Catherine Martin T.D. and myself on behalf of Dublin Rathdown Greens made the following submission to the BusConnects Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign consultation. While the overall concept of a network redesign is good in principle, the devil is in the detail. The BusConnects proposals drew heavily on data concerned with employment, but often those most reliant on buses are not in employment. They are retired, students, or seeking dependable routes to hospitals or other types of care.
General comments about routing and scheduling:
- Peak times services – schools and colleges
While the peak times buses are very welcome to relieve pressure at particularly busy times, these need to take into account that peak hours vary when it comes to schools and colleges. Around schools, peak times start earlier than traditional working peak times, with many children and students leaving school from 14:30 onward. This needs to be taken into account in relation to local schools when identifying peak time services for an area. Similarly, in relation to the UCD hub, this needs to reflect the nature of the difference in peak times for college schedules.
Recommendation: peak time bus services to be extended earlier in the day for buses which are important for servicing schools.
- Connections at hubs with outbound, less frequent buses
Connections from frequent buses to less frequent buses can result in long connection waits. An example of this is the 213, which terminuses at UCD. While the B route to UCD runs very regularly, the 213 only runs once every hour. Therefore, without adequate information being provided at the source of the B route in town, it can result in a 50+ minute wait at the UCD terminus for the 213. This problem only occurs outbound, as the connection between less frequent buses and more frequent buses will be free of the possibility of long wait times.
Recommendation: provide clarity on the timing connections from central spine bus routes at the source of the route to avoid long wait times at hubs on outbound routes.
Issues specific to the Dundrum and Dublin Rathdown area:
- Services in Churchtown, Ballinteer and Nutgrove – overall underprovision, and need for changes to specific routes 14, A3, S6/S7
Churchtown, Nutgrove and Ballinteer have been massively underserved by public transport services in recent years. With the elimination of the 48A, 14A and 16A bus routes, the 14 bus route is the only regular bus which serves Churchtown, Nutgrove and the north end of Ballinteer travelling in the direction of town, with the 17 and 75 bus routes running east/west.
The Luas is not an option for many people in this area, given the distances involved – in Hillview, Meadowmount, Holylands, Whitehall and Whitebarn, Llewellyn, Dargle View Barton Road East and Loreto – and in particular for the elderly and those with impaired mobility, and so they are heavily reliant on the bus. The Grange Road bus routes, currently the 16 and the A3 under the proposal, are equidistant in the opposite direction for many of the above-named estates, and so they are caught in the middle with little access to adequate bus services.
With the revised BusConnect routes, the area will still only be served by the east-west S6/S7 route and a new 14 bus route (which will run less frequently than it does currently) which cuts out Churchtown and Ballinteer south of the Barton Road East roundabout at Nutgrove, as far as the roundabout at the junction of Broadford Road and Stonemasons Way. The replacement for the 61 route under BusConnects is also being rerouted away from Churchtown, again removing another service from the area.
This constitutes a huge underprovision for this area given the essential nature of the bus for residents. Services on the 14 bus route must be more frequent and a further route should be considered, in particular to service the area between the roundabout at Broadford Road and the roundabout at Barton Road East.
The current proposal for the A3 route toward Dundrum goes towards Balally Luas stop and then turns down Dundrum main street. This cuts out residents along the Ballinteer Road who are currently serviced by the 14 and 75, and as very few people live along the stretch from Wyckham roundabout to Balally Luas or down along Dundrum main street, retaining the old 14 bus route from Wyckham roundabout along the Ballinteer Road instead would continue an important service for the people of Lynwood, Ludford, Ailesbury Lawn, Wyckham Park Road and the areas around the Willows, as well as avoiding clogging up of the Dundrum main street south of the crossroads with the Upper Kilmacud Road. Therefore we are suggesting the re-routing of the proposed 14 route to revert to the current 14 route from the Barton Road East roundabout at Nutgrove towards Dundrum. This would also continue a much needed service for the people of Llewellyn, Dargle View and Hillview between the Barton Road East roundabout at Nutgrove and the roundabout at the junction to the Broadford Road and Stonemason’s Way.
The currently proposed A3 route also cuts off the Kingston area from access to a regular bus route. We are proposing changing the proposed A3 route to mirror the current 16 route and travel past Kingston, but to continue on the proposed route to Dundrum Luas from there.
With these changes, Barton Road East will lose any bus route, so we are proposing the splitting of the S6/S7 route to cover Barton Road East/Upper Kilmacud Road (which is also losing a bus route under the new proposal). This would allow for the continuing of this S7 route to Blackrock, while the S6 provides a parallel route as proposed on Lower Kilmacud Road to UCD, then veering off toward St. Vincent’s as elaborated further in section 3 below, and the DART line.
Recommendations: 14 route – the 14 needs to be considerably more frequent than proposed; also, the proposal should be re-routed to travel from the Nutgrove roundabout at the end of Barton Road East down past Marley Court, Llewellyn and Dargle View, turning left at the roundabout down Broadford Road, then turning left down Ballinteer Avenue; then turning down Wyckham Way and then down the Ballinteer Road before going towards Dundrum Luas station via Dundrum Main Street.
A3 route – re-routing A3 from the Grange Road to travel down the Brehon Field Road instead of turning onto Stonemason’s Way; from there to travel to the roundabout with the Ballinteer Road; turn left onto the Ballinteer Road and then travel toward its terminus at Dundrum Luas station.
Splitting of S6/S7 route – re-routing S6 to continue as proposed through Churchtown/Dundrum, with route change after UCD as outlined in section 3 below; S7 to turn down Nutgrove Way, Barton Road East, continue on to Upper Kilmacud Road, proceed through Stillorgan Village, onto the N11 and then to Blackrock DART station via Mount Merrion Avenue. This re-routing of the S7 route would also solve the issue of lack of service for the Upper Kilmacud Road, which is essential for access to St. Benildus College.
- Kilternan – lack of services, need for extension of 12 route
These proposals will greatly affect residents in Kilternan, which is currently served by the 44 bus route which allows access to town through Dundrum. The 44 bus service will be replaced by the 213 bus service from Kilternan to UCD. Given the importance of Dundrum as a hub for people throughout the area, we recommend that the extension of the 12 bus route all the way to Kilternan instead of terminating at Belarmine.
Recommendations: route 12 – extension of the 12 route past Belarmine to Kilternan.
- Direct access to St. Vincent’s Hospital – re-routing of the S6
There is still no direct service for people living in any residential part of Dublin Rathdown to St. Vincent’s University Hospital. We suggest rerouting the S6 service, to St. Vincent’s University Hospital instead. This would be achieved by maintaining the route as proposed between Tallaght and UCD, but then proceeding to St. Vincent’s. This would keep the connection with the DART line, while also providing easy access to the hospital for residents of Dublin Rathdown and the areas further west towards Tallaght.
Recommendations: route S6 – re-routing of S6 service from UCD towards St. Vincent’s Hospital and then on to the Sydney Parade DART station
- Lack of any service for Glencullen/Ballyedmonduff area
There is still no provision under BusConnects for Glencullen village or the Ballyedmonduff Road. This could be solved by a circular route which would provide connections for the Glencullen area through Kilternan and Stepaside to both Shankill DART station and Carrickmines Luas stop. Alternatively, the extension of existing services to connect Glencullen to Stepaside and Kilternan could be considered.
Such a service will only prove to be more essential as the number of developments in this area grows, with a huge quantity of new residential development likely to occur in Sandyford, Stepaside, Carrickmines and the environs over the next decade. Local transport services need to make provision for these likely future changes in the area.
Recommendation: new route – Glencullen village to Kilternan village, down the Ballycorus Road to Shankill, proceed down the N11, turn off at Cornelscourt onto the Bray Road, the Cornelscourt Hill Road, the Glenamuck Road past Carrickmines Luas stop, continue on the Glenamuck Road to Kilternan, turn north on the Enniskerry Road toward Stepaside, turn left at Stepaside village down Stepaside Lane and the Ballyedmonduff Road until it reaches Glencullen village.
- East/west route for Ticknock Hill area – re-routing of S8 route
While the S8 route fulfils much of the function of the current 114 route – it only runs on the north side of the M50, cutting off the Ticknock Hill area entirely from this route. Although it may seem quite close in pure terms of distance, the presence of the motorway creates a barrier that in effect cuts off the areas to the south. Therefore it is essential that the S8 travel south of the M50 to provide that link and to allow access to that connection to the DART line at Dún Laoghaire and to Tallaght. Therefore, we recommend that the S8 be re-routed to service the area south of the M50 before joining its current proposed route at Sandyford Industrial Estate.
Recommendation: route S8 – as planned from Tallaght to Marlay Park, then re-routed to turn right at Ballinteer St. John’s GAA Club down the Harold’s Grange Road, to continue down the Harold’s Grange Road and across the M50, to do a loop in Ticknock Hill as the 114 does currently, to travel along the Blackglen Road, join the Sandyford Road and travel back across the M50 just pass Kilcross, turning right onto Blackthorn Drive before joining the currently proposed S8 route at the Sandyford Industrial Estate.