Major changes proposed in Dublin City Transport Study – Quays, College Green, Suffolk Street

Public Consultation June 11th - July 16th

 Dublin City Centre Transport Study proposes major changes to ensure city continues to function efficiently and accommodate future growth

€150 million NTA investment in public transport forecast

Public transport, cycling and pedestrian only links along North and South Quays and at College Green plus pedestrianisation of Suffolk Street and St. Stephen’s Green North

Increases in public transport capacity plus implementation of city wide cycle network

New interchange hubs, bridges, coach and taxi facilities to ease city flow

Public’s views sought – consultation open from June 11th to July 16th 2015 on www.dublincity.ie/TransportStudy

June 10, 2015

The National Transport Authority and Dublin City Council today (June 10, 2015) published their joint “Dublin City Centre Transport Study” – a set of proposals to enhance overall movement in the city and achieve the objectives set out in the current Dublin City Development Plan – “ … modal share targets crossing the canals of 55% for public transport, 15% for cycling, 10% for walking and 20% for private car use in the annual cordon count by 2017”. A period of public consultation on the Study will run from tomorrow, June 11th until July 16th 2015, so that the views of members of the public, and interested parties, can be heard before final decisions are made.

Anyone with views they wish to express can do so online on www.dublincity.ie/TransportStudy. A comprehensive public information pack on the study is also available at this location.

Submissions can also be made, and the Study consulted, at Dublin City Council’s public libraries, Area Offices and Customer Services Centre in Wood Quay.

Traffic congestion levels in Dublin are already rising, and, with an additional 42,000 morning-peak journeys into the City Centre anticipated by 2023, plans need to be put in place now to meet the Development Plan targets and to ensure that the capital city continues to function efficiently into the future. In addition, the construction and operation of Luas Cross City will require a significant reconfiguration of current traffic arrangements.

Measures proposed in the Study work together to form a cohesive plan. They include:

  • A rebalancing of road space and junction capacity to enable increased public transport provision;
  • the introduction of the high-capacity Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system;
  • increasing the frequency and capacity of the DART;
  • running new rail passenger services between Kildare and the Grand Canal Dock area through the Phoenix Park Tunnel;
  • enhancing interchange opportunities between modes at key points across the city;
  • developing a high-quality cycle network in the City Centre;
  • improving pedestrians’ experiences with wider footpaths and crossing priority at key junctions; and
  • reorganising city centre space for taxis and for coach-parking.

Specifically, the Study proposes extending the current ‘bus gate’ at College Green to exclude cars, vans and taxis on a 24-hour basis, restricting the street permanently to Luas, buses, cyclists and pedestrians and developing a much-enhanced civic space in front of Trinity College.

On the North and South Quays, Bachelors’ Walk would be reconfigured as a public transport / cycling / walking only corridor, between its junctions with Jervis Street and O’Connell Street. Across the river, this arrangement would be mirrored, either on Aston Quay, Burgh Quay or George’s Quay – with this decision to be made following a more detailed analysis. General through-traffic would be re-routed around the city’s central area – freeing up road-space in this currently congested part of the city.

As a result of the new traffic restrictions on College Green, Westmoreland Street too would cease to be a through route for car traffic, and can therefore be reconfigured to provide a high quality pedestrian environment, linking the city centre’s two major retail/leisure destinations – O’Connell Street/Henry Street and the Grafton Street Quarter – with wider paths, priority pedestrian crossing onto O’Connell Bridge, BRT and Luas interchange and enhanced cycling facilities.

D’Olier Street would also benefit directly from car-traffic realignments in the city centre. A new central median to accommodate additional bus stops, segregated cycle lanes and ready access to the DART at Tara Street would make this street a key interchange location in the city.

Developing Luas Cross City has opened up the opportunity to pedestrianise Suffolk Street, complementing the Grafton Street commercial area. And a new civic space can be created on St Stephen’s Green North between the Dawson Street and Grafton Street junctions, and extending southwards onto St. Stephen’s Green West.

In addition, investments will be made in improving key transport interchange locations across the city – at Connolly Station / Busaras and Heuston Station as well as at Westmoreland Street / D’Olier Street as outlined above. Three new Dockland Bridges – including a new road-bridge linking Thorncastle Road (Ringsend) to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, are proposed, as well as imaginative new ways to accommodate the requirement for coach-parking facilities and city centre taxi ranks.

Owen Keegan, Dublin City Council Chief Executive said: “Dublin City Council and the NTA are making these proposals because we cannot meet the expected growth in commuter traffic over the next decade through more car journeys. The city centre can only continue to function effectively if we offer those working and living in Dublin, as well as visitors, more choices in how they access and move around the capital. The proposals would also provide a better living and working environment for business, residents and visitors”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The National Transport Authority will be investing €150 million in these projects between now and 2023. Facing up to what’s needed, and taking some hard decisions now, will pay dividends for the city, and for the country as a whole, in the future. The plans set out in the Study will deliver a modern, functioning capital city, which addresses the requirements of its citizens, and of which we will all be very proud. ”

Michael Phillips, Dublin City Council’s Director of Traffic said: “The changes proposed in the Dublin City Centre Transport Study would affect everybody with an interest in Dublin. That’s why we want to hear people’s views and opinions. Our public consultation runs until 16th July, we will also be engaging with transport stakeholders on these proposals and look forward to hearing people’s opinions .”

ENDS

For the full report, a summary report and details on how to take part in the consultation see: www.dublincity.ie/TransportStudy

Editors’ Notes:

The Dublin City Centre Transport Study will be presented to members of Dublin City Council’s Strategic Planning Committee at its meeting this afternoon (June 10).

It will be uploaded for public reference on the Council’s website, and on the National Transport Authority’s website, and from June 11th until July 16th, members of the public and other interested parties can submit their views on the matters raised through the public consultation process.

For details see: www.dublincity.ie/TransportStudy

For more information:

Sara Morris, National Transport Authority

Paul Heffernan, Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, info@dublincity.ie

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