Swords To City Centre

Core Bus Corridor Preferred Route

Public Consultation March 2020

Contents - Page 1

1. Introduction - (Section 1) Page 2

What has happened so far?

Between November 2018 and May 2019 the National Transport Authority (NTA) carried out the first round of public consultation on initial proposals for the Emerging Preferred Routes of sixteen Core Bus Corridors across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). During this consultation phase thirteen thousand submissions were received in total. A Consultation Submissions Report for each corridor is available to view and download on our website www.busconnects.ie.

All of the submissions were reviewed and considered as part of the design preparation for the Preferred Route for each corridor. We have amended our initial proposals to address some of the issues raised in submissions including incorporating suggestions and recommendations from local residents, community groups and stakeholders. We are now publishing the Preferred Routes for sixteen Core Bus Corridors and commencing a second round of public consultation.

This document is one of a series of sixteen, 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 and includes information on revisions made, if any, from the initial emerging preferred route.

The original brochures detailing each Emerging Preferred Routes, published last year, are available to view and download on our website www.busconnects.ie. These brochures contain information on the process for impacted property owners, the project timelines and steps required for statutory planning application.

1.2 What is BusConnects? - Page 3

BusConnects is the National Transport Authority's programme to greatly improve bus services. It is a key part of the Government's polices to improve public transport and address climate change in Dublin and other cities. It is included within the following Government policy strategies:

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 designed to provide a better, more reliable and more efficient bus service for everyone.

BusConnects: The facts at a glance - Infographic

1.3 What are the benefits of this project? - Page 4

Journey Time Savings

this project will deliver journey time savings of up to 40-50% on corridors. Dedicated bus and cycle lanes can significantly increase bus travel speeds and reliability.

Building a sustainable city and addressing climate change

Tackling the challenges of climate change is a priority for Ireland and moving more people to public transport is a key component of the solution.

Accessibility for all

More bus shelters, with seating where possible, new footpaths and better information at bus stops, will make using the fully accessible bus fleet easier for all to use, including the elderly and mobility impaired.

Better cycling facilities

This project will see the provision of much needed cycling facilities around the city region with over 200kms of high quality cycling facilities provided.

Pedestrians and Urban Realms

Along each route, improvements and enhancements will be made to footpaths, walkways and pedestrian crossings. Funding and investment for local urban realms with additional landscaping and outdoor amenities will be provided.

1.4 Understanding the terminology - Page 5

1. Core Bus Corridor (CBC)

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.

2. Segregated Cycle Tracks

A segregated cycle track is a separate selection 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 lanes/tracks there will be the option of quiet roads and shared cycling on reduced speed roads for cyclists.

3. Emerging Preferred Route (EPR)

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.

4. Preferred Route Option (PRO)

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 second round of non-statutory public consultation.

They are not final proposals as they are subject to further consideration from the second round of public consultation and also subsequent examination in the context of environmental impact assessment

5. Bus Gate

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.

6. Signal Controlled Priority (SCP)

Signal Control Priority uses traffic signals to enable buses to get priority ahead of single lane road sections, but it is only effective for short distances. This typically arises where the bus lane cannot continue due to obstructions on the roadway. An example might be where a road has pinch-points where it narrows due to existing buildings or structures that cannot be demolished to widen the road to make space for a bus lane. It works through the use of traffic signal controls (typically at junctions) where the bus lane and general traffic lane must merge ahead and share the road space for a short distance until the bus lane recommences downstream. The general traffic will be stopped at the signal to allow the bus pass through the narrow section first and when the bus has passed the general trafficwill then be allowed through the lights.

  1. Traffic proceeds as normal
  2. As the bus approaches, the light signal changes to halt general traffic.
  3. The level of queuing in the narrowed section is controlled and the bus has priority to proceed
  4. When the bus has cleared the junction, general traffic proceeds

7. Toucan Crossing

A Toucan Crossing is a roadway crossing designed to enable both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road with purposefully designed signal controls.

8. Quiet Street Treatment

Where CBC roadway widths cannot facilitate cyclists without significant impact on bus priority, alternative cycle routes are explored for short distances away from the CBC bus route. Such offline options may include directing cyclists along streets with minimal general traffic other than car users who live on the street.

They are called Quiet Streets due to the low amount of general traffic and are deemed suitable for cyclists sharing the roadway with the general traffic without the need to construct segregated cycle tracks or painted cycle lanes. The Quiet Street treatment would involve appropriate advisory signage for both the general road users and cyclists.

9. Urban Realm

Urban Realm refers to the everyday street spaces that are used by people to cross, shop, socialise, play, and use for activities such as walking, exercise or commute to/from work. The Urban Realm encompasses all streets, squares, junctions, and other rights-of-way, whether in residential, commercial or civic use. When well-designed and laid out with care in a community setting, it enhances the every-day lives of residents and those passing through. It typically relates to all open-air parts of the built environment where the public has free access. It would include seating, trees, planting and other aspects to enhance the experience for all.

1.5 Map of all 16 core bus corridors - Page 6

Preferred Routes

  1. Clongriffin to City Centre
  2. Swords to City Centre
  3. Ballymun to City Centre
  4. Finglas to Phibsborough
  5. Blanchardstown to City Centre
  6. Lucan to City Centre
  7. Liffey Valley to City Centre
  8. Clondalkin to Drimnagh
  9. Greenhills to City Centre
  10. Tallaght to Terenure
  11. Kimmage to City Centre
  12. Rathfarnham to City Centre
  13. Bray to City Centre
  14. UCD Ballsbridge to City Centre
  15. Blackrock to Merrion
  16. Ringsend to City Centre

2. Preferred Route Description (Section 2) - Page 7

2.1 Overview

The Swords to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on the Swords Road at the Pinnock Hill junction and is routed along Swords Road, Drumcondra Road Upper & Lower and Dorset Street to the junction with North Frederick Street. This CBC is then routed via North Frederick Street and Parnell Square East, where it will join the existing traffic management regime in the City Centre. Priority for buses is provided along the entire route, consisting primarily of dedicated bus lanes in both directions.

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 Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) in November 2018.

2.2 Pinnock Hill Junction to Airport Roundabout - Swords Road

The corridor commences south of Swords on the R132 Swords Road at Pinnock Hill. The existing roundabout at Pinnock Hill will be modified to a fully signalised junction with pedestrian and cyclist facilities. Between the Pinnock Hill and Cloghran junctions, the existing bus lanes will be maintained, the existing footpath will be upgraded, and segregated cycle tracks will also be provided.

South of the Cloghran Roundabout, current provisions for cars and buses northbound will remain unchanged and a new southbound bus lane will be provided, as shown in the EPR. Segregated one-way cycle facilities are provided on both sides of the R132. Southbound cyclists will be able to cross the R132 at the Coachman's Inn to a two-way cycle path on the western side of R132.

It is proposed to maintain the Airport Roundabout as a signalised junction with some amendments. The cycle facilities through the Airport junction will be upgraded with a two-way cycle track on the western side of the junction, crossing the airport access road via a signalised Toucan Crossing.

To provide this upgraded road infrastructure along this section, it may be necessary to take some land from adjacent private property. This may be particularly relevant at the following locations:

The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.

2.3 Airport Junction to Coolock Lane Junction - Swords Road

To maintain bus priority for northbound traffic through the Airport junction, it is proposed to provide Signal-Controlled Priority on the southern roundabout approach. South of the Airport Roundabout the existing northbound shared cycle lane and pedestrian walkway is converted to a dedicated footpath and two-way cycle track as far as the long-term green car park. From this point, cyclists will cross the R132 to return to the eastern side of the road.

Between Collinstown Cross Industrial Estate and Coolock Lane, improved cycle facilities will be provided. New bus stop facilities will also be provided outside Whitehall Colmcille GAA Club and between Santry Close and Coolock Lane.

To facilitate these transport infrastructure improvements, some limited land take may be required at the following locations:

The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.

2.4 Coolock Lane Junction to Omni Park Shopping Centre Entrance - Swords Road

Between Coolock Lane and the entrance to Omni Park Shopping Centre, it is proposed to extend continuous bus lanes and cycle tracks in both directions. This may require some limited land take from adjacent properties on both sides of the existing road and the removal of existing on-street car parking.

To facilitate these transport infrastructure improvements, some limited land take may be required at the following locations:

The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.

2.5 Omni Park Shopping Centre Entrance to Shantalla Road Junction - Swords Roady

The EPR proposed a northbound one-way traffic system between the Omni Park Shopping Centre and the Shantalla Road junction, along with bus lanes in both directions, and a new slip road allowing southbound traffic onto the bypass to exit onto Shantalla Road at the N1/M50 bridge. As this section of the Swords Road is not wide enough to provide segregated cycle facilities, it was proposed to redirect cyclists through Coolock Lane and to an offline, two-way cycle track adjacent to Oak Park Avenue, running parallel to west of Santry Bypass (N1/M50) and connecting at the Shanrath Road junction.

The design has been updated and it is now proposed to maintain the two-way general traffic lanes and introduce continuous bus lanes in both directions with footpaths maintained on either side of the road. This will require some land take from adjacent properties on both sides of the existing road in Santry village and the removal of existing on-street car parking.

It is proposed to redirect cyclists through Lorcan Road and Shanrath Road where a Quiet Street Treatment (QST) will be implemented. This alternate cycle route commences at the junction with Omni Park Shopping Centre and connects with the Swords Road at the junction with Shantalla Road. A two-way cycle track is proposed to connect this route from Shanrath Road through the Shanrath junction connecting to the existing layout along the off-slip.

A dedicated bus lane has been proposed along the Shantalla Road Bridge eastbound and a general traffic lane is maintained in both directions. The Shantalla Road junction will be upgraded to accommodate the bus lane and cycle and pedestrian movements. This is a change from the EPR, which had traffic lane provisions only on the bridge.

To facilitate these transport infrastructure improvements, some limited land take may be required from some properties on both sides of the Swords Road in Santry village between Omni Park Junction and Shantalla Road junction. The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.

2.6 Shantalla Road Junction to Granby Row - Drumcondra Road and Dorset Street

From Shantalla Road to the junction with North Frederick Street, a continuous bus lane will be provided in both southbound and northbound directions. It is proposed to use the existing bus lanes and provide a segregated cycle track and footpath between these junctions in both directions.

The following junctions will be upgraded with improved pedestrian, cycle and bus priority facilities:

It is proposed to upgrade the Collins Avenue junction to better facilitate bus priority and provide bus lanes to the stop lines with Signal Controlled Priority.

To facilitate these improvements, it is proposed to utilise limited land take at the following locations:

The indicative extents of this land take are shown in the Appendix of this brochure.

In Drumcondra, the existing bridge over the River Tolka will require widening to accommodate the proposed road layout.

As part of the proposal, the intention is to provide on-street parking at the following locations:

On-street parking elsewhere may need to be removed to accommodate the proposed works.

It is proposed to provide new turning restrictions at the following junctions:

This end of the CBC ties with the existing street layout at the junction of Granby Row and Dorset Street Upper.

On this section of the route, a number of loading bays will be affected by the proposed works although most will be realigned and retained. Details of these loading facilities will be developed as part of the next design phase.

2.7 North Frederick Street to Parnell Square

Gardiner Street and Mountjoy Square have been removed from the scope of the Swords to City Centre CBC which is a change from the EPR.

On North Frederick Street, the existing bans on left turning traffic from Dorset Street Lower and straight-through traffic from Blessington Street will be maintained. North Frederick Street will have one southbound bus lane and one northbound traffic lane from the junction of Dorset Street to Gardiner Row. South of Gardiner Row the existing southbound traffic lane and bus lane will be maintained and additional cycle facilities will be provided in both directions. On street parking will be removed and improved bus stop facilities are proposed. This section of the CBC ties into the existing street layout at Parnell Street.

Northbound buses will use Parnell Street, Parnell Square West and Granby Row to access Dorset Street Upper. Bus lanes will be provided along these roads to facilitate northbound buses.

2.8 Key Changes from the Published EPR

2.9 Key Facts

3. How to take part in the public consultation (Section 3) - Page 8

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.

3.1 General Queries

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.

General queries can be directed to a dedicated freephone 1800 303 653 or by email to cbc@busconnects.ie

3.2 How To Engage

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 www.busconnects.ie

Written submissions and observations may be made by:




Core Bus Corridor Project National Transport Authority, Dún Scéine, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2, D02 WT20

3.3 What happens next?

Following the second 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 during Q4 2020 for its consideration and determination. A formal statutory consultation process will be undertaken as part of that process.