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  • Southside

Concerns over revised bus plan

Thursday, 31st October, 2019 1:00pm
Concerns over revised bus plan
Concerns over revised bus plan

Aine O'Boyle

SOME concerns have been expressed in relation to the revised BusConnects plan that was unveiled last week.

The level of bus services are expected to increase by 22 per cent as a result of the Dublin Area Bus Network redesign that was produced by the NTA and Dublin Bus with Jarrett Walker and Associates, (JWA).

The idea is to provide a more coherently planned, higher capacity, more understandable network, delivering a better overall bus system for the Dublin region.

“The redesign of the network was a key measure of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035,” they said in a statement. “It is among the measures in Project Ireland 2040 and is included as an action point in the Climate Action Plan, published earlier this year.”

Under the plan, the network will now be arranged on the basis of eight spines radiating from the city centre.

Spines are very frequent routes made up of individual bus services timetabled to work together along a corridor.

At the end of the spine, the individual services branch off to serve different areas. 

The plan also includes 10 orbital routes which are designed to significantly reduce the need for passengers to travel into the city centre.

Orbital services will also operate around the city, providing connections between suburbs and town centres, along with connections to rail, Luas and other bus routes.

The inner orbital, the O for example, will operate both-ways on the South Circular Road at a frequency of every eight minutes all day.

Southern orbitals (S2, S4, S6, S8) – will serve Ballsbridge, Rathmines, Heuston, UCD, Crumlin Hospital, Liffey Valley, Dundrum and Tallaght.

Orbitals (W2, W4, W8) will serve key locations like Liffey Valley, Clondalkin Village and Tallaght to the west.

In addition, a number of city-bound services operating into Dublin City Centre are included in the plan. These are services that are not part of any spine and operate on their own timetable as part of the network.

There will also be significant additions to evening and weekend services with all frequent routes operating every 15 minutes or better between 6am and 11pm on weekdays.

All frequent routes will also retain this service on Saturdays, and most will have this on Sunday as well. There is also provision for local services providing important connections within local areas, linking to local retail centres and to onward transport connections.

Additional peak-time services are included in the plan, operating during the busiest time of the day, generally weekday mornings and evenings.

However, while local TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, welcomed the fact that some of the concerns of the residents of the greater Dun Laoghaire area had been addressed, he still had some serious concerns with the plan.

“Some of the areas in our constituency like Loughlinstown and Rochestown Park will have their service cut from every 15 minutes to every hour,” he claimed.

Deputy Barrett also said there would be more pressure along the “already oversubscribed” route travelling through York Road, Kill Lane and Kill Avenue with locals heavily relying on the 46a bus route. 

Two new spine routes travelling through the N11 have also been introduced, but according to Deputy Barrett, “whether this will see an increase or a decrease in the number of buses remains unclear”.

Dun Laoghaire councillor, Melissa Halpin, said there was a lot of detail in the new plan, “that would take a while for people to understand what is happening to their route”.

Both People Before Profit members had previously worked alongside locals in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown electoral district to make submissions to the NTA regarding earlier Bus Connects plans. 

“Myself, Richard Boyd Barrett and People Before Profit collected and delivered nearly 3,500 submissions detailing the problems with the plan,” Cllr Halpin added.

She also noted that despite proposals to increase services by up to 22 per cent this “still does not bring us back to the level our service was at before the recession hit”. 

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