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 Blackrock to Merrion Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on Merrion Road at its junction with Nutley Lane. Buses are proposed to be routed along Rock Road joining the N31 at the Mount Merrion Avenue junction. The proposed CBC terminates at the junction of Temple Hill/Monkstown Road and Stradbrook Road. Priority for buses and cyclists is provided along the entire route, consisting primarily of dedicated bus lanes in each direction, and continuous segregated cycle tracks. The Blackrock to Merrion CBC connects to the route of the UCD to City Centre CBC at the junction of Merrion Road and Nutley Lane, providing a continuous route from Blackrock to the City Centre.
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 into the design since the publication of the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) in February 2019.
Between the Merrion Road/Nutley Lane junction and the Rock Road/Booterstown Avenue junction it is proposed to provide a single bus lane, a single general traffic lane and segregated cycle tracks in each direction along the majority of the route. At the access junction to St. Vincent's Hospital from Merrion Road, it is proposed to remove the left-turn lane in order to improve cyclist safety and reduce the necessary land acquisition.
An adjustment to the proposed cross-section is proposed between Merrion Avenue and Estate Avenue in order to reduce the extent of necessary land acquisition.
Between Elm Court and the Strand Road junction, it is proposed to provide a 3-lane carriageway with a footpath and cycle track in both directions. The carriageway will comprise of two general traffic lanes and one outbound bus lane. Priority for inbound buses will be provided via Signal Controlled Priority (SCP) at the Strand Road junction. A strip of parallel parking bays will be provided on the outbound side of the Merrion Road, in the vicinity of No. 264 to No. 270.
The proposal contains provisions for safety improvement works at the junction of Merrion Road and Strand Road, including segregated cycle facilities; the removal of the slip lane from Strand Road to Merrion Road and the control of the Strand Road utilising traffic signals. On the southern arm of the junction, a strip of parallel parking bays is proposed on the outbound side.
Between Strand Road and Booterstown Avenue, a 2-way cycle track is proposed on the eastern side of the route.
Adjustments to the Rock Road cross-section and layout are proposed between the junctions of Trimleston Avenue and Booterstown Avenue in order to reduce the necessary land acquisition and to provide improved access to the nearby school.
To facilitate this proposed layout, land-take from the following areas will be required:
The indicative extents of this land take are shown on the maps included in the Appendix to this brochure.
Between the Booterstown Avenue and Stradbrook Road junctions, it is proposed to provide a single bus lane, a single general traffic lane and segregated cycle track arrangement in each direction.
The right turn lane from Rock Road to Booterstown Dart station as outlined in the EPR is no longer being proposed in order to maintain current pedestrian facilities at the junction.
An adjustment to the proposed cross-section is proposed between Booterstown Avenue and Blackrock Clinic. This will remove the necessity for land acquisition along Willow Park School and reduce the extent of necessary land acquisition along Blackrock College and adjacent properties.
Alterations to junctions along this section are proposed to improve cyclist safety. This includes the removal of the left-turn slip lane from Rock Road to Rock Hill and the provision of protected cycle lanes at other junctions.
To accommodate this proposed layout, land-take from the following areas will be required:
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.