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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This project will see the provision of much needed cycling facilities around the city region with over 200kms of high quality cycling facilities provided.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A Toucan Crossing is a roadway crossing designed to enable both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road with purposefully designed signal controls.
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.
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.
The Blanchardstown to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on the north side of the South Blanchardstown Road junction with the N3. The corridor proceeds on the R121 Blanchardstown Road South into the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. From a new terminus to the north-west of Blanchardstown Shopping Centre the CBC is routed onto the N3 Navan Road via the Snugborough Road junction, and follows the N3 and Navan Road as far as the junction with the Old Cabra Road. From here the CBC is routed along Old Cabra Road, Prussia Street and Manor Street to the junction with North Brunswick Street. The CBC is then routed via Blackhall Place as far as the junction with Ellis Quay and Arran Quay, where it will join the existing traffic management regime on the North 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.
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 February 2019.
The corridor commences on the north side of the South Blanchardstown Road junction with the N3. It is proposed to alter the existing off slip road from the N3 to the Old Navan Road, Mulhuddart from two general traffic lanes to one general traffic lane and one bus lane. This lane continues on to R121 Blanchardstown Road South over the N3. The bus lane is accommodated on the overbridge by changing the road layout from two general traffic lanes to one general traffic lane and one bus lane.
The corridor proceeds on the Blanchardstown Road South towards the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre via the Blakestown Way junction - which in this revised proposal is to be converted from a roundabout to a signal controlled junction. The existing northbound bus lane access on the northern corner of Blanchardstown Shopping Centre site (adjacent to Crowne Plaza Dublin Blanchardstown) will be maintained.
Within the Blanchardstown Centre site, it is proposed to upgrade the existing bus laydown area to a more formal bus terminus/interchange with improved passenger waiting facilities. South of the Shopping Centre, buses will be routed along the existing access road running to the east of the Blanchardstown Centre where dedicated bus lanes will be provided.
A modification of the existing roundabout junction on the Navan Slip Road to a fully signalised cross road junction is proposed, allowing for bus lanes through this junction in both directions. This modification will also allow for improved cycling, pedestrian and bus stop facilities. It is proposed to widen the road between the existing road (L3020) and the N3 Navan Road to accommodate these improved facilities.
Following this section it is intended to route the bus lane through the Snugborough Road junction. The proposed configuration for this junction is in line with proposals for the Snugborough Interchange Upgrade proposed by Fingal County Council. The proposed works involves the widening of the Snugborough Road bridge and the provision of additional traffic lanes on the L3020.
Following the Snugborough Road junction, the bus lane will be routed on to the N3 Navan Road. On the N3 it is proposed to maintain a continuous bus lane on the left lane of the carriageway in both directions. Emergency refuse laybys have been added in the revised design. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) are assessing the need for additional traffic lanes along the section and are developing proposals which are currently at an early stage of planning. Accordingly, the bus lane layout shown is indicative only pending further design development to match TII's proposals.
Additional bus stops are intended to be provided to serve Hill Road and Blanchardstown Main Street. The bus lanes will then be directed onto the Connolly Hospital off-slip road onto the Navan Road over the M50, maintaining a continuous bus lane through this section.
It is proposed to provide a continuous bus lane in both directions on the roundabout over the M50. It is intended to provide additional bus stops at Auburn Avenue, and to provide a two-way cycleway adjacent to the Blanchardstown bound bus lane. This cycle facility will tie into the proposed Greater Dublin Area Proposed Cycle Network that will run along Castleknock Manor.
The bus lane will be directed up the on and off slip roads to provide access to the bus stops serving the Navan Road Parkway, the city centre bound bus lane will be maintained on this section. The outbound traffic lanes will be rearranged from two general traffic lanes to one general traffic lane and one bus lane.
It is proposed to modify the Navan Road roundabout at Ashtown Road to a signal controlled roundabout - keeping the existing trees on the central island which is a change to the EPR. At this junction, it is proposed to terminate the two-way cycle way (west of the junction) and to transition to a segregated cycle track on each side of the carriageway (east of the junction).
A general traffic lane and bus lane in both directions are to be provided along Navan Road, with one-way cycle tracks on both sides of the road. Proposed junction layouts include a right turn lane from Navan Road (westbound) to Kinvara Avenue. The previously proposed eastbound right turn lane into Baggot Road has been removed, although the right turn movement is allowed.
To facilitate the bus and cycle infrastructure improvements it is proposed to utilise limited land take at these approximate locations:
The indicative extents of this land take are shown on the drawings shown in the Appendix of this brochure.
The traffic movement on Old Cabra Road will be limited to buses, taxis, local traffic and cyclists - as per the EPR. City bound through traffic will be directed onto Cabra Road, into Phibsborough and onwards to the city centre. Outbound through traffic will be directed to Church Street, Constitution Hill, Phibsborough Road and back out along Cabra Road.
To provide an alternative route to and from the city centre (along Cabra Road, North Circular Road, Infirmary Road and Conyngham Road), the updated design revision also includes a proposed alteration to the junction at St Peters Church. This junction will be modified to allow right turns from Cabra Road to North Circular Road and left turns from North Circular Road onto Cabra Road.
Proposals to limit use of Old Cabra Road to local access traffic, buses, taxis and cyclists are retained as per the EPR, as follows:
On Old Cabra Road, the extent of the northbound dedicated bus lane has been revised from the EPR and will be limited to an approximate 50m section just south of the Navan Road junction. The previous proposals included a two-way cycle track along Old Cabra Road however, it is now proposed to replace this with two one-way cycle tracks on either side of the road. Land take to accommodate these improvements has been reduced, but limited land take may still be required between Cabra Drive and the North Circular Road junction. The requirement for a new pedestrian bridge over the Heuston Station/Connolly Station railway line has been removed. The bus/bicycle infrastructure will be accommodated within the existing road bridge width.
On Prussia Street, between North Circular Road and the entrance to the Park Shopping Centre, the proposed road layout has been amended marginally from the EPR, with one southbound general traffic lane; one northbound ‘straight-ahead only' lane for local traffic, cyclists and buses travelling to Old Cabra Road; and one left turn lane from Prussia Street to North Circular Road. The straight-ahead movement from Prussia Street to Old Cabra Road will be reserved for buses, taxis, cyclists and local traffic access only, and right turns from Prussia Street to North Circular Road will be banned. The revised design avoids the need for land-take on the approach to the North Circular Road on Prussia Street at Drumalee Road. The future access location to TU Dublin's Grangegorman Campus has, as shown on the EPR, been revised as per the Grangegorman Development Agency's latest masterplan.
On Prussia Street, a traffic lane is provided in both directions which will allow local traffic to access Prussia Street south. The revised proposal now includes a Bus Gate at the southern end of Prussia Street which will prevent general through traffic from travelling from Prussia Street to Manor Street. It is proposed to modify St Joseph's Road to include a one-way section (in an eastbound direction) at its eastern end in order to avoid traffic using this street as a short-cut route.
At the junction of Manor Street/Prussia Street with Aughrim Street, the updated design includes a Bus Gate in both directions, which will effectively limit use of Prussia Street to local access traffic, buses, taxis and cyclists. It will also remove the general southbound traffic on Manor Street. The Bus Gates on Prussia Street/Manor Street in Stoneybatter have been updated in the revised design as follows:
The updated junction design at Stoneybatter also includes provisions for improvements to the urban realm, including cycle tracks in both directions. The EPR proposed two way traffic on the Aughrim Street/Manor Street junction, this has been revised to one way northbound for general traffic under the current design with a bus only signal for southbound buses on Aughrim Street.
South of the Stoneybatter junction, the updated design includes traffic signal controls at the Manor Street/Kirwan Street/Manor Place junction, which will limit traffic on these side roads therefore reducing their attractiveness to through traffic. The signal-controlled junction also includes a pedestrian crossing of Manor Street within the junction. It is also proposed to restrict movements out of Kirwan Street to right turn only.
On Manor Street south of Manor Place, the revised design includes a traffic lane in both directions, a northbound bus lane (from Blackhall Place), and a cycle track in both directions. The northbound traffic lane and bus lane will merge into a single lane on the approach to the Aughrim Street junction - which will managed with Signal Controlled Priority to facilitate the flow of buses and cyclists along Manor Street/Prussia Street.
The revised design also has changes on Prussia Street/Manor Street as follows:
The revised design of the CBC on Blackhall Place proposes the closure of Brunswick Street North at its western end to rationalise the traffic arrangements and to enable urban realm improvements. It will also allow for a two-way cycling track to be provided, which will link to cycle tracks on Manor Street (to the north) and cycle tracks on George Lane and Queen Street. Local traffic with a destination on Brunswick Street North will be able to enter and exit from George's Lane. Vehicle loading and vehicle access to local properties will be able to be provided on Brunswick Street North following its modification to remove through traffic.
Southbound traffic will travel on Manor Street/Blackhall Place in a single lane, and general traffic will be required to turn left into King Street North which will remain one-way eastbound. Buses will be allowed to continue travelling straight ahead to a southbound bus lane on Blackhall Place. In the northbound direction, Blackhall Place has a bus lane, and a single traffic lane - which are continuous through to Manor Street. Northbound traffic on Blackhall Place will be able to turn right into King Street North.
On Blackhall Place between Blackhall Street and Arran Quay, the proposal is unchanged to the EPR, with a bus lane and traffic lane in each direction and a two-way cycle track on Queen Street.
George's Lane will remain a one-way street (northbound) - but it is proposed to install traffic signals at Grangegorman Lower/Brunswick Street. Traffic on King Street North (east of George's Lane) will be restricted to left turn only onto Queen Street.
The proposals from Navan Road through to Blackhall Place involve a number of traffic management measures which are aimed at:
Plans showing the alternative traffic routing in the Navan Road - Stoneybatter area are included in the Appendix at the back of this brochure. The approach to traffic management and proposed restrictions to particular traffic movements is summarised as follows:
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.
General queries can be directed to a dedicated freephone 1800 303 653 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.