects and proposals. Here are a few of the highlights from the last four years work:





In the pipeline

What are the main challenges?

While the ultimate challenge for transport planning will always be about moving people efficiently at the times they need to or want to travel, the factors behind this ‘travel demand’ can change over time and can lead to different patterns. Also, other wider influences can have a significant impact on where we travel and how we get there. Here are some of the main challenges as we see them:


Climate Change and the Environment

As sustainability comes into sharper focus, we will increasingly see transport point the way towards a net zero-emissions future. This means more walking and cycling, making public transport more attractive than the private car, and it also means trams, trains and buses, transitioning from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources.

Growth and change

The Dublin region has changed significantly in recent years and is predicted to change further in the coming years. We know that there will be more people living and working in the region in the decades ahead and we know that the distribution of population will change to reflect that. It is vital that future public transport investment and services anticipate those changes.

Health and Equality:

A good transport network, based on sound foundations of sustainability and accessibility, has the potential to be an engine for positive change. It can do this by opening up access to social and economic opportunities such as education and employment, particularly for those who would otherwise be unable to avail of them. It can also have a positive impact on overall health and wellbeing among the people and communities that it serves, and these considerations should inform future transport decisions.

The Economy

A good, reliable, efficient and affordable public transport network can be a major driver of economic activity, jobs, investment and prosperity. We now have the opportunity to re-examine our transport priorities so that the economic benefit can be maximised in the years ahead, in a city and a region that works better for the people who live and visit there.

Strategy Process

We want to complete this review process by the end of 2021 and so that it can be approved by the Minister for Transport in early 2022. This is a tight timeline, and there are a series of elements which need to be completed to develop the new transport strategy.

The Public Consultation components of the Strategy will feed back into the strategy making process, to allow the public to input into the development of early stages and final draft strategy.

The Environmental Assessment will run parallel to the Strategy making process, in line with SEA / AA procedures.

Strategy Process Consultation Environmental Assessment
Stage 1 Develop Strategy Objectives and identify Transportation Requirement. Issues Paper and initial Public Consultation SEA / AA
Stage 2 Develop draft Strategy, framed on the objectives identified through the consultation process and using input from detailed studies and SEA process SEA / AA
Stage 3 Publish preliminary Draft Strategy for review and consultation. Public Consultation on draft Transport Strategy SEA / AA
Stage 4 Refine the preliminary Draft Strategy based on consultation feedback. SEA / AA
Stage 5 Present draft Final Strategy to Minister of Transport for approval. SEA / AA

Have your say

We are at Stage 1 of the process outlined above, and we now need your assistance in the development of the Transport Strategy policy direction and objectives. Given the ongoing Covid-19 restriction, and for your safety and convenience, our 1st round of consultation will be undertaken online.

To give your feedback, we would appreciate if you could use our online consultation form, which can also facilitate the attachment of written submissions, if required. All information can be found on the GDA Transport Strategy page. The feedback gathered will help us reflect the views of the people living and working in the Greater Dublin Area in our preparation of the Draft Transport Strategy:

Link to the Issues Paper Feedback