Wednesday 20 June 2018

WATCH: 'Surely to God, they could compromise' - Dubliners react to bus route plan that may cost them their gardens

Homeowner Jill Ledwith said she
Homeowner Jill Ledwith said she "wasn't very impressed" with the NTA's draft proposals to improve bus and cycling times in the city. Photo: Independent.ie

Rachel Farrell

Homeowners along the Swords Road in Dublin have expressed mixed reactions to the National Transport Authority (NTA)'s proposals to develop 230km of dedicated bus corridors.

The NTA published the Core Bus Corridors Report today, including draft proposals to improve bus and cycling times in the city.

If implemented, the NTA are proposing to develop 16 dedicated bus corridors, which may require parts of up to 1,300 gardens to be acquired to widen the roads.

Clongriffin, Swords and Ballymun are some of the areas that would be effected on the northside, with direct links planned for the southside also.

William Elliott, a local resident near the Swords Road, said the NTA's proposals could be a "good thing" for traffic in the area.

"I'm always about progress. If it helps people to get to work quicker and the roads better, it's a good thing but unfortunately, people might have to sacrifice part of their garden," he told Independent.ie.

"It has to be done, the city is growing and it's not going to shrink anymore. It's going to get bigger and bigger. The roads are not built for the traffic we have now. If it does work and it's done properly, it's a good thing."

Other residents expressed frustration at the thought of losing parts of their garden.

Local homeowner Jill Ledwith said: "To be quite honest I wasn't very impressed because at the end of the day, yes, it is an extremely busy road but surely to god they could compromise in some other way, rather than taking our front gardens."

Another woman, who has lived in the area for over 50 years, questioned how widening the lanes would fix the problem.

"I see traffic out there every morning. When I get up and look out my front window, as far as the eye can see, bumper to bumper both ways," she said.

"That is not improving at all. I don't think anything will help because I'm here 51 years and it's getting worse by the day."

CEO of the NTA Anne Graham said Ireland's infrastructure is coming "more and more under strain" as the number of public transport passengers continue to rise.

“Unless we address the infrastructure issues, it is inevitable that in the years ahead, travelling by bus will become slower, less reliable and more frustrating for everybody. But with BusConnects there is a solution on offer," Ms. Graham said in a statement today.

“Last year’s BusConnects announcement marked the beginning of a conversation on the role that this ambitious programme of investment in our bus services can play in meeting the future transport needs of the people of Dublin. One year on, we want to make sure that the conversation continues, and that is why we are publishing this document.

She added that a full process of public consultation will take place to answer detailed questions on local issues, but that the NTA's plans have "the potential" to change Dublin's public transport. 

“There is no doubt that congestion in Dublin is getting worse, but with the ambitious measures put forward today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

"We believe that our plans have the potential to completely transform public transport, to make travelling by bus more attractive, and to get more people using sustainable modes of transport in and around the city.”

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