Apologies that is has taken longer than we thought to post our submission to An Bord Pleanala. Some of the points in this older submission are still relevant and may be of assistance to residents.
We the Navan Road Community Council wish to make the following submission on the proposed Bus Connects project.
The Navan Road Community Council is an umbrella organisation for resident’s associations, clubs and other groups in our area. We represents the residential areas between the Phoenix Park and the Royal Canal, and extending from Skreen Road to Ashtown Road, including both sides of Navan Road.
The main problem with trying to address the changes proposed under Bus Connects lies in the fact that the bus route changes are given in isolation with no information as to how the road infrastructure will be adapted and used to provide bus corridors where none exist at present. Also there is no information about which roads will become “one way” or “buses only”. It is disingenuous to provide proposed bus route changes without the corresponding infrastructure changes that will be required too.
Many of our residents are dependent on a regular direct bus service. Many feel strongly that it is not new routes that are required but rather more buses to serve their needs.
Whilst there are some good points in Bus connects, sadly many are at the cost of current services that are operating well and responding well to current needs.
We are pleased to note that Bus Connects would mean that many more of our residents would have access to local rail and luas stations.
Unfortunately, this good point would be mitigated against by the fact that trains on the Maynooth corridor are presently extremely and dangerously overcrowded long before they reach Ashtown and other stations nearer the city. There is absolutely no use in getting passengers access to trains that are already full to overcapacity. Investment in more rail and luas stock is imperative in conjunction with the roll out of any new bus services for Dublin.
Too often our transport systems seem to be operating in limbo, for example the latest new train timetable in operation since 8th September 2018 has resulted in trains arriving late at
Ashtown Station, consequently then late arriving in the City resulting in passengers being late for work. Efforts to get spaces on earlier trains has resulted in even more overcrowding.
Late train arrivals may also be due to Dart services being recently ‘improved’ to a 10 minute peak service, causing ongoing delays in the Maynooth line entering Connolly Station resulting in late trains.
Our different modes of public transport cannot continue to operate in isolation. Joined up thinking and investment in relation of all modes is urgently required and long overdue.
There are several major concerns for residents of our area.
Under these proposals the 122 bus would be replaced by the 262 which is a circular route which does not operate to the City Centre and onwards as the current 122 does. At present the 122 serves Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The proposals would result in people living in this area having to leave home perhaps up to 30 minutes earlier and arriving home up to 30 minutes later in evenings. The frequency of the proposed 262 should be increased to 10/15 minutes during the morning and evening peak times.
This new proposal would completely undo the new cross city routes introduced only a few years for all our buses (apart from 122) Nos. 37, 38’s, 39 and 70 presently cross the City to Burlington Road, and the 39A to UCD . This has been of great benefit and comfort to our residents and many others from further away within Dublin 15.
The B routes would replace several bus routes and there is huge worry in our area that by the time buses reach us they will be full. In fact we could envisage a scenario where the B buses would be full leaving the Blanchardstown Hub or soon thereafter. With the 122 route gone this would leave our very large area with no direct bus link to the City Centre, especially during peak times.
Changes to what is currently the 120 bus combined with full trains at Ashtown could see more Pelletstown residents accessing the B routes on the Navan Road resulting in less capacity on these routes. There are a large number of homes currently under construction and more areas still to be developed in Pelletstown which will add to the commuter problems.
The removal of the 122 means that there is no service to the main entrance of the Mater Hospital.
Removal of the 37 bus means that Blackhorse Avenue and Dunard Estate no longer have a bus service which terminates in the City Centre. Skreen Road loses its service completely.
The proposal to put a regional bus hub at Blanchardstown Centre would not make sense. At present the roads into and out of the Centre are often gridlocked. The roads cannot cope with current bus and motor traffic on a daily basis. This is much worse at peak shopping times i.e. Christmas, Bank Holidays, weekends etc.
Redirecting the 70 bus into Blanchardstown Shopping Centre deprives the Navan Road of a bus which will lead to more crowded or full buses by the time they reach our area.
A large number of students from the 70 route attend schools within our area, such as St. Dominic’s College, St. Declan’s College , Navan Road Primary Schools School and the Educate Together Primary School in Pelletstown to name but a few. This amazingly inhuman plan will require they change buses on the way to and from schools in hail, rain or snow, with heavy school bags scrambling for places morning and afternoon at the over-crowded Blanchardstown Centre Hub.
At present the No. 70 Bus – on exiting Little Pace comes directly down Navan Road with no stops until it reaches the Travel Lodge/Auburn Avenue stop, in less than 5 minutes if no traffic delays. Users of No. 70 bus will have to leave home at least half hour earlier in mornings, getting home half hour later in evenings.
Running the 262 and N2 Services via the one way Broombridge requires traversing a narrow and Listed Bridge. It is not clear how such an old, historic bridge (Sir William Rowan Hamilton- the algebra of quaternions) will withstand two way bus traffic.
For people with visual impairments it is essential that there is no change of colour of the bus livery. It would be especially problematic if the idea of changing bus stops to grey was followed through.
The danger for disabled people – throughout the whole City of Dublin – will be getting on a first bus which requires a CHANGE OF BUS, and being left behind at the second CHANGE STOP, in hail, rain or snow, if the second bus is full.
Those of us regular bus users are well aware of constant arguments with a parent not having the courtesy to fold a buggy on access to a bus, thereby taking up the entire and only space for a wheel-chair, which is then refused entry to bus – leading to a double whammy for the unfortunate wheelchair user – when they eventually get the first bus, the second CHANGE BUS may be full.
Service users of campuses such as St. Vincent’s Centre on the Navan Road may have spent many years learning to identify the bus number and route they require so that they can travel independently. The proposed changes would have a very detrimental effect on these bus users and may well result in many losing this small measure of independence.
We would finally like to bring to your attention the fact that public transport is not only there to move people to and from work quickly and efficiently, although this is obviously important. Public transport also fulfils a role in helping people socialise and avail of shopping and entertainment. Some of the proposed changes would definitely lessen this aspect of public transport to the detriment of many residents of Dublin.
Navan Road Community Council,
10, Glendhu Park,
Dublin 7, D07EA44.