Monday 27 May 2019

Scope in BusConnects plans to alter proposed changes to routes

Marie Hannon with concerned residents at the Kilgarron Hill bus stop
Marie Hannon with concerned residents at the Kilgarron Hill bus stop
Concerned residents after completing the 185 challenge to the Kilgarron bus stop

Mary Fogarty

Residents of Enniskerry heard last week that the National Transport Authority is aware of issues with proposed changes to the village bus routes and is keen to correct them.

Cllr Steven Matthews said last week at a meeting of Bray Municipal District that a spokesman for the organisation had texted him to that effect.

He urged residents, who had presented their concerns at the meeting, to go to a public consultation event, which took place at Tesco in Bray last Friday afternoon.

Residents had made a detailed presentation about their reliance on the bus service, particularly for residents of Kilgarron Hill, Shop River and outlying areas, users of the post office at the top of the hill, and those with mobility issues. They had been in existence as the group 'Keep Enniskerry Connected' for just 12 days when they presented to the council last Tuesday night.

Cllr Steven Matthews said that the chief executive of the NTA would be at the consultation in Bray. He said that the authority will seek to address and fix issues following the public consultation process, which ends on September 28.

Cllr Matthews said that there is scope in the BusConnects plan to make changes, with the proposals before the public very much a first draft.

'Please go and see them on Friday, I think you will get some comfort,' said Cllr Matthews. Members agreed to write to the NTA proposing that routes 185 and 44 remain unchanged.

A number of residents of Enniskerry took the '185 challenge' the previous Sunday afternoon, walking up Kilgarron hill, which could lose its bus service under proposed changes to the network.

Under the proposed Busconnects changes, Shop River and Kilgarron Hill in Enniskerry and Palermo in Bray would no longer be served by buses. Locals say that elderly and otherwise immobile people rely on public transport to those outlying areas. They say they will be cut off from neighbouring towns and their health and well-being will suffer as a result of the changes.

In Bray, volunteers have been going around the community with a petition opposing the proposed removal of the service from Palermo. The petition is also available in the library.

Plans and maps can be viewed on and public consultation will remain open until September 28.

According to the NTA, the proposed plans will increase the frequency of all 'orbital services' connecting greater Dublin to the city centre and link them to new 'central spines' which are routes that have constant buses to the city centre.

This will mean changes to the 145, 184 and 84. One key change locally would be a new circular route (204) around the Greystones area going through Greystones, from Victoria Road, Church Road (Main Street) along Mill Road and through Killincarrig, turning right at the roundabout and continuing past Tesco to meet the starting point.

The proposals for Bray include Bray DART station becoming a terminus for all local routes, while the current 145 (which will become E1) will no longer serve the Killarney Road/Ballywaltrim area but there will be a new feeder route into it.

The plan links Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole and would extend a route from Wicklow to link in with the LUAS in Cherrywood.

Branch E1 of the E spine would begin at Bray station and extend north. Other routes would be the 212 (linking Bray and Ballywaltrim, leaving every 10 minutes), the 211 (taking in Dun Laoghaire and Sallynoggin to Kilmacanogue) and the 213 replacing the 185. The 84x would become 315, with another new bus service (301) to UCD.

Bray People