€10bn required to tackle Dublin transport

Two metros, four new Luas lines, and a raft of bus corridors are needed in Dublin in the next 20 years to tackle rising congestion and encourage people to switch to public transport.
€10bn required to tackle Dublin transport

The plans are contained in a National Transport Authority (NTA) strategy for the greater Dublin area, through to 2035.

The NTA said €10bn was required to be invested in roads, rail, bus, and cycle paths to help ease traffic congestion in the city, and encourage people to use public transport.

Currently, 1.1m trips are made in Dublin between 7am and 10am every day, with 62% by car, 22% on public transport, and 16% cycling or walking.

A key measure contained in the plan is the development of New Metro South which would run from St Stephen’s Green to Bride’s Glen in south Dublin and link up with the Metro North which will operate between St Stephen’s Green to Swords serving Dublin Airport. Metro North is not expected to begin operating until 2026.

The plan also proposes the extension of the Luas to serve Bray, Finglas, Lucan and Poolbeg. Work to connect the Luas from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge and intersecting with the Red Line at Abbey Street is already underway.

The DART is also to be expanded to provide services northwards to Drogheda; to Hazelhatch on the Kildare Line (including a tunnel connection from the Kildare Line to link with the Northern/South-Eastern Line); to Maynooth in the west and to the M3 Parkway.

The NTA also proposes the development of a core bus network for the region comprising of 16 radial bus corridors, three orbital bus corridors and six regional bus corridors. This network represents the busiest bus routes in the region with high passenger volumes which require a high frequency of bus services.

It is intended the upgraded bus network would help in “removing current delays” and enable the bus to provide “a faster alternative to car traffic along these routes, making bus transport a more attractive alternative for road users”.

To assist cyclists, the urban cycle network will be expanded to over 1,485km in length, with over 1,300km of new connections between towns in the rural parts of the greater Dublin region.

For road users, some of the junctions along the M50 will be reconfigured while an extra lane will added in each direction between junction 14 and junction 17.

The chief executive of the NTA, Anne Graham, said long-term planning was needed to ensure that both people and goods can continue to move through Dublin efficiently.

“The purpose of our draft transport strategy is to contribute to the economic, social and cultural progress of the greater Dublin area by providing for the efficient, effective and sustainable movement of people and goods. The long-term success of the country’s capital region depends on sound and considered long-term strategic planning.”

Ms Graham said the NTA was aiming to put in place a transport system that could allow people to have the option of leaving their car at home.

“Public transport is not going to be able to meet all the demand for transport and demand for travel in the region. There will always be the need for the car but what we are trying to do is encourage people to consider using public transport once that infrastructure is put in place,” she said.

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