Revised BusConnects plan published for public scrutiny

By Mary Dennehy

THE consultation process for the revised BusConnects plan has this week started, and will run until Tuesday, December 3.

Last year the National Transport Authority (NTA) published a draft review, which received submissions, emails and letters from around 50,000 people.

dublin bus compressor

After some reconfiguration, which, for example, addressed concerns relating to particular linkages to schools, hospitals and shops, a revised plan has now been published.

Local brochures for each of the 29 areas in the bus network have been produced and are being delivered to every household and commercial property over the coming days.

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

According to the NTA: “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 will “reduce significantly” the need for passengers to travel into the city centre.

Locally, there are three catchment areas included – Rathfarnham, Saggart and Tallaght.

Busconnects Tallaght area compressor

According to the Consultation Report on the draft review published last year, some 621 submissions were verified from the Rathfarnham catchment area, which covers Rathfarnham, Whitechurch, Ballyboden, Templeogue, Terenure and Knocklyon.

Access to schools and colleges was seen as ‘critical’ in this area, with access to the city centre and local shops and services also ranked important.

According to the report, a number of respondents felt that the revised network would ‘not serve the area as well as the existing network, which would impose a requirement to drive’.

Some 162 submissions were received for the Saggart catchment area, which includes Saggart, Rathcoole, Citywest, Blessington and Newcastle.

According to the report, 35 per cent expressed concerns around a loss/reduction of existing services, 31 per cent believed an interchange was needed and 20 per cent claimed that BusConnects does not cater for new developments.

The report also notes how 46 per cent of respondents highlighted the importance of access to the city centre.

271 submissions received for Tallaght area 

In the Tallaght catchment area, which covers Ballymount, Firhouse, Greenhills, Jobstown, Kiltipper and Tallaght, 271 submissions were received for last year’s draft review.

A large amount of respondents in this area suggested that the draft network did not serve the area, with access to fewer bus services.

Some of the concerns raised include, impact on elderly (26 per cent), interchange required (43 per cent), access to Dublin city centre (23 per cent) and additional inconvenience/ walking longer distances (14 per cent).

Some 11 per cent of respondents believed that they would need to drive if the draft proposals were introduced.

According to the NTA’s consultation report, the changes made in the revised plan address many of the issues raised.

The new bus network will be introduced on a phased basis between early 2021 and 2023.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit BusConnects website HERE for full details and maps of each of the catchment areas.

Locally, BusConnects public consultation events will be held in the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, on November 20 from 11.30am to 5.30pm and November 21, from 1.30pm to 7.30pm. 

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