The National Transport Authority has today published the Core Bus Corridors Project report. This discussion document sets out draft proposals to vastly improve bus journey times and cycling priority along an increasing number of congested corridors in the Dublin region. The project is part of the NTA’s €2bn BusConnects Dublin programme to transform the city’s bus system.

The proposals, which if implemented, will provide the following:

  • 230kms of continuous bus priority over 16 radial core bus corridors
  • 200kms of cycle tracks and cycle lanes provided on the corridors
  • Journey time savings of up to 40%-50% across the 16 radial core bus corridors

In 2017 Dublin Bus combined with Bus Eireann carried over 147 million passengers in the Dublin area, about 67% 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.

However, 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% from today’s 1.2million, that trend of increasing congestion will continue unless significant and radical action is taken.

When BusConnects was announced last year, NTA outlined how it would provide the opportunity to improve the bus experience for passengers by providing faster journey times in comfortable, modern vehicles with high frequency services on busy routes.

The Authority also announced that BusConnects would provide for the creation of a “next generation” network of cycling facilities. On each of the Core Bus corridors, we will provide high quality cycling facilities, segregated from the bus lanes and general traffic lanes as far as is practicable.

Significant progress has been made in putting together the overall plan, and in October of this year NTA will publish detailed and considered proposals for each of the 16 corridors. At that stage a full public consultation process will commence. This will allow people to provide feedback and their thoughts on the proposals and the NTA will fully engage with people along the corridors and surrounding areas.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “Everybody agrees that something needs to be done to improve our bus services. Passenger numbers on public transport continue to increase, but as the economy continues to improve, and as demands on public transport increase, our infrastructure will come under more and more strain.

“People want to use public and sustainable transport in and out of the city. Our recent canal cordon 2017 figures are showing us this with almost 70% of daily trips across the canals of Dublin being made by sustainable transport. The NTA needs to support these trips and to improve the journey times for public transport users and to offset the negative impact of congestion.

“Unless we address the infrastructure issues, it is inevitable that in the years ahead, travelling by bus will become slower, less reliable and more frustrating for everybody. But with BusConnects there is a solution on offer.”

“Last year’s BusConnects announcement marked the beginning of a conversation on the role that this ambitious programme of investment in our bus services can play in meeting the future transport needs of the people of Dublin. One year on, we want to make sure that the conversation continues, and that is why we are publishing this document.

“As the project development work is complete, we will of course be undertaking a full process of public consultation, and at that point, we will be in a position to answer detailed questions on specific local issues.

“There is no doubt that congestion in Dublin is getting worse, but with the ambitious measures put forward today, 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.”

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