Dublin Bus network overhaul draws 20,000 submissions

Strong public reaction will delay publication of final route plans until February or March

The first complete redesign of Dublin’s bus services will see decades-old routes axed and the introduction of new itineraries, which the NTA says will result in more frequent, reliable and integrated services. Photograph: Alan Betson

The first complete redesign of Dublin’s bus services will see decades-old routes axed and the introduction of new itineraries, which the NTA says will result in more frequent, reliable and integrated services. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

About 20,000 submissions have been received by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to the redesign of the Dublin Bus network, ahead of the closure of a period of public consultation on Friday.

The NTA had expected to publish the final network design in January but said this would be delayed until later in the first quarter of next year due to the volume of submissions received.

Gráinne Mackin, director of communications for Bus Connects, said the NTA was “committed to reading every single” submission received.

She said that following the publication of the final redesigned network, an “information and education campaign” would run for nine months to inform the public of the changes and the plan before the plan is rolled out early in 2020.

Ms Mackin said the changes would come into effect at once rather that in stages but this would only happen “after you had your nine months of the year educating and informing people”.

Core Bus Corridors Project

The first complete overhaul of the capital’s bus services will see decades-old routes axed and the introduction of new itineraries, which the NTA said will result in more frequent, reliable and integrated services.

However, a number of trips that are currently direct will require changing buses, and some passengers living in outer suburbs will have to take more than one bus to reach the city centre.

Seven ‘spines’

At its most basic, the current numbering system for all buses will be scrapped. A new lettering system from A to G will identify seven “spines” though the city, with buses running every four to eight minutes. Numbers would be used to indicate different branches of a spine; for example while all “A” buses would pass through Terenure, the A1 would continue to Knocklyon while the A2 would go to Tallaght.

There would also be a radical expansion of orbital services, not running through the city centre, that would also run frequently. Currently orbital services in Dublin are very limited, with passengers often having to travel into the city and then return in a similar direction to access a neighbouring suburb.

US-based consultant Jarrett Walker, whose firm redrew the network on behalf of the NTA said he did not expect the plan to be attacked in “the very aggressive way” since its publication in July.

Mr Walker said there had been some “hysteria” over the plan as people had been misled and it took “a little while” to get enough information into the public domain to counter that criticism.

He said the public has been misled from “many quarters” that the BusConnects plan published in July was final.