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Revised bus plan means less pain for Southside

REVISED plans for the BusConnects project that were unveiled last week will see a significant reduction in the number of properties affected on the Southside as well as multiple changes to protect long-established trees.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) launched the second round of public consultation on the 16 core bus corridors earmarked for development as part of the programme.

This latest round of public consultation centres on the ‘Preferred Route Options’ for all 16 corridors.

The first round of public consultation took place in late 2018 and early 2019.

Following extensive engagement with local communities, the NTA’s revised proposals contain several design changes that aim to minimise the impact on properties while maintaining bus priority and enhancing cycling facilities.

The Green Party’s Transport Spokesperson, Deputy Patrick Costello, said that due to high levels of participation in the public consultation process, there would be far fewer trees and gardens impacted by the revised plans. 

“Space is limited along many of these proposed routes, and designing the corridors in a way that prioritises trees and buses over cars is the most sustainable option,” he said.

“We have to encourage and facilitate the use of public transport over private cars if we want to tackle our emissions and free the city from gridlock. These plans represent a positive step in that direction.”

Green Party MEP for Dublin, Ciarán Cuffe, added: “Each iteration of the BusConnects Plan has been an improvement on its predecessor. I’m looking forward to the submission of this revised plan to An Bord Pleanála.

“Improvements in public transport can bring real environmental and social benefits. Now is the time to manage our road space to prioritise transport that meets our climate goals, and provides social benefits.

During the six-month consultation process, the NTA received approximately 13,000 written submissions.

Community forums were also established for each corridor to enable a two-way dialogue with local communities.

Revisions to the initial proposals have ensured a 42 per cent decrease in the number of properties impacted by the project.

A bus gate at Ravensdale Park will eliminate the need for land acquisition on this part of the Kimmage to City Centre corridor.

Signal controlled priority on either side of Templeogue Village will reduce the need for road widening along this section and will also reduce the impact on properties along a section of the Rathfarnham to City Centre corridor.

A one-way inbound system on Rathgar Road will remove the need for land take on that segment of the Rathfarnham to City Centre corridor.

An adjustment to the road layout on the Rock Road between Booterstown Avenue and Blackrock Clinic will reduce the need for land take along this segment of the Blackrock to Merrion corridor.

One of the biggest concerns raised during the first round of consultation was the removal of trees in historic areas of the city.

The NTA has introduced multiple changes that will see no trees removed along Rathgar Road.

All trees on the residential side of Nutley Lane will be retained as will to 90 per cent of existing mature trees on Baggot Street Upper and Lower.

Up to 90 per cent of existing mature trees along Pembroke Road are being retained as well as 80 per cent of trees along Merrion Road.

The NTA said a comprehensive replanting programme will ensure more trees are replaced than are removed during the development of Core Bus Corridor Projects.

Consultation on the revised proposals has already begun and will run until Friday, April 17.

A series of information events will be hosted across Dublin during March. See www.busconnects.ie.

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