Bus Connects - Transforming City Bus Services

UCD to City Centre - Core Bus Corridor

Emerging Preferred Route Public Consultation February 2019

Contents - Page 1

Introduction - (Section 1) Page 2

1.1 Background

In June 2018 the National Transport Authority (NTA) published the Core Bus Corridors Project Report. The report was a discussion document outlining proposals for the delivery of a core bus corridor network across Dublin. It set out the vision for the provision of 230kms of dedicated bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes/tracks on sixteen key bus corridors.

Separately in July 2018 the Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign, which is the redesign of bus services, started its first public consultation phase. Around 30,000 submissions including signed petitions and online survey responses were received by the end of September. Over the coming months all of these submissions will be reviewed and assessed. Following that process a revised network design will be published during 2019 for a second public consultation. It is envisaged that the implementation of the final network will take place in 2020. The network redesign can be implemented on the existing road network with some enhancements at key interchange locations.

The public consultation for the sixteen radial core bus corridors will now take place on a phased basis from November 2018 until May 2019. Each phase will be for a set number of corridors to be consulted on over a period of months. These public consultations phases will be the start of a detailed process of engagement and communication. All of which will take place prior to detailed designs being finalised and planning permissions sought.

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 emerging preferred route from start to finish with supporting route maps. It explains the step by step process for engagement and consultation for potentially impacted property owners and the general public. It also outlines the process for planning and construction of the core bus corridor network including expected timelines.

1.2 Why does Dublin need a core bus corridor network? - Page 3


Congestion is one of the most significant challenges facing the Dublin region and needs to be addressed to safeguard the growth of the Dublin region and keep people moving. Ireland's economic recovery from the recession is seeing significant increases in the number of people working and travelling across Dublin. The number of commercial vehicles continues to rise as does the number of tourists. The commuter areas surrounding Dublin continue to spread and grow in a low density manner. Growth areas can only be served in the short and medium term by the bus as opposed to long-term projects such as rail and Luas.

At present bus lanes are in place for less than one third of a bus journey on the busy corridors. This means buses are competing for space with general traffic and so are affected by the increasing levels of congestion.

Growing Population

It is predicted that the population for the Dublin region will grow 25% by 2040, bringing it to almost 1.5m for the region. This huge growth in population has to be accommodated with a quality public transport system.

The bus system can deliver

We need to invest in the bus system because the bus system is the main component to meet our future transport needs. A good bus system has the reach and flexibility to service all the new housing developments, business parks, hospitals, colleges and retail shops across Dublin. It is a proven solution and is the main form of public transport across Dublin with 67% of public transport journeys each day made by bus. The bus system carries three and four times the number of people who travel on Luas or Dart and commuter rail.

1.2 Why does Dublin need a core bus corridor network? - Page 4

People want to cycle

The core bus corridor project is not just about the provision of bus lanes. Under this project we will also deliver 200km of segregated cycling infrastructure to make cycling safer and more attractive than ever before. This initiative is the foundation of the overall cycle network for the Greater Dublin Area.

Commuting to work by bicycle has increased by 43% since 2011. Again this growth represents a clear choice that people are making to cycle. This project will support that trend and is a vital component of creating a sustainable transport system for people across Dublin. Safe cycling facilities across the 16 key bus corridors will provide people, families and their children a suitable environment to cycle where they want and when they want.

People want to use public transport

The need to build a core bus network is being driven by increases in congestion and also by the significant shift of people choosing to use public transport. People want to use it and should have a reliable and efficient bus system to travel on. Based on 2017 canal cordon figures over 70% of people travelling into the city each morning do so by sustainable transport modes and mostly by bus. Cars only account for 30% of travel into the city centre each day and therefore the amount of road space allocated to sustainable transport needs to reflect that position.

1.3 What is BusConnects Dublin? - Page 5

BusConnects Dublin is a major investment programme to improve public transport in Dublin.

It aims to overhaul the current bus system in the Dublin through a 10 year programme of integrated actions to deliver a more efficient, reliable and better bus system for more people.

1.4 What are the benefits of this project? - Page 6

Journey Time Savings

The core bus corridor project will deliver journey time savings of up to 40-50% on each corridor. Dedicated bus lanes can significantly increase bus travel speeds and reliability. Improved journey times and reducing the amount of time people spend commuting will make bus travel more attractive and reduce our reliance on car travel. The more convenient the bus system is, the faster the modal shift will be for people from the car to the bus. Not only will current bus users and cyclists benefit but future commuters will be able to avail of a better system as the improved bus and cycle lanes are built.

Accessibility for all

Accessibility is about people's ability to reach the destinations and services they want to get to. This means both people's level of mobility and the costs of travelling. There are many tens of thousands of people across Dublin who cannot drive a car, do not have a car and are completely reliant on the bus service. The bus lane improvements will enhance accessibility for the elderly and mobility impaired because all buses are accessible and bus stops, bus shelters and footpaths will support easy boarding and disembarking of the buses.

Better cycling facilities

This project will see the provision of much needed cycling facilities around the city region. Across the 16 radial bus corridors there will be over 200kms of high quality cycling facilities provided. These new or improved cycle lanes will be segregated from bus lanes and general traffic where feasible.

1.4 What are the benefits of this project? - Page 7

Pedestrians and Local Urban Centres

In addition to bus lanes and cycling facilities this project is an opportunity to enhance and improve local areas. This project is focused on making things better for commuters and communities around the bus corridors. Along each route, improvements and enhancements will be made to footpaths, walkways and pedestrian crossings. Funding and investment for local urban centres with additional landscaping and outdoor amenities will be provided.

Building a sustainable city and addressing climate change

By providing a better bus system for Dublin we can make it a more attractive place to live, work and visit. A good public transport system is vital to support the economic activity of any city and can also address the need to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions. Tackling the challenges of climate change is a priority for the Government and moving more people to public transport is a key component of the solution.

1.5 What does the core bus corridor project entail? - Page 8

The core bus corridor project proposes the provision of 230 kilometres of bus lanes on sixteen of the busiest bus corridors and 200 kilometres of cycle lanes and tracks as published in the discussion document, Core Bus Corridor Project Report June 2018.

The layout below shows the arrangement that we are seeking to achieve on each corridor. However, this optimal layout is difficult to achieve in practice and we have proposed alternative solutions in various places to deliver the required bus and cycling lanes.

Bus lanes are needed to make the current and future bus system operate efficiently, reliably and punctually. Our intention is to develop these bus corridors so that each will have continuous bus priority - in other words, a continuous bus lane in each direction as well as maintaining two general traffic lanes. In addition we also want to provide safe cycling facilities, segregated where possible from other vehicular traffic. This will remove the delays currently experienced which will grow worse as congestion increases.

Radial Core Bus Corridors Emerging Preferred Routes - Page 9

  1. Clongriffin to City Centre
  2. Swords to City Centre
  3. Ballymun to City Centre
  4. Finglas to Phibsborough
  5. Blanchardstown to City Centre
  6. Lucan to City Centre
  7. Liffey Valley to City Centre
  8. Clondalkin to Drimnagh
  9. Greenhills to City Centre
  10. Tallaght to Terenure
  11. Kimmage to City Centre
  12. Rathfarnham to City Centre
  13. Bray to City Centre
  14. UCD Ballsbridge to City Centre
  15. Blackrock to Merrion
  16. Ringsend to City Centre

Emerging Preferred Route - (Section 2) Page 10

2.1 The Emerging Preferred Route for UCD to City Centre

The Emerging Preferred Route set out in this consultation document was identified following an assessment of various alternatives.

The route selection process involved identification and consideration of possible options taking account of criterias including local impacts on property frontage, existing traffic patterns and broad assessment of environmental impacts. A Feasibility Report setting out details of the assessment work undertaken is available on www.busconnects.ie.

Arising from that work an Emerging Preferred Route has been identified for this corridor and public feedback on that proposal is now sought. It is important to know that this option is not adopted yet. Only following this consultation and review of the submissions received will a decision on the final Preferred Route be made.

2.2 UCD to City Centre Overview

The UCD to City Centre Core Bus Corridor commences at the junction of Fitzwilliam Street Lower and Baggot Street Lower in the city centre. The corridor continues through Baggot Street Upper, Pembroke Road and Merrion Road. At St. Vincent's Hospital, the corridor runs along Nutley Lane onto the R138 Stillorgan Road where it joins the Bray to City Centre City Core Bus Corridor that runs by, and connects to, the UCD Campus.

2.2.1 Fitzwilliam Street to Northumberland Road - Baggot Street Lower, Baggot Street Upper, Pembroke Road

It is proposed to commence this Core Bus Corridor at the junction of Fitzwilliam Street and Baggot Street Lower. Between Fitzwilliam Street and Northumberland Road it is proposed to provide a single bus lane, a single general traffic lane and a segregated cycle track in each direction.

To accommodate this arrangement, it is proposed to remove the existing central media and many of the existing on-street parking bays. The works will require some limited land take between Eastmoreland Place and Raglan Road.

The indicative extents of this land take, and the proposed on-street parking facilities, are shown on the maps included in the Appendix of this brochure. Where possible it is intended to retain existing trees along this section of the route.

2.2.2 Northumberland Road to Nutley Lane - Pembroke Road, Merrion Road

Between Northumberland Road and Nutley Lane, it is proposed to provide a single bus lane, a single general traffic lane and a segregated cycle track in each direction. At the junction of Pembroke Road and Northumberland Road it is proposed to provide an in-bound bus-only left turn slip lane on Pembroke Road.

It is intended to modify the existing traffic island to accommodate the proposed bus and cycle slip lanes plus improved pedestrian crossing facilities. This may require the relocation of the existing kiosk in the island. Traffic exiting Pembroke Lane will be required to turn left.

A significant reconfiguration is proposed for the junction of Pembroke Road / Elgin Road / Herbert Park and Shelbourne Road. The following works are proposed to the junction:

At Elgin Road, a turnaround facility will be provided for local traffic. To access Pembroke Road, drivers on Elgin Road would be directed to Raglan Road and back on to Pembroke Road.

Between the Herbert Park and Nutley Lane junction, it is proposed to maintain a single bus lane, a single general traffic lane and a segregated cycle track in each direction. To accommodate this arrangement it will be necessary to remove trees along this section of the route. Due to existing pinch points, some limited land take will be required along the section of Merrion Road between the Merlyn Park and Nutley Lane junctions. The indicative extents of this land take are shown on the maps included in the Appendix of this brochure.

2.2.3 Nutley Lane to Stillorgan (to UCD Campus) - Nutley Lane

It is proposed to widen Nutley Lane from two general traffic lanes plus parking bays to two general traffic lanes, two bus lanes and a segregated cycle track in each direction. To facilitate this wider cross section, it is proposed to utilise limited land take at the following locations:

The indicative extents of this land take are shown on the maps included in the Appendix of this brochure. The proposed works will also involve the removal of existing trees on Nutley Lane.

At the Nutley Lane and Stillorgan Road junction the proposed scheme joins the Bray to City Centre Core Bus Corridor, providing access to the UCD Campus.

2.3 Key Facts - Page 12

Challenges and Mitigations - (Section 3) Page 14

3.1 The Challenges

It's important to acknowledge that the choices required to deliver this step-change in the performance of the bus system will be difficult. However, the decision-making needs to be done now and not postponed until the problem is far greater. Some of the decisions may be hard but they are being made because we believe that these plans have the potential to fundamentally transform the way public transport works in Dublin.

Our challenge now is to respond to the needs of a modern city by providing a fit-for-purpose bus system, built on a streetscape that dates back centuries. Needless to say the streets were not designed to move the number of people that now need to travel in and out of the city each day. Some of the city's inner suburbs date back to Victorian times, with road layouts suited to more modest levels of traffic than we see today.

Not all the impacts will be felt equally and some locations will require more changes than others. Over the years those modifications that were easier to implement - the ones that caused little or no disruption - have been made. This means that there are no longer any simple changes which we can make that would generate meaningful benefits.

If we don't decide to make these changes now, then we need to accept that Dublin will become increasingly congested and a less attractive place to live and work, both for us now and for future generations.

3.2 Potential Impacts

3.2.1 Traffic changes

By creating more priority for buses and cycling there will be changes to how traffic currently moves around the streets. On some corridors, certain roads may become one-way, new bus-only sections will be introduced and in some places general traffic will have to take new routes in and out of the city. Additional cycle routes will be built, generally segregated from vehicular traffic, and pedestrian crossings will be added and moved in some areas.

3.2.2 Land take

Because there is so little unused space along these busy roads, it will often not be possible to accommodate the bus lanes and cycle lanes in the width available. In order to achieve the required space it will be necessary, in places, to acquire parts of front gardens, driveways and land in front of commercial properties to allow the bus and cycle lanes to be provided. This would require rebuilding new garden walls and driveways a short distance back from the existing road boundary.

3.2.3 Reduction of On-Street Parking and Loading Facilities

Because the roads that need widening travel through residential and business areas there will be a need to reduce the amount of on-street parking and loading facilities to accommodate the new layout.

3.2.4 Removal of Trees - Page 17

As with the need to remove some parts of front gardens and footpaths there will be also be a need to remove trees along some of the corridors.

3.2.5 Road Works and Construction Sites

Widening roads, and building bus and cycle lanes, requires construction work. There will be excavation of the existing roads, plus parts of gardens and footpaths where needed. There will be resurfacing, kerbing, replanting and landscaping. As with any work site and road works, there will be a certain level of noise, dust and temporary traffic diversions.

3.3 How we will address those challenges

Obviously these challenges and impacts are significant. Every feasible option is being looked at to minimise the disruption to people, their property and the wider local community. Where there is simply no viable alternative, and where we know we have to remove trees, portions of gardens, driveways or parking, we will ensure appropriate mitigation measures are put in place, wherever practicable.

As part of this public consultation potentially impacted property owners will be contacted directly by the NTA and a direct dialogue will commence. As each individual property owner will have specific and personal issues there will be a dedicated liaison team to engage with this group on an individual basis.

There are principles for mitigation, statutory compensation and reparation which will be adhered to by the NTA as part of the statutory planning process. However, below are some of the measures that we envisage will be included. This list is not exhaustive and we anticipate that there will be other measures that will need to be put in place.

3.3.1 Traffic Changes

Where general traffic is diverted and re-routed, adequate signage and road markings will be provided for people to find their way. Measures will be implemented to ensure that "rat-runs" do not emerge as a consequence of the re-routed traffic. Also, local access will be maintained where new bus-only sections or one-way systems are brought in for residents and commercial properties.

3.3.2 Land take

Where lands, such as parts of gardens and driveways, are being acquired for widening we will purchase the portion of front gardens and driveways from property owners; ensure new landscaping and replanting of the gardens, reinstatement of driveways as well as providing compensation for the garden and driveway portion loss and disruption.

Where private and public walls or fencing are removed we will rebuild new garden walls and replace fencing where gardens have been affected and shortened. Also, where public or commercial walls and fencing have been taken they will be rebuilt and replaced.

3.3.3 On street parking and Loading Facilities - Page 18

Where there is a loss of on-street parking and loading facilities we will seek to provide, where feasible, alternative arrangements close by for residents and businesses.

3.3.4 Trees

Where trees are removed from roadsides and footpaths we will put in place a comprehensive replanting programme. This programme will use mature or semi-mature ready-grown trees where appropriate and, where it is feasible, plant them as close as possible to the original locations.

3.3.5 Urban Centre Improvements

We will look for areas along the busy corridors where it is possible to improve the existing local spaces and the existing landscaping. It is important to use this opportunity to not only replace what is removed but to enhance the local areas. To do so, we will consult with the local authorities on such urban centre improvements and collectively seek to create attractive local environments.

3.3.6 Road Works and Construction Sites

During the construction stages the construction sites will be localised and managed on a road by road basis. The size of each work site and the hours of working will have to take into consideration the residential nature of many of the roads. Traffic management will be very important to keep the traffic moving and ensuring local access for people and deliveries is always maintained.

The Process for the Acquisition of Land - (Section 4) Page 19

Where the potential for impacts on private lands have been identified, the following process applies:

Q4 2018 - Q2 2019 NTA will issue information letters (not formal compulsory purchase order (CPO) notifications) to potentially impacted land owners and/or occupiers along each Core Bus Corridor. Potentially impacted includes for example, the acquisition of parts of front gardens, walls, fences, gates, driveways and the rebuilding of same to make way for street widening. The intention of this is to start a direct dialogue between NTA and the potentially impacted parties.

During 2019 to prepare the statutory planning documentation, the project design and environmental impact assessment will be progressed. During this time NTA will endeavour to minimise impacts on private lands. Direct dialogue between NTA and potentially impacted parties will continue to understand the likely impact of the proposed development and what arrangements can be made to minimise and where possible avoid those impacts.

End of 2019 / start of 2020 NTA will finalise the statutory planning documentation and will serve formal notice on the actual impacted owners of land proposed to be compulsorily purchased for the project. It will make a formal application to An Bord Pleanála for confirmation to compulsorily purchase necessary lands for purposes of constructing upgraded bus-lanes and bike-lanes.

During 2020 An Bord Pleanála will consider the planning application. There will be a period of statutory public consultation to allow those notified as being subject to CPO, and the public at large, to make submissions and/or objections to An Bord Pleanála. This will be followed by an Oral Hearing by An Bord Pleanála if deemed necessary. The statutory process will conclude with a decision by An Bord Pleanála on whether to:

  1. Approve the application, approve with conditions, or refuse the application; and
  2. Confirm, amend, or reject the CPO.

From 2021 onwards if An Bord Pleanála grants approval NTA will commence valuations and negotiations to acquire the lands in the CPO, and progress construction of the project. The construction of each core bus corridor will take up to two years to complete. The construction start dates for each of the 16 corridors will be managed over the period 2021 through 2027.

4.1 How the project will progress - how and when to get involved - Page 20

4.1 How the project will progress - how and when to get involved (continued) - Page 21

In 2021 to 2027 Acquisition Overview:

Construction commences on a phased basis - each corridor upgrade will take up to 2 years to complete

Start of property acquisition and construction

How to take part in the public consultation - (Section 5) Page 22

Please remember that the plans that we are publishing are proposals and that no final decision has been made on these matters in advance of the public consultation. We welcome all of your views.

Where you do not like a proposal, please consider suggesting an alternative solution or other option for consideration. But do bear in mind that bus transport is, and will continue to be, the main form of public transport for most areas of the Dublin region and an alternative of providing an underground rail system is simply not a viable option for most parts of Dublin.

5.1 Potential impacted lands

If your property is potentially impacted by the proposals, a letter will have been hand delivered to the property and details of how to engage with the NTA are detailed in that letter. A dedicated property liaison representative will be available to meet with individual property owners and provide regular updates on the project.

5.2 General queries

The project website www.busconnects.ie has a dedicated section for the Core Bus Corridor project. Users can access the site to find out more about the project and download copies of the key studies that have been carried out.

General queries can be directed to a dedicated Freephone - 1800 303 653 or by email to cbc@busconnects.ie

5.3 How to Engage

We are inviting submissions in relation to the proposals set out in this Public Consultation Document.

Written submissions and observations may be made by:


Through the online form in the "Public Consultation" section of the Core Bus Corridor page on our website: www.busconnects.ie

Or by email to:


Or by post to:

Core Bus Corridor Project

National Transport Authority Dún Scéine Harcourt Lane Dublin 2 D02 WT20

Appendices - Index and Route Maps - (Section 6) Page 24

UCD to City Centre - Page 25

Note 1: The Emerging Preferred Route shown on the following drawings is indicative only and is subject to change following consultation and as part of the design development process.

Note 2: The following are descriptions of maps by Ordnance Survey Ireland - Government of Ireland. All rights reserved. Licence Number EN 0082118 National Transport Authority.

Index Map of UCD to City Centre including nodes from Portobello, Irishtown, Ballsbridge, Sandymount, Donnybrook and Booterstown.

Map 1 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 26

On Baggot Street Lower. The Proposed scheme will tie into the existing road layout on Baggot Street Lower before the Fitzwilliam Street / Baggot Street Lower Junction. The route proceeds along Baggot Street Lower, past Herbert Place.

Map 2 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 27

On Baggot Street Upper. The existing trees are to be retained and a proposed bus priority measure is added near the Hospital. 30kmh speed limit after the Waterloo Road exit, with indications of the proposed new boundary after Eastmoreland Place.

Map 3 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 28

Along Pembroke Road. The existing trees are to be retained. Indication of proposed new boundary between Wellington Road and Raglan Road exits. 30kmh speed limit before merge with Northumberland Road.

Map 4 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 29

At the junction of Northumberland Road / Lansdowne Road / Pembroke Road. The existing Kiosk is to be relocated and the existing trees are to be retained. The route continues on Pembroke Road. Elgin Road is to be closed at the current exit and with a proposed new landscaped area as required.

Map 5 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 30

From Pembroke Road to Merrion Road. Proposed new landscaped area as required at the Shelbourne Road and Ballsbridge Terrace exits. No Right Turn (RUS 012) sign after the Herbert Park exit.

Map 6 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 31

On Merrion Road, by Serpentine Avenue. The route proceeds past Sandymount Avenue.

Map 7 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 32

Continuing on Merrion Road. The route continues by Shrewsbury Park.

Map 8 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 33

On Merrion Road, by Merlyn Road. Indications of proposed new boundary after Merlyn Park.

Map 9 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 34

On Merrion Road, towards the Nutley Lane Junction. Indications of proposed new boundaries after the Ailesbury Road junction, between Merrion View Avenue and the Shopping Centre, at the corner of Merrion Road / Nutley Lane, and along Nutley Lane at the car park. Bus Only Signals added on both sides of the Merrion Road / Nutley Lane Junction. The proposed scheme ties into the Blackrock to Merrion Core Bus Corridor after the Nutley Lane junction.

Map 10 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 35

Along Nutley Lane. Indications of proposed new boundaries from the multi-story cark park and past St Vincent's Hospital, as well as after the Nutley Avenue exit.

Map 11 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 36

Continuing on Nutley Lane. Indications of proposed new boundaries by the Tennis Grounds and Club House, as well as after the Nutley Road exit.

Map 12 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 37

From Nutley Lane to Stillorgan Road. Indications of proposed new boundary on Nutley Lane to the Telephone Exchange. Bus Only Signals added on Nutley Lane exit and after Greenfield Park exit on Stillorgan Road. The proposed scheme ties into the Bray to City Centre Core Bus Corridor before the Stillorgan Road Junction.

Map 13 Emerging Preferred Route - Page 38

On Stillorgan Road. The proposed scheme ties into the Bray to City Centre Core Bus Corridor after the entrance to UCD. Indications of proposed new boundary along Green area at UCD entrance and further down Stillorgan Road.