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New bus corridors, new cycle lanes, new tickets: Dublin's bus network to be completely redesigned

Shane Ross said a complete redesign of the capital’s bus network is on the way.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A COMPLETE REDESIGN which will “transform” Dublin’s bus network is due to be launched this month.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on a Fianna Fáil motion on Dublin transport, Transport Minister Shane Ross revealed that a number of ambitious changes to the bus network are due to be introduced.

These include “next generation” bus corridors with segregated cycling facilities and a three bus rapid transit route.

Ross said the complete redesign of the bus network with new, simpler fare structures and the implementation of a ”state of the art ticketing system” with cashless payments is to be created.

New branding for buses, new bus stops and shelters are to be rolled out, with the Independent Alliance TD stating there are also plans to use low emission vehicles.

Cycle routes

“Cycling infrastructure is an important part of the package, but the core elements of the response lie in the transformation of the bus system alongside park and ride provisions,” added Ross.

He said the National Transport Authority will progress the early stages of the initiative through public consultation on bus network redesign and engage with local authorities on individual corridors.

A major public consultation for individual corridors will follow.

During the debate, many TDs spoke about the need for urgent action to alleviate Dublin’s congestion problems.

Labour’s Joan Burton said people are close to fainting on public transport due to overcrowding, while Fianna Fáil’s John Lahart (who put forward the Dublin transport motion) said congestion is clogging up and impeding public transport.

Traffic congestion

Lahart said the number and frequency of buses needs to be increased to tackle capacity issues and relieve traffic congestion – something his motion said must be introduced.

It also calls for a new fund to be dedicated to increase bike-lanes and cycle-friendly infrastructure in the city. The motion calls for the expansion of the successful Dublin Bike scheme, as well as the rolling out of secure bike lockers and parking throughout the city.

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Funding for pedestrianised ‘open streets’ initiatives to encourage cycling is also mentioned.

Dublin Underground and Metro North projects should be pushed forward, said Lahart, criticising the fact that current plans mean it will be in the mid 2020s before construction even begins.

The party is also calling for the establishment of a Dublin Transport Authority Advisory Council – a body that would take charge and administer transport in the capital.

Ross said he was not going to “run away” from the fact that there is a transport problem in Dublin. However, he rejected claims that he was “disinterested” in solving the problems. But Lahart had harsh words for the minister last night, stating that Ross “made a name for himself in the Seanad and in the Dáil, representing a good chunk of what is my constituency, as being a champion of the underdog, the shareholder and the toll payer”.

The Dublin South TD said Ross “possessed a bold, swashbuckling style” before he was in government.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, however, he has seemed uninterested, lacking in motivation and desire to make a difference and certainly lacking in any vision, passion or dynamism to create solutions to the problems that face us.

Lahart said Ross “needs to fight for capital” to ensure their is investment in transport infrastructure.

“He needs to fight as hard for funding for the big projects this city needs as he is fighting for Stepaside Garda Station. Others have identified that this funding is undoubtedly out there. The minister needs to articulate a vision for the future of transport in Dublin.”

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