Core Bus Corridor Preferred Route. Third Round of Public Consultation November 2020.
BusConnects is the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) programme to greatly improve bus and sustainable transport services. It is a key part of the Government’s policies to improve public transport and address climate change in Dublin and other cities. Dublin is growing and needs a bus network that works for a developing city. The aim of BusConnects is to deliver an enhanced bus system that is better for the city, its people and the environment.
BusConnects is included in the Programme for Government "Our Shared Future" 2020, as well as within the following Government strategies:
The aim of BusConnects Core Bus Corridors is to provide enhanced walking, cycling and bus infrastructure on key access corridors in the Dublin region, which will enable and deliver efficient, safe, and integrated sustainable transport movement along these corridors.
Between November 2018 and May 2019 the National Transport Authority (NTA) carried out the first round of public consultation regarding proposals for the Emerging Preferred Routes of 16 Core Bus Corridors (CBC) across Dublin. During this first round of consultation we received 13,000 submissions in total. These submissions were reviewed and considered as part of the design process for the Preferred Route option for each corridor.
A second round of public consultation on the Preferred Route options commenced in March 2020 and continued until mid-April 2020. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent Government restrictions the consultation continued due to the level of interest. The focus of public queries and submissions came through emails, post, phone conversations and online submissions as all the information was available on the BusConnects website for review.
It was decided in March that an additional third round of public consultation would take place in the latter part of this year to provide further opportunities for the public to review and submit feedback to the latest set of designs.
This document is one of 16, each dedicated to a single core bus corridor. The document provides a written description of the Preferred Route from start to finish with supporting maps. It includes all revisions made, if any, since the last round of public consultation. It also includes a revised timeline for the progress of the programme due to Covid-19 implications.
The brochures detailing the Emerging Preferred Route and the brochures from the second round of consultation earlier this year are available to view and download on our website www.busconnects.ie.
Definitions of the terminology used in the document can be found in chapter 4 of this this brochure.
Considerable design work has been continuing since the last round of consultation. This work includes the following:
Designs have progressed with further refinements being made to elements of each corridor such as junctions, alignments, bus stops, cycling and walking facilities, and urban realm features. Engagement with stakeholders is continuing including engagement with individual householders directly impacted. The developing design has been, and continues to be, informed by stakeholder engagement and further detailed surveys. These include the identification of underground services and detailed assessment of trees along the routes.
Draft Preferred Route Option Reports have been prepared for each CBC detailing the development of each corridor from the Emerging Preferred Route through to the draft Preferred Route Option. These draft “Preferred Route Option Reports” are being published as part of the public consultation and will be finalised following this third round of public consultation and the inclusion of feedback received. These draft reports are available to view and download on the website www.busconnects.ie.
As part of the intended planning application for each corridor, the NTA will be preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) in accordance with current Irish and European legislation. This document will identify the anticipated environmental effects of the scheme during both the construction and operational stages. This assessment is being undertaken by environmental specialists on behalf of the NTA. As part of this assessment, these specialists are undertaking studies of the current condition of the receiving environment within the identified corridor extents. This involves a combination of on-site surveys and desktop study of existing records. At the time of this public consultation, various surveys and studies are underway. The information collected will also be shared with the technical designers for consideration in the design decision making process for the infrastructure works.
Further details of the environmental assessment approach for each scheme are outlined in an individual corridor document called“Information on the Proposed Approach to Environmental Assessment”. This document gives a more in-depth description of the determination of the extents of anticipated impacts and how the cumulative impacts of adjacent core bus corridors and other construction projects will be assessed. These draft reports are available to view and download on the website www.busconnects.ie.
The transport assessment of the core bus corridor proposals is focussed on the “movement of people” rather than, solely, the “movement of vehicles”. In order to adequately determine the impact on public transport, active modes (walking and cycling), and general traffic, a comprehensive suite of transport models have been developed.
An extensive set of traffic counts were undertaken in late 2019 and early 2020 and this data, along with other sources, has been used to calibrate and validate the models to assist in the evaluation of the core bus corridors. On a strategic level, the Eastern Regional Model has been used to forecast the modal split for future years. At a more refined level, a Local Area Model has been developed to examine the potential displacement of traffic. In addition, detailed modelling is ongoing in terms of junction and corridor analysis tests and to quantify the effect on the movement of people through each junction and along the corridor itself.
Each EIAR will contain a section on the potential traffic and transport impacts associated with the construction and operational phases of the core bus corridors. This assessment will be informed by the following reports:
A draft, work-in-progress version of the “Transport Modelling Reports” for each core bus corridor, together with a summary of the work-in-progress strategic modelling results to-date, are being published as part of the public consultation and will be finalised following this third round of public consultation and the inclusion of feedback received. These draft reports are available to view and download on the website www.busconnects.ie.
In tandem with the technical design work on finalising the road alignment in the urban cross sections across the core bus corridors, planning has also progressed for refining the Urban Realm design proposals. These designs are being developed in consultation with the local authorities to ensure tie-in to existing schemes and initiatives. The NTA is focusing on finishing the layout of spaces, considering desire lines (how people want to move through spaces) and the placement of urban furniture (trees, bins, bollards, benches, bike stands, railings, etc.)
Urban Realm improvement opportunities along the routes present themselves through the civil/physical works needed to reach the BusConnects objective to provide bus priority, along with improved cycling and pedestrian facilities. All put together, the core bus corridors provide an opportunity for lots of continuous interventions that, together, can give a general citywide lift.
The Urban Realm improvement opportunities are spread out along the core bus corridors and need to respond to and reflect specific locality and context. In the design of the urban spaces we will be using appropriate materials and urban furniture that comply with standards for use, durability and maintenance as well as carbon footprint considerations.
Further details of the urban realm design approach can be found in a document called “BusConnects Urban Realm Concept Design” published as part of the public consultation. This document is available to view and download on the website www.busconnects.ie.
In tandem with the technical design work the designers will be starting the work of preparing the various maps and schedules of areas that are proposed to be acquired under the statutory compulsory purchase order process (CPO). The attached Maps in this brochure indicate Proposed New Boundaries (Possible Land Acquisition) represented by broken red lines. These boundaries are indicative of potential areas for permanent CPO, and are not yet finalised. As detailed plots are finalised the designers will be continuing to seek to meet those with an interest in the impacted areas.
In some cases there may also be a need to realign driveways and/or redo the landscaping of property front gardens, or reorganise business accesses and/or loading areas. Some of these works may be outside the permanent CPO area, and consequently there may be a need to put in place temporary arrangements to ensure access during construction to carry out necessary accommodation works. Similar to the permanent CPO development, the designers will be continuing to seek to meet those with an interest in the impacted areas.
Each corridor upgrade will take approximately 2 years to complete.
This brochure provides details of the proposed Preferred Route Option for this core bus corridor. These proposals are subject to a second non-statutory round of public consultation, and subsequent design refinement and environmental impact assessment, before a formal statutory application will be made by the NTA to An Bord Pleanála for approval
The project website www.busconnects.ie has a dedicated section for the Core Bus Corridor project. All previous emerging preferred route brochures are available on the website. Users can access the site to find out more about the project and download copies of the key documents.
We are inviting submissions in relation to the Preferred Route Options set out in this document. The closing date for submissions is stated on the website.
Written submissions and observations may be made by:
Following the third round of public consultation the NTA will finalise the Preferred Route Options for all sixteen corridors. The scheme designs will be finalised, transport and environmental impact assessments will be completed. This will culminate in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) for the scheme together with details of land to be acquired. This will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in 2021 for its consideration and determination. A formal statutory consultation process will be undertaken as part of that process.
The Lucan to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences at Junction 3 on the N4 and it is routed via the N4 as far as Junction 7 (M50), and via the R148 along the Chapelizod Bypass, Con Colbert Road and St. John’s Road West as far as Frank Sherwin Bridge, where it will join the prevailing traffic management regime on the South Quays.
Priority for buses is provided along the entire route, consisting primarily of dedicated bus lanes in both directions, with alternative measures proposed at particularly constrained locations. Cycle facilities are provided along the length of the corridor between Junction 3 and Chapelizod village, at which point they will connect with other future cycle route schemes. Cycle facilities are also provided between Con Colbert Road and the end of the corridor at Heuston Station.
The following paragraphs will describe each section of the CBC in more detail, identifying the key design revisions which have been incorporated into the design since the publication of the Preferred Route Option in March 2020.
It is proposed to commence this CBC at Junction 3 on the N4 Lucan Road. The existing lane arrangement on the Ballyowen Road bridge over the N4 is to be amended to include the provision of cycle lanes in both directions in lieu of the right turning lane for the N4 westbound on slip. However, the right turn movement to the N4 westbound slip will still be permitted.
At the Ballyowen Road junction with Lucan Road the existing layout is to be modified to remove the left turn slip lanes and improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.
On the N4 it is proposed to maintain the existing city centre bound bus lane. Over the full length of this section of the corridor a segregated two-way cycletrack is proposed on the northern side of the N4. In the vicinity of the Hermitage Golf Club land acquisition will be required to provide this cycle track which will connect to the existing foot/cycle bridge over the N4 adjacent to the Mount Andrew estate. Eastwards of this location the two-way cycle track continues on the north side of the N4 and will require some additional land acquisition from the Hermitage Clinic lands. The two-way cycle track then runs along the eastbound off slip at Junction 2. From here the segregated two-way cycle track runs along the southside of the Old Lucan Road before connecting to the foot/cycle bridge that crosses the M50. The Old Lucan Road will be narrowed, and traffic calmed. The indicative extents of this land take associated with the proposals described above are shown on the drawings in the Appendix of this brochure.
On the southside of the N4 a Pedestrian Priority Zone (PPZ) is provided between existing foot/cycle bridge over the N4 adjacent to the Mount Andrew estate and Ballyowen Lane. From there a quiet cycle way is provided along Hermitage Road to Ballyowen Road. The provision of the two-way cycle track along the northern side of the N4 avoids the need for a segregated one-way cycle track on the southern side of the N4 and along the westbound off slip at Junction 3.
The latest proposals include a significant improvement to the bus stop provision in the vicinity of the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. The bus stops themselves are moved some 150m further west, segregated from the adjacent N4 carriageway and increased in length. To better serve the increased bus stop capacity a new footbridge is proposed adjacent to the new bus stop locations, some 200m further west from the existing footbridge. The position of this new bridge aligns with the proposed public transport interchange within the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. The relocation of the bus stops allows for an increased weaving length for all eastbound traffic approaching the M50 interchange and for all westbound traffic exiting the M50 interchange. The existing foot/cycle bridge will be retained with improved connections to the new two-way cycle track along Old Lucan Road.
At the M50 junction, it is proposed to include a continuous bus lane with two general traffic lanes in both directions through the junction. Cyclists will be directed to the existing foot/cycle bridge over M50 on to the Old Lucan Road.
Between the M50 Junction and Kennelsfort Road junction, a continuous bus lane, two general traffic lanes and a merging lane for traffic from the M50 are proposed on the city centre bound route. On the westbound carriageway of the R148 west of Kennelsfort Road the proposed lane arrangement maintains two lanes for general traffic, with a continuous bus lane.
A segregated two-way cycle track is proposed to run along the north side of the Old Lucan Road between the foot/cycle bridge crossing the M50, through Palmerstown village to the start of the Chapelizod bypass. There is also a proposed segregated two-way cycle facility along the east side of Kennelsfort Road Lower which crosses the R148 Palmerstown bypass via a new Toucan crossing on the east side of the junction. It then connects to a new Toucan crossing on Kennelsfort Road Upper.
At the R148 signalised junction with the Old Lucan Road / the Oval a new westbound, bus only, right turn lane is provided on the R148 to facilitate bus services serving Palmerstown village. An additional strip of land acquisition will be required from the western edge of the petrol filling station at this location to accommodate this new bus movement. In addition, new bus stops are provided on the Old Lucan Road to serve Mill Lane / Stewarts Hospital.
Between Kennelsfort Road Junction and the junction with the Oval, the existing bus stops will be upgraded with bus laybys provided. Between the Oval junction and Con Colbert Road Junction, it is proposed to maintain a single bus lane and two general traffic lanes in each direction. The existing bus lane and public transport signals on the R112 Kylemore Road on-ramp road will be retained.
On the Chapelizod bypass new bus stops are proposed at the bridge over Chapelizod Hill Road, with access ramps and steps provided to make use of the existing Chapelizod Hill Road underpass. Additionally, the speed limit for the bus lanes along the full length of the R148 Chapelizod bypass will be reduced from 80km/hr to 60km/hr.
Between the Con Colbert Road junction and the South Circular Road junction continuous bus lanes, two general traffic lanes and segregated cycle tracks will be maintained in their current configuration. At the junction between the R148 Con Colbert Road and Memorial Road an eastbound right turning lane is proposed to facilitate the changes to Memorial Road included in Liffey Valley CBC. As a consequence of this additional turning lane the existing pedestrian crossing facility would be moved to the east side of the junction.
At the South Circular Road junction, a short right turn lane on South Circular Road is provided in the northbound direction to compensate for restricted turns included in the Liffey Valley CBC.
Between the South Circular Road junction and the junction into the Heuston South Quarter Development, continuous bus lanes and two general traffic lanes will be maintained in their current configuration. Between the Heuston South Quarter Development junction and the Frank Sherwin Bridge one bus lane and one single general traffic lane is proposed in each direction. Along St Johns Road West additional trees will need to be removed and replaced so that facilities for both taxis and bicycles can be provided on the approaches to Heuston Station. An Urban Realm landscaping improvement is proposed along the affected length of the road as far as the train station. This includes the removal of the pedestrian guard railing and new planting, which will result in a net increase in the number of trees along the road.
The latest proposals include a significant improvement to the bus stop provision in the vicinity of Heuston Station with the introduction of bus laybys and increased passenger waiting areas.
* 353 trees are associated with proposed cycle track at Hermitage Golf Club lands
Part of the overall BusConnects Programme is to create 16 radial core bus corridors (CBC). A CBC is an existing road with bus priority so that buses can operate efficiently, reliably and punctually. This generally means full length dedicated bus lanes on both sides of the road from start to finish of each corridor or other measures to ensure that buses are not delayed in general traffic congestion. The bus lanes will be alongside segregated cycle lanes/tracks where feasible and general traffic.
A segregated cycle track is a separate section of the road dedicated for cycling only. This space will generally be isolated from other vehicular traffic by a physical kerb. Where is it not physically possible to have segregated cycle tracks there will be the option of quiet roads and shared cycling on reduced speed roads for cyclists.
The NTA published outline plans for each of the 16 CBCs in a non-statutory public consultation process in 2018/2019. The options were called Emerging Preferred Routes (EPR), in some cases with multiple sub-options, to inform the public of the likely layout of the roadway with the necessary CBC infrastructure in place. They included possible impacts on front gardens, and likely changes to how traffic will operate to facilitate bus priority.
Following consideration of the public submissions about the 16 EPR’s, the core bus corridor proposals have been reviewed and amended. They are now being presented as the Preferred Route Option (PRO) and are subject to a further round of non-statutory public consultation. They are not final proposals as they are subject to further consideration from this round of public consultation and also subsequent examination in the context of environmental impact assessment.
A Bus Gate is a sign-posted short length of stand-alone bus lane. This short length of road is restricted exclusively to buses, taxis and cyclists plus emergency vehicles. It facilitates bus priority by removing general through traffic along the overall road where the bus gate is located. General traffic will be directed by signage to divert away to other roads before they arrive at the bus gate. To see an animation of a how a Bus Gate will work, please visit our website www.busconnects.ie.