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 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, St John's Road West and Frank Sherwin Bridge, 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 each direction, 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 Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) in November 2018.
It is proposed to commence this corridor at Junction 3 on the N4 Lucan Road. In the EPR the existing lane arrangement on the Ballyowen Road bridge over the N4 was maintained. It is now proposed to include cycle lanes in each direction 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 the Lucan Road, the layout has been modified from that shown in the EPR to remove the left-turn lanes. Additionally, the location of the existing bus stop on the Lucan Road has been maintained. As a result, there is no longer a need for land acquisition from the Woodville Lawn estate.
On the N4 it is proposed to maintain the existing City Centre bound bus lane. Over the full length of this section of the CBC, a segregated two-way cycle track is proposed on the northern side of the N4. This represents a change from the EPR which primarily retained the existing one-way cycle lanes in each direction. 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 south side 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 south side 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 proposed along Hermitage Road to Ballyowen Road. The provision of the two-way segregated 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. As a result, there is no longer a need for land acquisition along the majority of the southern boundary of the N4 between Junctions 3 and 2.
When compared to the EPR, the latest proposals represent 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 the existing foot/cycle bridge will be removed and replaced by a new, similar bridge adjacent to the new bus stop locations, some 200m further west form 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.
On the M50 junction, it is proposed to maintain the bus lane with two general traffic lanes in both directions through the junction as per the EPR. Cyclists will be directed over the existing foot/cycle bridge over M50 on to the Old Lucan Road.
Between the M50 Junction and Kennelsfort Road Junction, it is proposed to maintain a single bus lane and two general traffic lanes on the city centre bound route, as well as one general traffic lane for through traffic & a bus lane on the outbound route, as per the EPR proposals.
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 and Palmerstown village. This represents a change from the EPR. This proposed cycle track then runs along the east side of Kennelsfort Road Lower before crossing 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.
On the westbound carriageway of the R148 west of Kennelsfort Road a revised lane arrangement maintains two lanes for general traffic, whereas the EPR had proposed to restrict general traffic to a single lane.
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 which was not included in the EPR. In addition, new bus stops are provided on the Old Lucan Road to serve Mill Lane/Stewarts Hospital
Between Kennelsfort Road Junction and Con Colbert Road Junction, it is proposed to maintain a single bus lane and two general traffic lanes in each direction, as per the EPR. The existing bus lane and public transport signals on the R112 Kylemore Road on-ramp will be retained. In the EPR a new at-grade signalised crossing of the R148 Chapelizod Bypass was proposed serving the new bus stops on the bridge over Chapelizod Hill Road. In the latest proposals a revised access ramp and steps arrangement avoids the need for any crossing of the R148 by making 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.
As per the EPR, 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. In the EPR there was no change to the existing traffic movements at the junction between the R148 Con Colbert Road and Memorial Road. In the revised proposals, an eastbound right-turning lane is proposed at this junction 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, as per the EPR. 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, also as per the EPR. 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 pedestrian guard railing and new planting, which will result in a net increase in the number of trees along the road.
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.