New draft transport plan for Dublin Region

National Transport Authority plan 2013 to 2018 is designed to integrate services

The plan sees the Luas cross-city link opening before the end of 2017 and additional tram capacity, in the form of longer trams or more trams. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien.

The plan sees the Luas cross-city link opening before the end of 2017 and additional tram capacity, in the form of longer trams or more trams. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien.

Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 01:11

Trains running from Kildare to Grand Canal Dock in Dublin via Cabra and the Phoenix Park tunnel, rapid cross-city bus routes and a new city centre coach station have been included in a plan for public transport in the greater Dublin region.

The plan, launched by the National Transport Authority, also envisages the extension of Dart services to Balbriggan and renewal of the Dublin Bus fleet to give an average vehicle age of seven years.

The authority said its proposals would integrate travel between forms of transport, combining trains, buses, trams, cycleways and free bike schemes in hub towns across Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Comments on the draft Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 will be accepted between now and September 4th. After a review of submissions, the plan will be submitted to Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar for approval.

The plan leaves out grandiose proposals contained in the previous government’s Transport 21 strategy. Notably absent are the metro link to Dublin Airport and Dart underground proposals.

In proposing to reopen the Phoenix Park tunnel to passenger traffic, the authority acknowledged the city centre resignalling project would have to be finished first. This would increase the number of trains between Pearse and Connolly stations from 12 per hour to 20 in each direction.

Existing plans are to be progressed for rapid cross-city bus routes such as Swords/Airport to city centre; Blanchardstown to N11 (UCD); and Clongriffin to Tallaght.

Also mentioned is development of the quality bus corridor network and increased priority for buses at traffic lights. A programme of improvements to bus stops is also proposed.

The plan sees the Luas cross-city link opening before the end of 2017 and additional tram capacity, in the form of longer trams or more trams.

In terms of “sustainable transport” there is to be significant investment in a cycle network across the greater Dublin area. Building on the Dublin Bikes scheme, this would introduce similar bike-sharing schemes to other urban areas.

Enhancement of the Leap card to pay for car parking at park and ride sites and for the Dublin Bikes scheme is proposed, as is simplification of fares for transfers between services. Copies of the draft plan, the associated Environmental Report and the Natura Impact Statement are available on the authority’s website at nationaltransport.ie.