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 UCD Ballsbridge to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on Fitzwilliam Street at the junction with Mount Street Upper/Merrion Square South/ Merrion Square East. It routes along Fitzwilliam Street, turning onto R816 Baggot Street Lower at its junction with Fitzwilliam Street Lower and is then routed along Baggot Street Lower, Baggot Street Upper, Pembroke Road, through its junction with Lansdowne Road. It continues onto Pembroke Road, through Ballsbridge village and Merrion Road to its junction with Nutley Lane. It travels along Nutley Lane from Merrion Road to the Stillorgan Road where it meets the Bray to City Centre CBC.
The CBC will primarily consist of dedicated bus priority lanes and cycle tracks in each direction where feasible, as well as general traffic lanes in each direction. In certain locations, the level of provision of dedicated, segregated facilities for every mode has been reduced in order to address concerns raised by the public during the initial public consultation stage of the project.
The following paragraphs will describe each section of the CBC in more detail, as well as identifying the key design revisions which have been incorporated since the publication of the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) in February 2019.
The CBC commences at the junction of Fitzwilliam Street with Mount Street Upper/Merrion Square South/Merrion Square East before turning onto Baggot Street Lower. Along Fitzwilliam Street the proposed cross-section will provide two bus lanes and two general traffic lanes, together with the introduction of cycle tracks. No land acquisition is required to provide this, however it will be necessary to remove all parking along this section. It is proposed to provide a dedicated, right-turn bus-only lane from Baggot Street Lower onto Fitzwilliam Street.
Along Baggot Street Lower, it is proposed to provide a bus lane in each direction, a vehicular lane in each direction, a cycle track in each direction and a footpath on both sides of the road. In order to maintain the majority of existing trees located in the median, it is intended to adjust the previously proposed cross section in order to retain the existing median along Baggot Street Lower. Some recessed parking bays are proposed on both sides of the road where space permits.
At the MacCarthy Bridge (Baggot Street Bridge), where Baggot Street Lower meets Baggot Street Upper, it is proposed to widen the existing footpaths on both sides of the bridge and introduce cycle tracks on both sides of the road on the bridge. It is also proposed to reduce the number of lanes to one general traffic lane in each direction crossing the bridge which allows for the provision of improved minimum standard widths for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the canal.
At Baggot Street Upper on the inbound approach to Mespil Road, it is proposed to reduce the number of lanes at the junction from four to two. Signal Controlled Priority (SCP) will be installed approaching the Mespil Road junction, where buses will be allowed to cross the bridge in front of other traffic. A similar facility will be provided for buses travelling outbound from Baggot Street Lower to Upper. In order to optimise the operation of this arrangement, left and right turn bans are proposed from Herbert Place and Wilton Terrace respectively onto Baggot Street Bridge, and from Mespil Road onto Baggot Street Upper.
Along Baggot Street Upper, it is intended to reduce the width of the existing carriageway. This can be facilitated through the installation of a Bus Gate at the western end of Pembroke Road with a short section of bus lane between the Waterloo Road and Eastmoreland Place junctions. Eastbound general traffic on Baggot Street Upper will not be permitted to access Pembroke Road and vice versa for westbound traffic on Pembroke Road. Consequently, the general traffic movement of right-turning vehicles from Baggot Street Upper to Waterloo Road can be accommodated in a single right-turn lane, permitting the removal of the existing straight-ahead lane towards Pembroke Road. The proposal includes providing dedicated cycle tracks through the village while improving the Urban Realm. Some loading and parking will be retained in the Baggot Street Upper village centre.
A single Bus Gate is proposed on Pembroke Road, between the Waterloo Road and Eastmoreland Place junctions. This Bus Gate will ensure that the only traffic utilising Pembroke Road will be local traffic with a destination on or close to Pembroke Road, as well as through buses and authorised vehicles. This removes the need for four traffic lanes including dedicated bus lanes along this section of Pembroke Road, as buses will not be delayed by queuing traffic. The additional space means that existing trees along Pembroke Road will be retained, while new cycle tracks are proposed on both sides, with some on-street parking retained. The existing footpath width along this section of the route will also be retained and/or widened where the space allows. Land acquisition along this section of the route would no longer be required based on the revised proposals.
Access to Pembroke Road, between Waterloo Road and Northumberland Road will be maintained via the Lansdown Road Junction. Local access will also be maintained via Wellington Road and Raglan Road. Traffic management measures such as turning restrictions at junctions or road closures will also be considered on adjoining residential streets at suitable locations to prevent through traffic diverting inappropriately.
Between Northumberland Road and Sandymount Avenue, it is proposed to provide a dedicated bus lane, a dedicated cycle track and general traffic lanes in each direction.
On Pembroke Road, from Northumberland Road to Elgin Road, it is proposed to reduce the width of the cycle track to 1.5m in places and to reduce the length of the right-turn lane from Pembroke Road onto Lansdowne Road. This will facilitate the retention of a number of existing trees along this section of Pembroke Road. The splitter island on Pembroke Road approaching the Northumberland Road junction as per the EPR has now been omitted due to the lack of space identified by the topographical survey.
At the Ballsbridge junction of Shelbourne Road, Herbert Park Road and Elgin Road, it is proposed to introduce a left-turn only entry into Elgin Road from Ballsbridge, which is a change from the EPR proposal to convert Elgin Road into a cul-de-sac.
On the eastern side of the Dodder River, it is proposed to provide a two-way cycle track from Anglesea Road to Beatty's Avenue connected by a Toucan Crossing on the R118. This will form part of the Dodder Greenway.
Entry to Ballsbridge Avenue is proposed to be located at the current exit, while a new exit to the north is proposed taking cognisance of the extent to which Ballsbridge Park is a private road. This will remove the requirement for vehicles to turn right onto Beatty's Avenue from the R118. The left slip road from Merrion Road to Anglesea Road is proposed to be removed, with the relocation of vehicular access to the CDETB onto Anglesea Road. The proposed road layout between Anglesea Road and Sandymount Avenue will remain largely unchanged from the EPR.
Merrion Road from Sandymount Avenue to Nutley Lane is sub-divided into three sections by its main junctions with Shrewsbury Road and Ailesbury Road. A four lane carriageway is proposed for the section between Sandymount Avenue and Shrewsbury Road, with a bus lane and general traffic lane in each direction. There are a number of mature trees located along the footway on this section of road and the proposed layout significantly reduces the impact on the trees.
In order to retain as many trees as possible, a small section of land acquisition is proposed within the grounds of the Clayton Hotel whereby a new footpath and cycle lane is proposed to run behind the existing trees. This will require land acquisition of a property not previously identified in the EPR. The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.
Also along this section it is proposed to reduce the footpath and cycle track widths locally in certain locations in order to retain more trees. This will locally reduce footpaths to a minimum width of 1.2m and cycle tracks to a minimum width of 1.4m over the short length of each pinch point.
Between Shrewsbury Road and Ailesbury Road, it is proposed to provide a three lane carriageway along its length with a footpath and cycle track in each direction. The carriageway will comprise of two general traffic lanes and one bus lane, using Signal Controlled Priority to give buses priority. The direction in which the bus lanes travel will swap in the vicinity of Wanderers Rugby Football Club (WFC). From WFC to Shrewsbury Road an inbound bus lane will be provided, while from WRC to Ailesbury Road an outbound bus lane is proposed. This will permit the retention of a number of existing trees and avoids the requirement for land acquisition from the properties adjacent to the Dutch Embassy.
The proposed cross section reverts to a four lane proposal between Ailesbury Road and Nutley Lane. This will require land acquisition, as previously identified in the initial Public Consultation layouts, with the exception of St. Michaels College where land acquisition would no longer be required. The relocation of an existing vehicular access point from Merrion Road to the laneway at the back of the houses on Merrion View Avenue, is also proposed.
On approach to Nutley Lane, it is proposed to remove the splitter island between the bus lane and the straight-ahead general traffic lane and provide SCP at the pedestrian crossing between Ailesbury Road and Nutley Lane. This will permit buses accessing Nutley Lane to move into the right-turn general traffic lane and complete their manoeuvre from this lane. This in turn facilitates continuous bus and cycle lanes along Merrion Road southbound through the junction.
From its junction with Merrion Road to the access junction to St. Vincent's Hospital, the proposed layout is largely in keeping with the previous proposal in the EPR.
There are two options being proposed for the section between Nutley Avenue/St. Vincent's Hospital and the R138 Junction - a two-way traffic option and a one-way traffic option.
From St. Vincent's Hospital Access to Nutley Park, it is proposed that four lanes, two bus lanes and two general traffic lanes will be provided on the carriageway. A two-way, 3.0m wide cycle track is proposed on the Elm Park Side of the Road, from St. Vincent's to Nutley Park. A Toucan Crossing is proposed at the St. Vincent's junction to connect the two-way cycle track to the single cycle tracks to the north. No footpath is proposed on the Elm Park Golf Club side of road over this section from just south of the St. Vincent's junction, with a pedestrian crossing provided at this location. The existing footpath on the north-western side of the road is proposed to be retained, which in turn will allow the trees on this side of the road to also be retained.
From Nutley Road to the Stillorgan Road it is proposed to retain this overall cross section, aside from the reintroduction of the footpath on the south east side, just north of the Elm Park Golf Club entrance. A pedestrian crossing will be provided at this location as well as the switch over of the two-way cycle track.
It is proposed that the two-way cycle track will continue past the entrance to Elm Park Golf Club before crossing onto the RTE side via a Toucan Crossing just north of Nutley Park. The two-way cycle track will then continue on the RTE side to tie in with the proposals for the R138 junction. This proposal retains the requirement for land acquisition from the properties currently occupied by RTE and Eir.
In relation to the EPR, this layout reduces the extent of land acquisition required from St. Vincent's Hospital and the Elm Park golf course and avoids the need for land acquisition from the residential properties along this road.
It is proposed that the four lane arrangement will only extend to the St. Vincent's Hospital access point. The proposed cross section will change at this point to a bus lane in either direction, but only a single lane of general traffic in a northbound (inbound) direction between Elm Park and St. Vincent's Hospital.
The arrangement for both the two-way cycle track and the footpaths is as per the arrangement given in Option A.
The northbound one-way section is proposed to begin at the main entrance to Elm Park Golf Club, resulting in a left-only movement from Nutley Road to Nutley Lane. As this arrangement results in restricted access to the residential properties from No. 35 to No. 85 Nutley Lane and the Elm Park cul-de-sac, it is proposed to introduce a left-only egress from Nutley Avenue onto Nutley Road. This would allow local access from Merrion Road via Nutley Avenue and Nutley Road.
From the Elm Park entrance to the R138, it is proposed to reintroduce the four lane, two-way general traffic cross section along with rearrangement of the footpath and two-way cycle track as described in Option A. This proposal retains the requirement for land acquisition from the properties currently occupied by RTE and Eir.
In comparison to the EPR, this layout reduces the extent of land acquisition required from St. Vincent's Hospital, significantly reduces the land acquisition from the Elm Park golf course and avoids the need for land acquisition from the residential properties along this 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.