Hosting Public Display of Bus Connects Blanchardstown Corridor Proposal : Impact on Stoneybatter Navan Road and Cabra Areas
18 January 2019
The National Transport Authority(NTA) developed plans for the radical redesign of the bus transport system in Dublin last year – Bus Connects. The first phase of the public consultation focussed on the design and location of bus and cycle routes. 30,000 submissions were made by the public. The next phase of the consultation is ongoing at present and focusses on the infrastructural measures required to implement the proposed routes.
Blanchardstown to the City Centre is one of 16 core bus corridors for Dublin. It links Blanchardstown to the City Centre via the Navan Road, Cabra, Stoneybatter and the North Quays. The current proposals will have significant implications for the entire Stoneybatter/Navan Road/Cabra communities which must be addressed.
The BusConnects booklet with full details can be viewed and downloaded from www.bit.ly/BusConnects-Blanch. The plans are on display and available to read in my office at 338 North Circular Road, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 2pm during which time I or one of our Area Representatives will be available to assist anyone seeking information or advice on making a submission. Submissions must be made by the 15 February, 2019.
BUS CONNECTS: BLANCHARDSTOWN TO THE CITY CENTRE
Starting with a new bus terminus in the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, this emerging preferred bus corridor follows the line of the Navan Road, Old Cabra Road, Prussia St, Manor Street, Stoneybatter and Blackhall Place to the Quays.
The major thrust of the Bus Connects proposals is to create bus lanes and cycle lanes along the core corridor wherever possible even when that means removing on-street parking, loading bays, trees, walls, front gardens and driveways. This applies particularly to the Navan Road and the Old Cabra Road.
On the plus side 10 kilometres of new cycle lane and 10 kilometres of bus lane will be provided thereby drastically reducing the current bus journey time from 65 minutes to an estimated 25 to 30 minutes and providing safer cycling routes for the rapidly increasing number of city cyclists.
The main infrastructural road changes from the Navan Road to the North Circular Road are as follows:
- From the Ashtown Roundabout to the junction of the Old Cabra Road two-way bus, cycle and general traffic lanes will be provided. This will result in the removal of quite an amount of fencing, gardens and institutional land. All households affected will be contacted by the NTA.
- From the top of the Old Cabra Road to the North Circular Road only bus, cycle and local traffic will be permitted. There will be no right turn from the Glenbeigh Road into the Old Cabra Road. All traffic exiting Cabra drive onto the Old Cabra Road will be obliged to turn left (towards City Centre).
- Southbound general traffic will be prohibited from entering the Old Cabra Road at Cabra Cross and will be redirected onto New Cabra Road and will proceed towards Phibsborough. While northbound local traffic will be able to enter the Old Cabra Road ( e.g. to access Lidl ) it will not be permitted to proceed beyond Cabra Drive.
The traffic arrangements from Prussia St to Manor St are complicated, confusing and probably unworkable:
- From the North Circular Road to the entrance to the Park Shopping Centre there will be one southbound general traffic lane, one northbound bus lane and a lane for turning right into the North Circular Road.
- From the Park Shopping Centre to the junction with St Joseph’s Road there will be one general traffic lane in both directions but no bus lane.
- From St Joseph’s Road junction to Manor Street/Aughrim Street, there will be a southbound general traffic lane and a northbound bus lane only. No northbound traffic will be permitted to enter Prussia St from Manor St.
- All Traffic coming along Manor Street and heading north will be directed up Aughrim Street, Blackhorse Avenue, Skreen Road and Nephin Road and on to the Navan Road.
- Two-way general traffic will be maintained on Aughrim Street as Aughrim Street will be the main arterial route for general traffic into and out of the City.
- A major modification of the layout of the road at the junction of Manor Street, Aughrim Street and Prussia Street is planned to facilitate the increased traffic entering Aughrim Street. It includes the removal of open space and trees at Love Supreme/Java Bay cafes.
- On-street parking on Aughrim St may be curtailed.
From Manor Street to Arran Quay the following changes will apply:
- There will be a southbound bus lane and general traffic lane. There will be a northbound general traffic lane and two-way cycle lane. These changes will require the removal of some street parking and loading bays on Manor Street.
- Southbound traffic will have the option of turning left at either Brunswick Street or North King Street.
- A major change is a proposed two-way traffic system on George’s Lane from Brunswick Street North to King Street North. Cyclists coming down Stoneybatter will be mainly directed onto this route which will have a two-way cycle lane through Queen St to the quays.
- Northbound traffic will also be allowed turn up Grangegorman Lower from George’s Lane/Brunswick St North. This will have implications for DIT and Kirwan Street.
- The current traffic flow along King Street North, Queen Street, Blackhall Street and Blackhall Place will remain.
Many of the proposals are laudable - better bus and safer cycle facilities, speedier access to the City and a welcome emphasis on public transport. However, the Blanchardstown Corridor will present many challenges for the Stoneybatter/Cabra and Phibsborough communities:
- The New Cabra Road and Phibsborough will now have to manage the additional general south bound traffic which previously travelled down the Old Cabra Road towards the City Centre. As a result Phibsborough, which is already overloaded with traffic, will have significant additional traffic congestion.
- Prussia Street will have three different traffic arrangements which will confuse all users of this small stretch of road.
- Aughrim Street and St Joseph’s Road could become a traffic nightmare. Aughrim Street is a narrow street with busy church activities in the morning and at rush hour in the evening and does not have the capacity to become a major traffic arterial route for traffic from as far away as Meath. St Joseph’s Road will receive all traffic going to Park Shopping Centre/Tesco.
- At present most of the Northbound traffic accesses the Navan Road through Prussia St and the Old Cabra Road, much of it heading for North Dublin and Meath. Rat-running through Arbour Hill, Oxmantown, Phibsborough, Grangegorman, Blackhorse Avenue and Cabra appears to be inevitable with these changes.
So much has been done by volunteers to make Stoneybatter a strong, integrated, local urban village. We are concerned that Bus Connects has drawn up plans which would make our community a traffic hub for general traffic from as far away as Meath and which would greatly disrupt our community.
Full and meaningful consultation is essential if the final BusConnects plans are to provide good public transport and safe cycling and maintain community cohesion.