My Submission to the second round of BusConnecs proposals
Given the need to change routes, interchanges for both buses and for intermodal changes need to be designed to a high level, providing seating, cover from rain and wind, bike parking facilities, real time passenger information that works. There are no details so far of how the interchanges will look which is a significant weakness of the current proposals.
The proposed interchange at the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre is also a key concern as proposed extensions to the centre is leaving it with less car parking space and therefore would leave a greater chance of traffic on the road. Traffic is also a huge concern for the interchange as the bus lanes and bus gate in the centre is not respected by car users at the moment and is one of the key reason for buses to be caught in traffic at the moment. Would recommend revisiting the current interchange site and look for an area that is less traffic intensive.
Accessibility and Implementation
There are no details as to how implementation will work. Many people with a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities rely on buses and have established patterns of use that they can manage independently. Any route changes will be difficult to manage for all users, but especially for more vulnerable service users. A clear implementation plan needs to be devised so that people can be prepared for any changeover, and extra staff should be provided to be guides and mentors to users who need them during a changeover period until new established patterns of use emerge.
Proposed Route 264
There is a lot of pushback over the bus gate at the proposed Huntstown/Littlepace road. While the reasoning of this proposal is understandable, without any real enforcement techniques to ensure that cars will not use the road, it will become a dangerous rat road, one that runs adjacent to a primary school, is used as an entrance to a small housing estate and is heavily resisted by the current residents nearby.
It was also raised at the Local Area Committee meeting for Fingal County Councillors in the Dublin 15 are where a motion was passed rejecting this bus gate. (https://fingalcoco.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/433552@ 45:58).
Existing Route 70
There is concern about the proposals for Littlepace and Dunboyne with the removal of a direct bus service to the city centre – the current No. 70 bus route. In the 2016 census, it was stated that there was over 6,000 people that live in the estates around Littlepace Road and Bramblefield roundabout. The total population of Dunboyne is 7,272. This is a significant population body.
It has been recognised that the NTA has made efforts to improve connectivity between Littlepace and Dunboyne (where a significant number of local children attend school) through the re-routing of the 264. However, the way this is done – the bus-gate onto Huntstown Wood – will in my view be highly problematic. Considering the factors mentioned in the previous point, I do not think that this bus-gate will operate successfully.
While I understand that the design of the Littlepace Road as a cul-de-sac presents significant difficulties to Dublin Bus, I think it would be useful for the NTA to take another look at provision at this area and particularly, the possibility of a direct service to the City Centre.
Provision for TU Dublin – Blanchardstown Campus
TU Dublin - Blanchardstown has seen a substantial increase in the number students applying to study and remains one of the main providers of third level education to in this area. However, it provides a private shuttle bus service to improve transport links and that Bus Connects does not fully address and increase accessibility to the campus for people living in the local area, I can testify to how insufficient its transport connections are as I am currently a student here.
Here is some recommendation for the BusConnects redesign for routes to better serve the campus and to provide greater access to the University. The modifications below to the proposed bus routes would allow for the University to be connected to the local area and its sister campus in Grangegorman:
That the City Centre service Route No. 35 stops within the campus.
We suggest that Route 262 also stops within the campus. This route links to Broombridge and the TU Dublin campus in Grangegorman.
Hollystown will lose its bus stops (Stop 7559 & 7560) be replaced by the No. 262 and B3 bus route which will run at the front of Hollywoodrath (thus by-passing Hollystown).
The below modifications to the proposed bus routes would allow for the Hollystown area would be served by BusConnects redesign:
That you extend the start of the No. B3 route out to Hollystown instead of Tyrrelstown.
That the No. 262 bus route would pass through Hollystown.
Blanchardstown to Dublin Airport via Swords
There 38,924 people in the Dublin 15 area according to Census 2016 data. It also shows that Dublin 15 has seen the biggest population increase in the country over the past five years. It would be logical to connect a population that large with the nearest international airport in the most efficient route possible. Instead, people take two busses to get to the airport under the current plan, one into the city centre and from the city centre to the Airport.
Connecting the two by running a bus service to Swords, another area to which many people travel from Blanchardstown to, would allow for more efficient transport links between two urban centres in Fingal and increase job accessibility in both areas.