BusConnects: A September saga

Map: Busconnects, courtesy of NTA brochure.

BY Kathrin Kobus

BusConnects is back on the agenda after the summer. Four months have passed since the first round of consultations were completed, and residents had the chance to contact the planners with their submissions and suggestions.

Three community forums were conducted by the National Transport Authority (NTA) throughout September. One segment of the corridor/route project stood out amidst the number of submissions after the first round of discussions held between February and May.

Nearly 760 submissions had been logged with the NTA by the end of May from residents who are affected in one way or another by the proposals for the No.14; the corridor between UCD, Ballsbridge and the city centre. 

Of these submissions nearly half (358) were concerned with the entire scheme. On September 18th Aidan Gallagher senior project manager and Hugh Creegan Deputy CEO of the NTA answered questions during the second round of community forums at the Clayton Hotel  with the aim “to review pedestrian arrangements, to review overall cycling route, to undertake environmental assessments [and] to review traffic movements and traffic impacts.” as was pointed out at the opening of the revised presentation. 

Nutley Lane, especially, has become a focal point of the discussion. The NTA received signed petition letters including a letter from the Nutley Avenue Residents Group with 65 numbered signatures and a letter from the Clyde Lane Residents with 26 numbered signatures.

There are now two proposals and / or amendments up for discussion regarding the disputed suggestions. The first (top right) centres around proposing bus and private car lanes in both directions and the footpath along the houses and cycling path on the opposite site. The second option is (second from top right) that there will be two bus lanes, but only one-way traffic for private cars with cycling path and footpath as before. This proposal will definitely involve residents’ property and increase the amount of traffic going through, which is something residents are opposed to. 

Easier to accept is the planned straightening out of the current island junction between Herbert Road, Pembroke Road and Shelbourne Road (third from top right). This would become a plain square crossing. Elgin Road would no longer be accessible but trees would be planted.

It had been a bit quieter at the meeting the previous week at the Gibson Hotel forum regarding the route/corridor No. 16,  which will lead in a loop from Talbot Memorial Bridge up to Tom Clark Bridge/East link and cross the Liffey on a new, as yet, to be built bridge at the mouth of the Dodder near St Pats Rowing club (top left) and then run back westwards along Sir John Rogerson’s quay.

This bridge will only be open for public transport, taxis and will have separate pedestrian and cycle lanes. The planners received 19 submissions from 17 parties focused on 11 issues.

Some key issues sprang up, including the cycling route and the heavy traffic leading regularly to congestion along York Road and Pigeon House Road, including the green space and the granite former seawall (bottom left). 

The cycle path (bottom right marked in dotted line) is planned from the Northern corner of Ringsend Park then would continue on towards Sean Moore Park via Bath Street. 

In addition to that, another cycle path is suggested along the western side, via the gates at Cambridge Park. Suggestions came from Chris Andrews, councillor for Sinn Féin to change the cycle route straight on past the Cambridge FC Clubhouse and connect directly to Sean Moore Road, instead of continuing towards the Irishtown stadium. 

This was the second round of proposals only regarding the corridors. There will be other meetings in the following weeks concerning the actual spines, that’s the lettered routes which are to replace the current bus routes 1, 4, 7 and the issue of the no 47 still disappearing. The third round of consultations for the corridors is scheduled. The formal planning application to An Bord Pleanála will be made by the middle of next year.

The proposals can be accessed via: https://www.busconnects.ie/initiatives/community-forum/

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