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 Greenhills to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on Belgard Square West at the junction with Cookstown Way. A bus interchange will be located in this area and will be a focus for all of the bus routes in the Tallaght area, providing seamless interchange between bus services, Luas and the Town Centre. From here, the CBC is routed along Belgard Square West and Belgard Square North as far as the junction with Belgard Square East.
The CBC route is proposed south along Belgard Square East towards Old Blessington Road and Main Street via the existing signalised Bus Gate at the Technological University Dublin (TUD) entrance. It continues along Main Street to Greenhills Road, continuing along Ballymount Avenue, Calmount Road, and Walkinstown Road as far as the junction with the Long Mile Road. It is proposed to realign the existing Greenhills Road along an existing road reservation area between Parkview and Treepark Road, and through Ballymount Industrial Estate by way of extending both Ballymount Avenue and Calmount Avenue to connect to Greenhills Road at new signalised junctions.
From the junction of the Long Mile Road and Walkinstown Road the CBC is routed along Drimnagh Road, Crumlin Road, Dolphin’s Barn, Cork Street, St. Luke’s Avenue, The Coombe, and Dean Street to the junction with Patrick Street. The CBC is then routed along Patrick Street and Nicholas Street to the junction with Christchurch Place 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 each direction, with alternative measures proposed at particularly constrained locations. Cycle facilities are provided along the length of the corridor where practicable to do so. Where this could not be achieved a parallel alternative cycle route is provided offline to the CBC route. Offline cycle facilities are proposed along Bunting Road, Kildare Road and Clogher Road to link into the Grand Canal cycle route at Parnell Road.
Opportunities for new soft landscaping and Urban Realm improvements will be reviewed with design development throughout the length of the CBC.
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.
The Greenhills to City Centre CBC commences at the existing roundabout junction on Belgard Square South. It is proposed to change the roundabout to a fully signalised junction with improved pedestrian facilities. Belgard Square West is intended to be a bus only route not accessible to general traffic. The revised proposal now indicates an interchange that will act as the focus for all bus routes in the area.
Between Belgard Square South and Tallaght Cross West/Broadfield Hall access to and from these buildings and neighbouring developments will still be permitted from Belgard Square West. Bus traffic across Old Blessington Road will be controlled by Signal Controlled Priority. Access to and from the Old Blessington Road to Belgard Square West will be permitted.
It is proposed to change the roundabout junction on Belgard Square North at the Tallaght Hospital Entrance and Cookstown Way to a fully signalised junction to accommodate new bus lane and pedestrian facilities. The roundabout junctions at Belgard Square East will also be replaced with new signalised junction arrangements. It is proposed to upgrade the existing cycle facilities and associated junctions on Belgard Square North to provide segregated cycle tracks to and from Tallaght Hospital. This proposed amendment may impact on the existing trees and shrubs along Belgard Square North and require localised land acquisition on a currently undeveloped site.
From Belgard Square East the route largely aligns with the existing bus route for the area and minimises impacts on the existing TUD campus infrastructure and operational procedures. It is proposed to create a new junction with Signal Controlled Priority on Old Greenhills Road at the location of the existing cul de sac, to facilitate bus only turn movements to the Greenhills Road.
Between the Old Greenhills Road and the junction with Mayberry Road along the Greenhills Road it is intended to provide one bus lane, one traffic lane and a cycle track in both directions. To accommodate the road cross section, it is proposed to utilise land take along this section on both the west and east side of the existing Greenhills Road. At the Airton Road junction the road alignment has been altered to improve facilities for cyclists and to make use of space that has already been setback for future road widening.
To improve the operation of the existing junction and minimise land take, it is proposed to introduce a right turn ban from Greenhills Road to the entrance to Harvey Norman and a right turn ban from the Greenhills Road to the Hibernian Industrial Estate. Access from Harvey Norman to Greenhills Road will be maintained at the junction. Right turning vehicles for Harvey Norman will be directed to the Airton Road junction. At this junction, vehicles will be able to turn right and access the Harvey Norman store from this road. Right turning vehicles for the Hibernian Industrial estate will be directed to the next junction (at Agnelli Motor Park) where full access will be maintained.
Between Mayberry Road and Tymon Lane it is proposed to undertake major changes to the local road network. South Dublin County Council has identified this section of Greenhills Road for upgrade under their current County Development Plan. It is intended to implement some of these road construction works as part of this scheme.
A new Greenhills Road will be constructed on the green space south of Birchview Avenue and Treepark Road. A bus only arrangement is proposed on the southbound bus route that will allow busses to use the existing Greenhills Road alignment and reduce the width of a proposed new link road. Tallaght bound through traffic and Castletymon Road traffic will be routed through this new link road. The previously proposed Castletymon Road extension and junction will also be maintained.
The existing M50 bridge crossing will be retained, however it will present a width restriction. Having reviewed the expected operation of the corridor, it has been concluded that an additional new bridge is required to maintain priority for buses and to provide high quality cycle facilities over the M50 in both directions. Additional land take on both sides of the M50 will be required to facilitate the construction of this bridge.
The existing Ballymount Road Upper/Greenhills Road junction adjacent to the existing petrol station is proposed to be closed in line with the South Dublin County Council development plan proposals for the area. Traffic heading for the M50 will be able to do so via the new junction and link road at Keadeen Park.
At Keadeen Park traffic will be directed on to a new road link connecting to Ballymount Avenue, a priority T-junction will be introduced at the new road link to maintain direct access onto Greenhills Road from the south. The junction between Ballymount Avenue and Calmount Road will be upgraded from a roundabout to a signalised junction with improved pedestrian facilities. The bus route will be directed down Calmount Road. The existing road is intended to be widened to incorporate bus and cycle lanes. It is proposed to connect Calmount Road to Greenhills Road with a new link road. It also is proposed to connect the existing Greenhills Road to Calmount Road with a new link road through Calmount Avenue. Some limited land take will be required to construct a new roundabout at this proposed junction.
Between the Calmount Road and Walkinstown Roundabout, it is proposed to maintain one bus lane, one traffic lane and a cycle track in both directions, which will require some land take primarily along the southside of Greenhills Road. The Walkinstown Roundabout was reviewed to improve cycle and pedestrian accessibility. A two-way segregated cycle track has been proposed to provide connectivity from Greenhills Road to the proposed cycle route on Bunting Road. Parallel signal-controlled pedestrian/cycle crossings are proposed on all arms of the roundabout.
On Walkinstown Road between Walkinstown Roundabout and the Long Mile Road, it is proposed to provide one bus lane and one general traffic lane in both directions. There is insufficient space to accommodate dedicated cycle lanes on this section of road. To accommodate this cross section, it is proposed to utilise land take to west of the Walkinstown Road between Walkinstown Avenue and Kilnamanagh Road. Land take to the east of Walkinstown Road may be required between Kilnamanagh Road and Long Mile Road.
It is proposed to introduce a right turn ban from Walkinstown Road to Kilnamanagh Road. Kilnamanagh Road will remain accessible from Walkinstown Road through Walkinstown Drive. It is also intended to introduce a right turn ban for traffic from Walkinstown Road to the southern entrance of the SuperValu supermarket.
To accommodate cyclists on this section of the route, an alternative cycle route is proposed along Bunting Road and St. Marys Road providing a quiet route linking Walkinstown Roundabout with Kildare Road.
It is proposed to upgrade the junction at Long Mile Road and Walkinstown Road to enhance pedestrian and cycling facilities. To enhance cycle facilities and reduce vehicle speeds the proposed left turn slip lane to Walkinstown Road has been removed to improve pedestrian/footpath frontage and minimise cycling conflicts with general traffic. Parking impacts adjacent to shop frontage on Long Mile Road have been reviewed and the proposed arrangement will cater for safer parallel parking and a segregated cycle track.
On Drimnagh Road it is proposed to maintain one bus lane, one general traffic lane and one cycle track in each direction. To allow this revised cross section some limited land take from property between Balfe Road and Kildare Road will be required. The junction at Kildare Road, St. Mary’s Road and Drimnagh Road has been revised to provide improved cycle facilities. This will provide improved cycle connectivity between Drimnagh Road and the proposed alternative cycle route via Kildare Road.
On Crumlin Road it is proposed to install Signal Controlled Priority to maintain priority for buses through this constrained section. This is required due to the size of the front gardens and limitations as a result of the gradients from the road to the front doors of some of the houses. As a result, significantly less land take is required on this section of the corridor. The proposed arrangement requires the closure of Clonard Road and Bangor Drive to facilitate traffic management within this portion of Crumlin Road so that bus priority can be maintained. Access to Bangor Drive and Clonard Road can be achieved via Windmill Road and Old Country Road. Due to width restrictions in the area of Crumlin Road there is insufficient space to provide dedicated cycle lanes. Therefore, it is proposed to redirect cyclists through Kildare Road.
In order to improve local road safety on Kildare Road it is intended to introduce a no entry sign at the junction of Kildare Road and Clonard Road for traffic in both directions. This would prevent general through traffic; however, buses, taxis and cyclists movements will remain unrestricted along Kildare Road. Eastbound traffic would be directed along Clonard Road, through Downpatrick Road on to Bangor Road. Westbound traffic would also be directed up Clonard Road onto the Old County Road. The route will continue along Clogher Road, rather than returning to Crumlin Road. This will provide improved connectivity to the proposed Grand Canal cycle route at Parnell Road.
At the junction between Crumlin Road and Herberton Road, it is proposed to modify the existing layout to improve the kerb alignments and provide improved pedestrian crossing facilities. On the Crumlin Road between Herberton Road and Dolphin Road it is proposed to maintain one bus lane and one general traffic lane in both directions. There is insufficient road width on this section to provide dedicated cycle tracks.
Between Dolphin Road and South Circular Road it is intended to provide one bus lane, one general traffic lane and one cycle track in each direction. At the South Circular Road junction staggered crossings are proposed to improve pedestrian facilities and reduce traffic impacts for a single crossing with increased green time. A soft landscaping area is proposed on the south eastern corner of the junction to improve the urban realm aspects of the junction area whilst also improving safety.
Between South Circular Road and Ardee Street it is proposed to have one bus lane, one general traffic lane and one cycle track in each direction. It is also intended to upgrade the Ardee Street junction with improved pedestrian facilities. It is proposed to modify the Kevin Street/Dean Street junction to facilitate improved cycle way facilities. There is currently insufficient road width on Dean Street to facilitate bus lanes so bus priority from St. Luke’s Avenue will be maintained through Signal Controlled Priority. Between Dean Street Junction and Christchurch Place it is proposed to have one bus lane, one general traffic lane and one cycle track in each direction. The cross section will maintain the central median and retain the existing trees. Some on-street loading bays will be maintained between Bride Road and Bull Alley Street.
The junction at Christchurch Place/Winetavern Street/High Street is proposed to be realigned to improve pedestrian accessibility and frontage at the Peace Park to the south, and Christchurch Cathedral to the north. The intention of the proposed realignment is to deflect traffic away from the City Centre towards High Street.
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.