Draft Bus Connects submission


***Bus Connects consultation today Monday 17th September 2pm to 8pm Grand Hotel Malahide***

***Submission deadline 28th September www.busconnects.ie***

My draft submission is below. I would be interested in any feedback, positive or negative before I submit it.

1.Howth to city centre along the coast

The existing 31/31A service is well used. In addition to local residents and employees, including those whose trips are far from the railway stations, the passengers include a lot of tourists who might be using it instead of the Dart because of the scenic views as well as the direct access to stops on Howth Hill. The analysis carried out for Bus Connects seems to have a focus on residents’ access to work and education. It is not clear what data you are using for tourist trips on Dublin Bus.

There may be a good case for a direct bus route designed to serve both tourists and local need. It could travel along the coast for the entire route. If it did so it would give access to the land side of the causeway to Bull Island and Dollymount Beach, an important amenity area currently without a public transport service
2.Howth, Sutton, Bayside Kilbarrack – existing 31/31A, new N6 
I understand that people starting from a destination along the N6 route and travelling to the city centre are expected to transfer from this bus to the Dart at adjacent stations. If this is to work well it needs to ensure that there is smooth and quality transfer at these locations. This means bus shelters and direct pedestrian crossings of the road.
Passengers from between Howth Summit and the Dart station would transfer at Howth. For interchange at Howth, where Dart frequency is to be every 20 minutes and bus every 10-15 minutes, it requires that buses leave the summit timed to deliver passengers 5 minutes before trains depart. A bus shelter is required for the eastbound buses. (I have separately requested that a taxi rank be provided at the station as taxis have created their own unofficial rank nearby; the changes for both of these and for dropoff could be done as part of an overall public realm project for the station area.)
Passengers boarding west of Howth station bound for the city centre would transfer at Raheny.  With a 10 minute frequency at Raheny, coordinated timetabling is not a priority. The question though is where will the bus stops be; they are currently 260m and 210m from the station entrance. Will these distances be reduced?
3. Kilbarrack, Howth Junction, – existing 17a, new N8
This route should start at the Dublin Road in orderto connect with N6 and to serve the population on both side of Kilbarrack Road. There are many options for turning the bus. The easiest to implement would involve going south on the Dublin Road as far as Blackbanks and turning up Greendale Road. The bus could either turn at the roundabout or continue through it and turn right on Thornville Road to rejoin the Kilbarrack Road. Other options include using the petrol station for the buses to turn or some of the green space at Mariner’s Court.
Interchange with Howth Junction station should be provided by sheltered bus stops immediately beside the ramp up to the station, with signage and a welcoming environment for passengers making the connection.
4. Howth, Sutton, Baldoyle, existing 31A/31, new 290/ 291
Two bus routes with hourly frequency are proposed to connect the south side of the peninsula to Howth, Sutton Cross and on to Baldoyle and Clongriffin station.
Another option would be to have a single route where this bus, leaving Sutton Cross, would travel up to the top of St. Fintan’s Road and turn right onto Carrickbrack Rd. This combined route would then run every half an hour.
I understand that given the nature of these roads, it would need to be a smaller bus than a double-decker. I also understand that on at least one other route, the use of a non-double-decker is envisaged in the Bus Connects plan.
As the Dart is on 20 minute frequency at Sutton and Clongriffin this service/these services must be timed to connect with Darts.
5. Swords, Holywell, Kinsealy, new 280
The section of this route between Swords and the Dart should be bringing passengers to the nearest Dart Station which is Portmarnock not Clongriffin. I can’t see any obvious reaons to bring it to Clongriffin. Chapel Lane is a very pedestrian-hostile link between Portmarnock Station and the developed and developing housing in Kinsealy. Running the bus on this route would create a frequent reliable feeder service.
As the Dart is on 20 minute frequency at Portmarnock, this service must be timed to connect with trains.
6. Malahide to City Centre, existing 42, new D1
Seabury currently has the 42 at a 30 minute frequency (to Malahide in one direction and city centre in the other) and the 102 (to Malahide and to Swords) at a 30 minute frequency. Under Bus Connects it is to get only the 281 (to Malahide and to Swords) at a 20-25 minute frequency. I understand this is a 20 minute frequency to match the Darts but this needs to be confirmed. The Seabury area is both to lose the direct link to the City Centre and to lose the frequency of service.
There is a simple solution to this; the solution found by the 42; run the D1 on the same route along Yellow Walls Road and back to Malahide Road.
7. Port Tunnel routes, existing 142 and Swords Express, new unconnected Swords Express
No reason has been presented for dropping the peak hour 142 and it should be restored.
After queries, I understand the following to be the case with the Port Tunnel routes. I would be glad to be corrected if I have misunderstood.
My summary understanding of all this is that we are to have two types of local buses in Dublin:
a) Dublin Bus and  the routes which have just been tendered out. Although run by different operators, these are to provide an integrated service.
b) Swords Express and some other private routes which already exist.
Dublin Bus, Go Ahead, Luas/Veolia, Iarnród Éireann are to offer integrated services with integrated ticketing both between buses and with all heavy and light rail. They will have accessible vehicles.
Swords Express will be not be integrated and not offer accessible vehicles.
Swords Express (and I think some other operators) is not part of the integrated ticketing system.  It is not shown on the Bus Connects maps or isochrones.However, Bus Connects has clearly been designed not to compete with the Swords Express service, offering no radial route and only a 40 minute frequency on an orbital route to the substantial population in Holywell who currently avail of Swords Express as their only bus service. Furthermore Dublin Bus will run only two peak-only services through the Port Tunnel. It appears, for reasons which have not been given, (despite requests) that the standard bus network will not run on routes served by Swords Express and other private operators.
Services run by Swords Express (using the Port Tunnel) will simultaneously be recognised in the sense that Dublin Bus will not replicate the service they provide, but not recognised in that they will not be part of the urban public transport network and there will be no integrated ticketing for their passengers. This has a particular consequence for mobility impaired passengers, as Swords Express runs non-accessible buses.
This is not acceptable in terms of the service being provided to people in Swords, Holywell, Drinan, etc.
In addition, it makes no sense. The Port Tunnel is the best bus corridor in the city.​
​8. Integration with rail and integration of rail services with each other
Iarnród Éireann has recently changed rail timetables, to have no diesels stopping at Howth Junction, Clongriffin or Portmarnock (with a few am peak exceptions in Clongriffin and Portmarnock.) ​This has broken the following connections:
  • North County (Donabate/Rush and Lusk, Skerries, Balbriggan, Laytow, Drogheda) is no longer connect to the 17a at Howth Junction to access DCU and Beaumont.  This trip requires a further connection at Malahide.
  • Similarly travellers going between stations north of Malahide and stations east of Howth Junction must now change at both Malahide and Howth Junction.

​Additionally, the timetabling of the Darts (combined with the removal of the diesels) means that the connection between the two Dart spurs at Howth Junction now has a standard 19 minutes waiting time.

These changes reflect a failure to understand that just like bus services, rail services must be integrated with each other. Many of the Bus Connects ​changes in this area rely on the concept of interchange. Iarnród Éireann should not simultaneously be making interchange between rail lines and between rail and bus more difficult.


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