As part of the overall BusConnects Programme, the Core Bus Corridors Project aims to deliver 230kms of dedicated bus lanes and 200kms of cycle tracks/lanes along 16 of the busiest corridors in Dublin. The National Transport Authority (NTA) commenced the first round of public consultation on these proposals during November 2018. This first round of public consultation for the sixteen core bus corridors took place on a phased basis over six months and concluded at the end of May 2019.
The map below shows the 16 corridors across the Greater Dublin Area
The establishment of Community Forums
As part of the public consultation process, the NTA established a Community Forum for each corridor. The aim was to create a two way communication with local communities allowing information and feedback to be exchanged. Membership of each forum comprised of a representative from resident and community associations, disability and special interest groups and business organisations on the corridors, along with local public representatives.
A meeting of each Community Forum was held during the first public consultation phase. In addition a small number of “special issue” meetings were also held for Community Forums such as Swords to City Centre “Santry one way option” and Blanchardstown to City Centre “Stoneybatter Area”.
The next round of Community Forum meetings, in relation to the Core Bus Corridors, will commence during September in advance of the next round of public consultation starting in November 2019.
What’s been happening since the first round of submissions has closed?
In June, we appointed design teams for each corridor and in July appointed a specialist team for environmental and transport impact assessment. Together with the design teams, we are reviewing all the submissions with a view to determining possible amendments to the concept plans that were the subject of the public consultation.
Ongoing meetings with local community groups
During the first round of public consultation BusConnects met with a number of community groups from many of the corridors and will continue to do so throughout the design and planning process. This is in-line with our commitment to continue a dialogue with impacted communities along the corridors.
Public Realms “Work in Progress” Designs
During our ongoing dialogue with local communities we identified a number of locations with particular opportunities to develop enhanced public realm designs. The input of the local communities in these areas has been extremely informative and helpful to begin the draft design process. Whilst not all corridors provide the space or opportunity for large scale public realm enhancements, we are developing “work in progress” designs in a number of locations.
The “work in progress” public realm designs are shown in the links below. It is important to be aware that this is not a new consultation process but rather a commitment to continue a dialogue exploring possible arrangements before in-depth engineering solutions are finalised. The concepts do not represent any final design decisions.
It is our ambition to enhance all corridors through improved urban design, better pedestrian access, bus shelters, tree replanting where needed and additional landscaping.
Over the next number of months we will continue considering the submissions from the public consultation and determine appropriate design amendments with a view to selecting the Preferred Route Option for each core bus corridor.
The option selection process will involve multi-criteria analysis covering engineering, environmental, and transport impact assessments. It is intended to publish, for consultation, Preferred Route Options Reports for the corridors in November 2019, which will take into account feedback from the submissions received to date, and incorporate changes arising from that process.
The second round of public consultation for the Core Bus Corridor (the “bus lanes and cycle lanes/tracks”) will commence in November 2019. This will be a further interim step in the planning process – it will take another 12 months of technical, environmental, and transport impact assessment work before any final plans are complete for presentation to An Bord Pleanála for statutory approval in second half of 2020.
Amended proposals in relation to the revised network of bus services will be published for a second round of public consultation in September. These amended proposals have been developed following consideration of the approximately 30,000 submissions received during the first consultation last Summer.
Although related, the bus service proposals are separate from the Core Bus Corridor (bus lanes and cycle lanes/tracks) proposals.