Dublin homes to lose gardens and parking under ‘high speed’ bus route plan

Up to 1,300 houses affected by National Transport Authority’s 230km of new lanes

Under the plans, 230km of expanded bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes are to be constructed within a decade. Photograph: Alan Betson

Under the plans, 230km of expanded bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes are to be constructed within a decade. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

More than 1,000 homes in Dublin will lose gardens and parking places under plans by the National Transport Authority to create 16 high-speed bus routes in the city.

Under the changes, to be announced today by the authority, 230km of expanded bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes are to be constructed within a decade.

However, the authority warns that because there is “so little unused space” along some roads, that “it will often not be possible to accommodate the bus lanes and cycle lanes in the width available”.

The 16 routes are : Clongriffin to city centre; Swords to city centre; Ballymun to city centre; Finglas to Phibsborough; Blanchardstown to city centre; Lucan to city centre; Liffey Valley to city centre; Clondalkin to Drimnagh; Greenhills to city centre; Kimmage to city centre; Tallaght to Terenure; Rathfarnham to city centre; Bray to city centre; UCD Ballsbridge to city centre; Blackrock to Merrion and Ringsend to city centre.

One lane

On each of these routes, there will only be one lane for private traffic in and out of the city centre. The “Bus Connects” plan will cost €2 billion and will be completed by 2027.

Core Bus Corridors Project

Sections of gardens will be bought by compulsory purchase. The NTA said it will pay for landscaping for the remainder and try to find alternative car parking for affected residents .

Some footpaths will be narrowed, while a significant number of trees will also have to be removed where they are in the way of the new bus routes, the reports make clear.

Unveiling the €2 billion plan today, the Authority will argue that “tough choices” are needed if the city’s bus network – which carries over two-thirds of all public transport users in the Greater Dublin Area – is to be improved.

‘Meaningful benefits’

“There are no longer any simple changes which we can make that would generate meaningful benefits,” the blueprint for the “core bus corridors” project warns. “These are tough changes which cannot, and will not be made lightly.”

Sources told The Irish Times it is expected that compensation worth “tens of thousands of euro” will be paid for each of an estimated 1,300 front gardens or commercial premises that would be affected.

Fine Gael Dublin North-West TD Noel Rock criticised the NTA’s action, saying tens of thousands of home-owners will now fear that they will be affected, not just the 1,300 proposed.

“Progress always has a price, but decent communication, transparency and fair treatment of those affected should be essential,” said Mr Rock. Some houses could end up just yards from the road-edge, he said.