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NTA receives 30,000 submissions about BusConnects plan

The NTA boss is to appear before an Oireachtas committee today to talk about Metrolink and BusConnects plans.

Image: Eamonn Farrell

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority will tell an Oireachtas committee today that it has received 30,000 submissions on the BusConnects plan. 

Appearing before the committee, Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority (NTA) will tell members that they are continuing to work on the revisions to the proposed network.

Graham states in her opening statement that this work will be completed this summer, however, she adds that “in deference to the requests received from public representatives, we will commence the consultation on the revised network in September this year”.

There has been some controversy over the new plans to overhaul 16 of the busiest bus corridors in Dublin. 

The BusConnects project will redesign the bus network by delivering 230 kilometres of dedicated bus lanes and 200 kilometres of cycle tracks.

However, concerns were raised after it emerged that some homeowners will lose some of their gardens due to the plans

A number of areas of south Dublin have protested against the NTA plans, with locals claiming it will destroy communities

The planned NTA Bus Connects Corridor 12 from Rathfarnham to the city centre is one such plan 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.

Recently, local residents and campaigners in Stoneybatter held a a day of action to highlight what they said will be the “devastating impact” the new bus corridor in their area.

Public consultation

The first phase of the public consultations commenced in November 2018, the second phase starting in January 2019, and the third phase commencing on 26 February 2019.

Since the initial consultation was launched in 2018, BusConnects customer service team has responded to approximately 1000 calls and a total of 2,400 emails and webform questions, the committee will be told. 

To date, NTA representatives have met 230 property owners regarding the current bus plan proposals – this equates to about 15% of all affected property owners seeking a one-to-one meeting.

Graham will also tell the committee that 1200 people have attended the 12 public information events that have been held so far, with more meetings scheduled for this week. 

She will also tell members that the closing dates for the consultation have been extended by one month on all phases, so members of the public can still submit their opinions on the plans. 

Metrolink plans

METRO LINK 646_90567379 Source: Sam Boal

Separately, the committee will also discuss the new Metrolink plan, which was announced yesterday. 

The NTA confirmed that the Metrolink project will not continue south of the Charlemont Luas stop in Dublin.

The move had been widely expected, following reports last month that the route, which had been due to run to Sandyford in the south of the county, would terminate at the south city stop due to planned disruption of the Luas Green Line lasting up to four years.

The announcement this afternoon follows a public consultation on an initial route last year, when the National Transport Authority received over 8,000 submissions on the matter.

Now, the mostly underground route, due to connect Dublin Airport to the city centre will stop at Charlemont, just to the south of the Ranelagh Lias stop.

A proposed upgrade of the Luas Green Line will instead occur “at an appropriate point in the future”, although the authority said this may not happen for up to 20 years.

“It is projected that the number of people seeking to travel on the Green Line in future years will exceed the carrying capacity of the Luas system, requiring an upgrade. However, that upgrade is not expected to be needed for some time – perhaps twenty years or so,” Graham will tell the committee today.

In her opening statement, she outlines that under the new Metrolink plan the number of homes that will need to be acquired for the project has been reduced, stating that for example, the apartment building near Glasnevin Station, which is currently home to about 40 people, will no longer need to be acquired.

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