Revised BusConnects plan may harden plaza plan for College Green

Several routes set to cross College Green and would be in conflict with council’s initiative

A Spine buses remain routed though College Green. File photograph: The Irish Times

A Spine buses remain routed though College Green. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Conflicts arising over bus movements through the city centre and the proposal to create a traffic-free public space are the main reason the plaza plans for College Green were scuppered in November 2018.

Essentially, An Bord Pleanála said the scale of rerouting involved to take buses out of College Green would have a significantly negative effect on the bus system and the council had failed to demonstrate that other parts of the city, notably the Liffey quays, could cope with the volume of diverted buses.

Revisions to BusConnects, published last October, will provide more definite information for the council to present to the board and will result in fewer buses using College Green to cross the city.

However, there are still several routes which cross College Green and would be in conflict with the council’s plaza plans.

Chief among these is the A Spine, a series of routes running from areas including Drumcondra and Santry on the north side to Rathgar and Terenure on the south side. All of these buses remain routed though College Green. In addition route 16 from Parnell Square to Tallaght, routes 20 and 22 from East Wall to South Circular Road and route 23 from Marino to Crumlin hospital would cross College Green.

The National Transport Authority in its revised plan notes the “rejection” of the College Green plaza plan by An Bord Pleanála and says because of this it “will remain possible for buses to travel across College Green between Dame Street and the O’Connell Bridge”.

However, it acknowledges College Green “may yet become pedestrianised through future planning efforts”. With this in mind, it says the “details of the city centre routings are largely separable from the rest of the proposed network”.