Bus Connects plan ‘needs more meat on the bones’

by Sylvia Pownall

A Fingal councillor has called for “more meat on more bones” in relation to the Bus Connects plan to ensure commuters are fully informed before they have their say.

Draft plans for the radical overhaul of the Dublin Bus route network have sparked a wave of criticism since they were unveiled earlier this month.

Clonsilla-based Independent Cllr Tania Doyle is calling for more detail around proposed changes to the routes serving Dublin 15.

She told Dublin Gazette: “I have been on the ground engaging with residents. They are concerned that the services will not be customer-led.

“Here in Dublin 15, our roads are becoming car parks, journey times are extending.

“One could argue [there was] insufficient foresight and investment, but we are where we are and with Bus Connects we need to get it right from day-one.”

Chief concerns in D15 – which would see routes renamed B1, B2, B3 etc – include the reduced service to outlying areas such as Hollystown and Laraghcon which will have shuttle buses at lower frequencies than currently prevail.

Elsewhere in Fingal, the proposal to scrap the 42 service through Seabury in Malahide and the loss of the 33X express service to Skerries, Rush and Lusk are also a worry.

Cllr Doyle said: “No one doubts that we need a better system. We neither have the will nor potentially the finances to do this all over again in 10 years from now.

“Residents I have spoken to are concerned that a network will be rolled out while we won’t know how it will get where it wants to go. I’m on the record as saying that we need more meat on a lot more bones.

“I am not in favour of the proposal, I am not against the proposal, I can’t make a final call as I don’t think there’s enough information to realistically do that at this time.”

Cllr Doyle said applying models which have been introduced elsewhere may not work in the capital because of the “Dublin factor” – including narrow streets, the “bedlam” on the quays and one-way systems.

She added: “I’m concerned that we don’t know the layout of the interchange in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre for those with additional needs – wheelchair users, for example.”

The consultation period extends until September 28. Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority will hold a series of information sessions at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre in September.

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