Submission on Ballymun + Finglas BusConnects Corridors
BusConnects is the National Transport Authority’s (NTA’s) masterplan for bus travel in Dublin. One of the key initiatives is the Core Bus Corridors, in which the NTA proposes to build 230km of bus lanes and 200km of segregated cycle track across all the routes. This would make BusConnects the largest cycling infrastructure project in the history of the state, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance and grow cycling for transport. Huge numbers of Dubliners currently feel it’s not safe to cycle, but having proper segregated routes will allow them to do so in comfort and safety. Research shows, in fact, that 50% to 60% of people are ‘interested but concerned’ about taking up the bike for their regular journeys.
Through 2022 and 2023 the NTA is submitting planning applications to An Bord Pleanála for many of the Core Bus Corridors of BusConnects. This gives us as stakeholders (and you, as someone interested in improving Dublin’s cycling environment!) an opportunity to give feedback. You can see information on the applications here, or by searching on An Bord Pleanála’s website.
We need to ensure that BusConnects delivers to its full potential, and we have been engaging with the applicant, National Transport Authority, through all stages of this project including the multiple rounds of public consultation, community forums, and through one-to-one meetings.
Firstly, we are broadly supportive of this project, though we’re requesting a few modifications via condition. The multi-lane gyratory design where Griffith Avenue joins Ballymun Road is one, while the lack of ANY dedicated cycling infrastructure through Doyle’s Corner (the central crossroads of Phibsborough) is just not acceptable: the implications of retaining the traffic-dominated streetscape in Phibsborough is that its village will fail to achieve its potential as an urban centre. We’re impressed that a new canal bridge and a complex underpass by Phibsborough Library are proposed to give commuting cyclists a pleasant bypass route, but feel that people on bikes shouldn’t have to share narrow lanes with buses to make all those retail, social and business trips in the village itself.
We argue that keeping all those traffic lanes means the scheme doesn’t live up to governing policies, like the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, the Traffic Management Guidelines, the National Cycle Manual or the National Sustainable Mobility Policy.
We’re concerned that designs – especially cycle track widths – fail in parts to comply with the NTA’s own guidance. Huge lengths of track are only 1.5m, even when there’s width across the carriageway to spare.
We’re looking forward to continued engagement - we’ve requested an Oral Hearing before the Bord decide on planning permission - with the NTA as the design progresses and contractors are given final details.
Meanwhile, do have a look at our submission and the plans, and make your own submission to An Bord for future applications, if you can. Submissions are now closed for this route, but keep an eye out for future ones. We need many voices demanding better cycling facilities or BusConnects won’t fulfil its huge potential! Please:
- Spread the word to your friends and family. Encourage them to make a submission too
- Contact your local councillors and TDs. Tell them you want to see these improvements
Again, you can read our full submission to An Bord Pleanála in the PDF that’s linked below.
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