Over the last number of weeks, I have been talking with residents across Dublin 15 about the 2nd Draft of the BusConnects consultation. Some elements of the new proposals are a big improvement on the 1st Draft, like the fact that the new 34 & 35 routes will go across the city to the south-side, and that Tyrrelstown now has a strong service to the Blanchardstown Town Centre and the city-centre.
However, there continue to be issues with the 2nd Draft, that must be addressed to create the best possible service for commuters across Dublin West. Below is my submission that I submitted to the NTA, building on the comments I had received.
I look forward to continuing to engage with the NTA to improve our local bus services.
10 December 2019
Re: Submission on BusConnects 2nd Round Consultation
To Whom it may concern,
Please find attached the submission from the Dublin West Green Party on the BusConnects 2nd Round Consultation.
In September of last year, I made a detailed submission on the 1st Round Consultation. I note and welcome that some significant improvements have been made to the proposed routes since then. Nevertheless, there remains some significant issues with the 2nd Draft, and I hope that the NTA will continue to listen to and engage with local communities in order to provide the best service possible.
Cllr. Roderic O’Gorman
Improvements since the 1st Draft
I welcome the decision to have both the new routes 34 and 35 terminating on the south side of the city. This makes both of these services more attractive to current and future users of the routes.
The 2nd Draft increases the connectivity between Tyrrelstown and both the Blanchardstown Town Centre and the City Centre, through the provision of the B3 route, which also provides enhanced services to Lady’s Well and Castlecurragh.
The proposal for a bus-gate between the Connolly Hospital Campus and Mill Road will allow buses avoid a significant delay in crossing the N3 and allow for better services for Blanchardstown village, Connolly Hospital and Waterville.
Additional peak-hour services such as Route 365 and Route 362 are welcome, particularly as they serve densely populated areas at the edge of the city and cut out a significant number of intermediate stops.
Under the 2nd Draft, it is proposing the new local Route 263, which is to replace the 40E, would pass through Tyrrelstown and then take the new road to the south of the Hollywoodrath development, rather than going up to the ‘Swing roundabout’. This would mean that the estates in Hollystown would lose the recent connection provided to Broombridge Luas stop. This would be a significant backwards step in terms of bus provision and would negatively impact these estates.
I would suggest that this can be addressed reasonably simply. After the Route 262 travels along the new road to the south of Hollywoodrath, it should turn left and travel up to the Swing roundabout, go around this roundabout, and travel back towards Northwest Business Park and eventually onto Broombridge. Bus stops on either side of the road just before the Swing roundabout would then allow at minimum, the current level of connectivity for Hollystown residents to be maintained.
Beyond this, I would strongly urge the NTA to examine bringing the Route 262 further up through Hollystown village and looking to put in a turning bay at some point to facilitate this.
Clonsilla Road & Blanchardstown Village
I would have a concern that the 2nd Draft still proposes that the Clonsilla Road area of Blanchardstown would no longer have a direct, all-day service into the City Centre. While it would have the local Route 261 and a peak-hours service (Route 365), this area is one with a significant older population, who would not necessarily be travelling during peak hours.
In the 2nd Draft, the NTA has added a new route from Tyrrelstown, to the Blanchardstown Town Centre and then onto the City Centre – Route B3. I would ask consideration to be given to the following suggestion. After leaving the Town Centre, the B3 Route would instead follow the existing route of the 39, down Blanchardstown Road South, then along the Clonsilla Road and through Blanchardstown Village, before heading into the City Centre on the N3. This would ensure that the Clonsilla Road would continue to benefit from a regular all-day service that would travel all the way to the City Centre.
I continue to be concerned about the proposals for Littlepace, regarding the removal of a direct service to the city centre – the current No.70. As I noted in my previous submission, Census 2016 stated that there are 6102 people living in the estates that open onto the Littlepace Road between the Littlepace roundabout and the Bramblefield roundabout. This is a significant population body.
I recognise that the NTA has made an effort 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 manner in which this is done – the bus-gate onto Huntstown Wood – will in my view be highly problematic. This will bring a significant number of buses up and down a residential road each day. This road is also used for parking by parents dropping children to the nearby primary school. In light of these factors, 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 Campus
While the 2nd Draft represents some progress in the degree of provision for the TU Dublin Blanchardstown Campus, it is only directly served by one local route (261). I would suggest that consideration is given to allowing both the 35 and the 262 directly serve the campus. This would give the campus direct connectivity to both the city centre and the Luas at Broombridge.
Potential for Outer-Orbital Route linking Blanchardstown with Swords & Airport
While the N4 and W4 are welcome orbital routes, access from the Blanchardstown area to Swords and Dublin Airport is still problematic. I think the NTA should give strong consideration to a route starting in the Blanchardstown Town Centre, calling into TU Dublin Campus, then onto Dublin Airport and subsequently Swords. A significant part of the student body of TU Dublin are from Swords/north Dublin, and this route would benefit them, as well as link the county town of Fingal (Swords) with its major population centre (Dublin 15).
I note an improvement in the provision for the Ashington estate, in that the current No.122 will now be replaced by a city route (97) instead of a local route as proposed under the 1st Draft. Nevertheless, there is significant concern within the estate about the reduced services proposed under this new route, compared to current levels.