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Sunday 15 September 2019

Phase one report must take on board 30,000 submissions

Revised proposals: Homes will be affected in the second phase of the Bus Connects scheme, when trees and gardens are removed
Revised proposals: Homes will be affected in the second phase of the Bus Connects scheme, when trees and gardens are removed
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The National Transport Authority's (NTA) consultation report on the redesign of the current bus routes and bus numbers - the first phase of which does not involve felling trees or removing parts of gardens - is due to be published soon.

It will outline the concerns of those who made submissions, and how those concerns were addressed in a revised plan. The report follows consideration of 30,000 submissions made on the first phase.

The public will have another chance to make submissions before a final system is decided upon.

The NTA hopes to begin the redesign in 2021 on a phased basis.

Regarding the second phase of Bus Connects - the 16 core bus corridors, involving the removal of trees and gardens - the NTA will publish its revised proposals in November after considering 10,000 submissions.

By late this year, the authority hopes to optimise the engineering design and prepare an environmental impact assessment, as well as define the property requirements and prepare the compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Next year, the NTA plans to make its submission to An Bord Pleanála.

Whether legal challenges disrupt or delay the project remains to be seen.

The NTA has projected that by 2021 it would be formally requesting compensation claims from the CPO-affected parties and be discussing valuations with them.

When agreement is reached and land acquisition is finalised, the construction of the corridors will begin on a phased basis with each corridor upgrade taking up to two years to complete.

The NTA predicts that the project will be completed by 2027.

Dublin Chamber supports the idea of creating spines (A to G under the current proposals) along the main arterial roads in Dublin.

The chamber ultimately views the Bus Connects project as part of a larger plan to alleviate congestion and enhance public transport infrastructure within the capital city.

On its own, Bus Connects presents only a short-term measure that will enable the existing transport network to function for as long as possible.

Longer term, ambitious investment is required for Dublin's transport infrastructure.

Irish Independent

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