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Radical bus blueprint for Greater Dublin

Words: Roger Milne
Bus strategy / iStock-658291974

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has published a blueprint designed to improve bus journey times and cycling priority along an increasing number of congested corridors in the greater Dublin area.

The project is part of the NTA’s €2 billion programme to transform the capital’s bus system.

The proposals, now out for consultation, will provide for:

  • 230 kilometres of continuous bus priority over 16 radial core bus corridors;
  • 200km of cycle tracks and cycle lanes along these corridors; and
  • savings of between 40-50 per cent in journey-times across the 16 radial core bus corridors.

Controversially, the proposals will require the loss of hundreds of trees as well as residential gardens and current street-side car-parking.

The NTA pointed out that in 2017, Dublin Bus combined with Bus Eireann carried more than 147 million passengers in the Dublin area – about 67 per cent of public transport journeys in the Greater Dublin area. This is about four times the number of passengers carried by Luas and close to five times the number of passengers carried by DART and commuter rail.

The transport agency stressed: “Despite the importance of the bus system, the main corridors in and out of the city only have bus lanes for about one-third of their length. This means that for most of the journey, buses are competing for space with other traffic and are affected by general traffic congestion.  

“With the population of the Dublin region projected to increase to 1.5 million by 2040, a jump of 25 per cent from today’s 1.2 million, that trend of increasing congestion will continue unless significant and radical action is taken.”

Anne Graham, NTA chief executive, said: “There is no doubt that congestion in Dublin is getting worse, but with these ambitious measures there is light at the end of the tunnel. We believe that our plans have the potential to completely transform public transport, to make travelling by bus more attractive, and to get more people using sustainable modes of transport in and around the city.”

Image credit | iStock