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Dublin residents claim plans to create new bus corridor through villages will spell 'disaster' for communities

Residents said that the impact of the development will cause devastating damage to local communities.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

RESIDENTS IN A number of areas of south Dublin are protesting against National Transport Authority (NTA) plans to create a bus corridor which locals claim will destroy communities. 

The planned NTA Bus Connects Corridor 12 from Rathfarnham to the city centre are being met with strong opposition from local residents and businesses.

Rathgar Road Residents Group has joined neighbours from Rathfarnham, Templeogue and Terenure by launching the ‘Rathgar Is A Community Not A Corridor’ campaign.

Organisers claim that Corridor 12 will “see the destruction of communities and heritage to save seven minutes bus travel time from Rathfarnham to Dublin City Centre at an estimated cost of up to €120 million”.

Notification of the Rathfarnham to the City Centre Bus Connects Corridor 12 Project was sent to some residents in the middle of January 2019, requesting objections to the proposals to be raised before 29 March. After protestations from locals, the NTA has agreed to an extension of the date to 30 April.

The proposed changes include the introduction of a six lane highway comprising two car lanes, two bus lanes, two cycle lanes and footpaths along the proposed Corridor 12, running into pinch points at the urban villages of Terenure, Rathgar and Rathmines.

Residents said that the impact of the development will cause devastating damage to local communities and businesses, compromise safety, while destroying the environment and heritage of the area.

The NTA has outlined that Core Bus Corridor (CBC) is designed to improve bus timing and reliability. Their report claimed the upgrades would result in a seven minute improvement of bus timings from city centre to Rathfarnham and an eight minute improvement the opposite direction. 

Rathgar Road Resident Group Spokesperson, Anne Marie James, said that the plan, if it goes ahead, spells disaster for the whole community. 

She said: “This plan is ill thought out and unworkable. Alleged savings of seven to eight minutes commute time for an estimated €120 million can be achieved in different and cheaper ways. It will be a disaster for local communities, businesses and taxpayers. It will destroy local businesses, historical villages and local communities and will create chaos on every side road to town.”

The NTA has repeatedly stated the corridors are needed to reduce congestion on some of the city’s busiest routes. A number of residents will also be compensated financially as part of the plan. 

Across the 16 proposed corridors that would provide continuous bus lanes, the NTA said yesterday that around 1,300 properties would be affected.

The creation of the corridors – going by NTA current timelines – will conclude far later than the planned redesign of the bus route network which is currently scheduled to be implemented in 2020.

These plans would see the current route numbers scrapped in favour of new “spine routes” that go more frequently through the city centre as well as “orbital routes” that mean many don’t have to go through the city centre to reach their destination if they don’t need to. 

But, after a public consultation drew over 30,000 submissions, the revised plan will not be published until “sometime” in 2019. 

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