Latest: Households will be paid 'tens of thousands of euro' if gardens lost in Bus Connects plan

Update 4pm: Tens of thousands of euro will be paid to Dublin households who will lose part of their garden under a new plan for public transport.

The National Transport Authority aims to create a network of 16 expanded bus lanes on the busiest routes from places like Ringsend, Ballymun and Rathfarnham.

It warns that unless action is taken, public transport in Dublin will grind to a halt.

The proposal will involve around 1,300 households losing part of their front garden or car spaces.

CEO of the NTA Anne Graham says it is important to look at the ‘bigger picture’.

"You may have to purchase portions of gardens, there may be parking spaces removed and also mature trees along some of the roadways so what we're trying to do it mitigate that.

"Obviously we will compensate people if their gardens are purchased in the tens of thousands of euros."

National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham, as the NTA launched a discussion document on the BusConnects Dublin – Core Bus Corridors Project. Pic: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Earlier: The National Bus and Rail Union has given a cautious welcome to the National Transport Authority's Bus Connects plan, but warned of gridlock in some areas if the plan goes ahead.

Sixteen dedicated bus corridors are to be built throughout the capital under the new plan, while around 1,300 homes will have to lose gardens and parking places.

It is reported the National Transport Authority would pay compensation and for gardens to be redesigned, while some of the land would be secured with Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Under the changes, 230km of expanded bus lanes and more than 200km of cycle lanes will be constructed by 2027.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "Whilst new and additional Quality Bus Corridors are to be welcomed and will, ostensibly at least, reduce the delays being currently experienced through traffic congestion, it is the suggestion by the NTA that they intend to introduce high-frequency bus services along certain these dedicated corridors which concerns the NBRU on two fronts.

"Suggestions like making the Kimmage Road Bus only, turning Rathmines into a one-way system and other partial and restrictive road closures will not alone bring chaos to those streets, but will also result in diverted traffic (including buses), getting caught in gridlock on these secondary routes causing potential traffic mayhem for years to come.

"However our concerns are considerably magnified by the phase 2 proposal which, supported by an Americanised concept of straight-line Bus Corridors, will potentially impose a fundamental redesign of the current Dublin Bus Network, resulting in the Dublin Bus ethos of providing a Community, socially based bus service, being torn up and replaced by one of a commercial bus operation, servicing high patronage areas, while abandoning huge swathes of the city and the vast number of estates which generations of bad planning have created across the Dublin hinterland.

"The question here for Dublin-based politicians is: are they going to stand by and allow the abandonment of the community based bus service from their constituents' housing estates under the cover of providing higher frequency services along main corridors, or are they going to demand that any potential increases to our bus service will result in additional buses being provided rather than a 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' style reorganisation of current operations?"

The Core Bus Corridors Project report is available at www.busconnects.ie and can be seen below:

11.15am: Here are the proposals in Dublin's Bus Connects plan to 'vastly improve bus journey times'

The National Transport Authority has published the Core Bus Corridors Project report.

It sets out draft proposals to "vastly improve bus journey times and cycling priority" in Dublin, according to the body.

It is part of the NTA’s €2bn BusConnects Dublin programme to transform the city’s bus system.

    The proposals are:

  • 230kms of continuous bus priority over 16 radial core bus corridors;
  • 200kms of cycle tracks and cycle lanes provided on the corridors;
  • Journey time savings of up to 40%-50% across the 16 radial core bus corridors

The NTA said: "Dublin Bus, combined with Bus Eireann, carried over 147 million passengers in the Dublin area, about 67% of public transport journeys in the Greater Dublin Area.

"However, despite the importance of the bus system, the main corridors in and out of the city only have bus lanes for about one-third of their length.

"This means that for most of the journey, buses are competing for space with other traffic and are affected by general traffic congestion."

They said the proposal would provide the opportunity to improve their bus services "by providing faster journey times in comfortable, modern vehicles with high-frequency services on busy routes".

The authority also said that BusConnects would provide for the creation of a “next generation” network of cycling facilities.

They said: "On each of the Core Bus corridors, we will provide high-quality cycling facilities, segregated from the bus lanes and general traffic lanes as far as is practicable."

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “As the project development work is complete, we will of course be undertaking a full process of public consultation, and at that point, we will be in a position to answer detailed questions on specific local issues."

9.16am: 'The NTA have landed us with a dog's dinner again' - FG TD slams Dublin's 'Bus Connects' planUp to 1,300 homes in Dublin will have to lose gardens and parking places due to a new Dublin Bus project.

Sixteen dedicated bus corridors are to be built throughout the capital under the new "Bus Connects" plans.

It is reported the National Transport Authority would pay compensation and for gardens to be redesigned, while some of the land would be secured with Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Under the changes, 230km of expanded bus lanes and more than 200km of cycle lanes will be constructed by 2027.

Average bus speeds on many Dublin routes are about half of what they should be.

Buses will be given continuous priority on main arteries into town from places like Finglas, Rathfarnham and Clondalkin.

The National Transport Authority will outline the proposals today which are expected to cost in the region of €2bn.

But there are already objections to the National Transport Authority plans, with Fine Gael TD Noel Rock saying it appears to have learned nothing from past planning problems with sites like Na Fianna.

Mr Rock said: "Clearly we have the exact same stakes here again, 1,300 homeowners, many of whom will be unhappy no doubt.

"And other TDs across the city today, we've no certainty, we've no guidance given wahtsoever.

The NTA have landed us with a dog's dinner once again.

The Green Party has welcomed the plan, but has warned that improvements for pedestrians and cyclists must be integral to the process.

Councillor Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party's Transport Spokesperson, said: “For far too long pedestrians and cyclists have been the poor relation in transport planning. Walking and cycling must be seen as an integral part of the BusConnects Project.

"We saw with the Luas Cross City project how cyclists were diverted and sidelined from main routes and this is in danger of happening again.

A visible and well-resourced walking and cycling unit must be at the heart of the BusConnects project.

“The proposed work on upgrading bus routes will involve the purchase of lands for carriageway widening."

He said that the transport authority must consult transport users and landowners during the planning process.

He said: "In some instances improvements in bus services can be achieved by diverting or restricting cars at peak times, rather than by road widening.

"Road widening can be devastating for householders and businesses, and will have to be carefully assessed to determine if it is the right solution from a social or economic point of view.

“It is also crucial that congestion on the M50 is tackled and that a reliable bus alternative is provided.

"This requires high-quality orbital bus routes sooner rather than later in the process. Although they are identified in the Core Bus Corridors Project Report there appears to be no clear timetable for their construction. There is also a strong case for orbital bus routes on the M50 itself.

Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, also welcomed the report.

Mr Ryan said: “These proposals contain positive opportunities, for cleaner air, safer streets, calmer and more affordable journeys. Shifting trips to walking, cycling and buses from cars is a positive for all.

"The challenge is to reverse decades of the wrong strategy and produce redesigns to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. We should not underestimate that challenge, but we know that delivering a cleaner healthier, happier city is worth it.

"These routes, ending at the edges of the city centre, highlight the need to move ahead with the Liffey Cycle Route and other city centre road space reallocation projects to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. The city centre challenge is much wider than just College Green.”

Councillor David Healy said: “When the Quality Bus Corridors were introduced 10 years ago we warned that they failed to provide safe segregated space for cyclists and would put buses and cycling in conflict. These warnings were disregarded.

"We need to ensure that these designs get it right for walking and cycling; that means specific goals and responsibilities in the design process, not treating walking and cycling as afterthoughts.

The proposals to divert cyclists from urban and shopping areas such as Rathmines, Santry and Shankill completely fail to meet the stated goal of promoting and protecting cycling.

"We must learn from Dutch cities which give priority access throughout their cities and suburbs by foot and bicycle and ensure that public transport works effectively around environments oriented towards active travel.”


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