The National Transport Authority (NTA) has launched the third round of public consultation on the 16 core bus corridors being developed as part of the BusConnects programme. The Core Bus Corridor Projects will see the roll-out of 230km of continuous bus priority and 200km of cycle routes. In providing enhanced walking, cycling and bus infrastructure on key access routes into Dublin, the BusConnects Core Bus Corridors will enable and deliver efficient, safe and integrated sustainable transport into and out of the city.
The third round of public consultation on the Core Bus Corridor Projects focuses on the updated Preferred Route Options of all sixteen corridors. Over recent months the NTA has been making refinements along each corridor to take into account feedback received by the public in addition to further technical design work and urban realm improvements along each route.
The first round of public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Routes took place during late 2018 and early 2019 which received thirteen thousand submissions. A second round of public consultation on the Preferred Routes took place in March of this year. However, this round was restricted due to COVID-19, and it was decided that an additional third round of public consultation would take place in the latter part of this year.
Over the last six months design work has been ongoing and has culminated in the development of new Preferred Route Option brochures, detailing each corridor, together with a number of draft technical supporting reports. Whilst the supporting documents are draft and will not be completed until the formal planning application is made they provide a significant amount of information on the following:
- Proposed approach to environmental assessment for each of the 16 corridors
- Draft Transport Modelling Reports for each 16 corridors
- BusConnects Urban Realm Concept Designs document
- Draft Preferred Route Options Reports for each 16 corridors
Consultation on the proposals begins today and runs until Wednesday, 16th December. Due to current COVID-19 public health restrictions, the NTA has created virtual consultation rooms for each Core Bus Corridor which allows for review and feedback. The public will have the opportunity to view each Preferred Route, maps, timelines and any revisions made, since the last round of consultation.
Submissions will be reviewed by the NTA with final transport and environmental impact assessments to be completed in the coming months. The NTA is due to submit the formal planning application to An Bord Pleanála for statutory consultation and approval in March 2021. Subject to approval, construction will commence on a phased basis in 2022 with each corridor upgrade taking approximately two years to complete.
Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said:
“We are committed to a fundamental change in the nature of our transport system. Sustainable modes of travel such as cycling, walking, and public transport, has an enormous potential to facilitate a large proportion of our daily trips, but only if we provide the correct environment which protects and prioritises this mode of travel. The BusConnects Core Bus Corridor Projects is central to achieving this objective. By improving our city’s transport system and ensuring that public transport, walking and cycling options are prioritised, we can encourage more and more people to make the switch to sustainable transport modes.
The development of this project will also support the delivery of an efficient, low carbon and climate resilient public transport service. In moving more people from their car and onto the bus or on their bike, BusConnects can help to achieve Ireland’s carbon reduction targets as set out in the Programme for Government.
This is our opportunity to make our city a more liveable and active environment and I would encourage those living in Dublin to engage in the NTA consultation and share their views on the future of our city’s transport network. While Covid 19 is having a severe impact on lives and livelihoods, we must continue to plan for the economic and social renewal of our city.”
Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer said: “The BusConnects Core Bus Corridor Projects is at the heart of the NTA’s efforts to improve transport services across our capital city. By providing continuous bus priority and much improved and safer options to walk and cycle within the city, we can incentivise more people to sustainable transport modes.
Enhancing transport infrastructure has become all the more important as an ever-growing number of people choose to walk or cycle within the city over recent months. These shifts in travel patterns are likely to have a long-lasting impact. Buses will continue to be the most important mass public transport mode for our cities. Through the rollout of the sixteen Core Bus Corridors, we can put in place a long-term solution to meet the evolving travel needs of the public. Modern cycling infrastructure will provide new options for families within communities throughout Dublin to cycle safely. Although COVID-19 has meant we are unable to roll-out in-person information events, I would encourage the people of Dublin to visit our virtual consultation rooms and share their views on the revised proposals in the coming weeks.”