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  • Northside West

Homes to lose gardens under new bus plan

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Homes to lose gardens under new bus plan

Trinity College at day in Dublin, Ireland. Bus quickly rides on road

Homes to lose gardens under new bus plan

Trinity College at day in Dublin, Ireland. Bus quickly rides on road

OVER 1,000 homes could lose part of their front gardens under new proposals for ‘core bus corridors’ along city streets.

The proposals came in a report published last week that details plans for 12 corridors on main city routes and four orbital routes as part of the BusConnects initiative.

Northside routes include Ballymun to city centre; Finglas to Phibsboro and Blanchardstown to city centre and commuting times would be slashed under the new plans 

The 6km Ballymun route to town, which currently takes up to 45 minutes, would have a journey time of 20-25 minutes, while the 4km Finglas route would take just 12 minutes.

However, an unspecified number of homes along both routes would lose part of their front gardens.

Identified challenges for the Ballymun route include allowing a bus lane in both directions along Botanic Road, Glasnevin Hill and Ballymun Road while maintaining the mature trees in the area.

The report suggests making Mobhi Road one-way southbound but allowing residents northbound access on the bus lane. 

The Finglas route would see the loss of on-street parking and the uprooting of trees while the report points to Hart’s Corner as posing a specific challenge for creating new bus and cycle lanes.

The Blanchardstown to city centre 8km route would also result in the loss of parts of front gardens, parking spaces and trees. The report proposes removing through traffic on Old Cabra Road and Prussia Street to provide bus lanes while providing local access, including to the shopping centre.

The Core Bus Corridors Project is part of the wider €2bn BusConnects Dublin programme designed to transform the city’s bus system.

The NTA says it’s badly needed as the main bus corridors in and out of the city currently only have bus lanes for about one third of their length. 

That means that for most of the journey buses are competing for space with other traffic and are affected by congestion. 

“Everybody agrees that something needs to be done to improve our bus services,” said Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA.

“Passenger numbers on public transport continue to increase, but as the economy continues to improve, and as demands on public transport increase, our infrastructure will come under more and more strain.

“Unless we address the infrastructure issues, it is inevitable that in the years ahead, travelling by bus will become slower, less reliable and more frustrating for everybody. But with BusConnects there is a solution on offer.”

Last week’s publication of the report received a stormy response from local politicians. Dublin North West TD, Noel Rock (FG), said households were being kept in the dark over how the routes would impact on their homes.

“This is deeply disappointing from the NTA, and displays the exact same mistakes made in the recent MetroLink announcement with Na Fianna, Home Farm FC, Scoil Mobhí, Scoil Chaitríona and other local organisations and residents affected either being told very late or not at all,” he said.

 “Progress always has a price, but decent communication, transparency and fair treatment of those affected should be an essential part of any development,” he said.

Business groups have welcomed the report with Dublin Chamber describing BusConnects as an important step in reducing city congestion.

"The plan for Bus Connects is complex, and its rollout will require a considerable amount of disruption, but the aims of the project are welcome,” said Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen.

“Commute times at the moment are far too long in Dublin and frustratingly inconsistent. Providing increased priority for buses, and more room for safe cycling routes, will help deliver improved times and make it more sustainable modes of transport more attractive.”

However, DublinTown expressed concerns about the ability to deliver the Bus Connects Project within a reasonable timeframe.

“There appears to be insufficient specific information to draw definite conclusions but we remain to be convinced about the timely deliver-ability of this project,” a spokesperson said.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here