The overlooked orbital from BusConnects

R112 orbital bus route line from Blackrock to Walkinstown

Network Map Submission: WALKINSTOWN-BLACKROCK ORBITAL

St Peter´s Road section of R112 route

Note: This page is an updated migrated version of: https://futureofdublin.ie/templeogue3.html

Proposal:
1) We are proposing the addition of a new orbital S5 bus route along the R112 to be added to New Dublin Bus Area Network as part of BusConnects.

This route would intersect with the following BusConnects routes:

A1, A2, A3, A4, B3, B4, D2, D4, D5, F1, F2, F3, G1, S4 (Kylemore), S6 (Churchtown), 71, 74 ,80, 85, 86, 98, L13

2) Addition of segregated cycle paths along R112 similar to what has been achieved on Braemor Road section with added separation between Bus Stops and cyclists. (Update: this is already due to be partly implemented)

3) Implement more Park & Ride options such as the Spawell Car Park.

The R112 is one of the city's few crucial east-west orbital routes, built long before the M50 and it still has no bus service.

Route: Park West and Cherry Orchard (NEW)Walkinstown Avenue (Kylemore Luas) St Peters Road Templeville Road (Templeogue) — Dodder View/Park Road (Rathfarnham)— Braemor Road (Churchtown) — Dundrum (Dundrum Luas) Stillorgan Blackrock

S5 orbital marked in light blue.
The NTAs ambition for increased public transport uptake falls well short of what is required

The Network Redesign proposed as part of the BusConnects plan will leave residents of Walkinstown/Templeogue with a sub-standard bus service that does not deliver quality public transport for residents. In some areas, the BusConnects plan will provide an inferior service even to the existing network.

Modal share
South Dublin County Council modal share 2018

Our proposed S5 orbital route would not only serve to cut vehicular traffic in the area, it would also intersect with several of the BusConnects spines, which when implemented will allow residents to hop on/off buses paying just one single fare that connects them to various Dublin´s suburbs and village centres (such as Dundrum, Templeogue etc..) that were previously inaccessible to them by public transport.

Frequency: Using existing road infrastructure and bus stop locations the route would run at a similar frequency to other existing orbital routes in the capital such as the N8 orbital, with the potential for this to be revised based on demand e.g school transport, weekend demand for beach, shopping centre access etc.. New bus stop locations for access to amenties such as Bushy Park could be explored also.

Table adapted from BusConnects official website, subject to change.

Shared benefits

  • Improved bus connectivity between suburbs and new corridor routes utilizing the new single 90 minute fare
  • Connect the red and green Luas lines and Dart+
  • Accessibility and greater independence for more vulnerable groups (e.g reduced mobility or additional needs)—Note: We will discuss our ideas for improved accessibility in a future post
  • Improved access to local amenities e.g Movies@Dundrum, Templeogue Swimming Pool, Bushy Park, Whitehall Badminton Centre etc…
  • Net reduction of traffic on Templeville Road and surrounding areas (also helps prevent need for future road widening) and reduction of spillover traffic from a clogged M50.
  • Better school connectivity for kids who need to commute
  • Increased mobility means better health outcomes and lower pollution levels
  • Contribute to a reduction in transport emissions in line with the objectives of the Climate Action Plan by encouraging modal shift to active travel use (Climate Action Plan sets out a 50% emissions reduction target for Transport)
  • Helps combat modelled traffic increases due to new/upcoming housing developments in the area
  • Reduction in fuel poverty for vulnerable families and renters
  • Moves more people to more places using much less roadspace than only electric vehicles.
  • Would intersect with several city centre routes, providing connecting services to make our public transport more accessible and attractive to a larger number of people therefore reducing congestion.
  • Studies show higher provision of public transport reduces traffic for those who really need to drive
  • Improves air quality by reducing pollutants of carbon monoxide, NOx etc.. in atmosphere
  • Reduced traffic could allow for more flexible Bus Gate operation
Check your car´s real emissions here:

Challenges

Load Factor/Appeal: A poor passenger uptake is cited as a concern in providing for this route. Observing traffic levels between Dundrum and Walkinstown during weekdays and also on Saturday afternoon illustrates that this route is already suffering from problematic traffic congestion.

The affected areas are becoming more high-density in nature with a significant number of high-density schemes planned for sites such as Milltown, Walkinstown House and the “car-free” City Edge project in D12. Given the orbital nature and proximity to the M50, the routes capacity to reduce some of the existing traffic between JNC13 and JNC10 Tallaght on the M50 should also be given consideration.

Other existing areas along the route which have a sub-par bus service such as Wainsfort Manor, Templeogue could have access opened up onto the R112 with a little help from SDCC.

Templeogue College. This route that will be left without any bus service under the current BusConnects plans.

Speed: Previous orbital routes in Dublin such as the 75 have suffered from low passenger volume as high numbers of bus stops and a long route time didn´t encourage people to make a modal shift away from their cars. We are proposing a lower number of additional bus stops than what would typically feature on an orbital route. This trade-off would mean a greater distance between bus stops over the recommended 300-500m range but result in a considerably faster service with higher uptake. It would help it serve also as an interchange for several of the BusConnects spines as well as the Luas and Dart.

Cost: Dublin Bus made a small pre-tax loss in 2022. We believe that Dublin Bus should be open to making pre-tax losses for the coming years in order to allow a time buffer for improved passenger uptake and behavioural change. Cost/Benefit analysis need to factor in the wider societal/health benefits of such schemes and the estimated economic savings from improving air quality and citizen mobility. We note there is a significant amount of money available for new active travel routes under this Programme for Government which is likely to continue flowing. Billions have been spent on national road projects over the past decade, and millions more are due to be paid to homeowners to widen roads such as Terenure Road East and Rathfarnham Road. This is a subsidy that should be easily justifiable when looked at within the bigger picture of reducing emissions and gridlock, providing transport accessibility, and unlocking the potential of Dublin’s transport workhorse.

See BusConnects Network Map for Templeogue-Walkinstown

Braemor Road, Churchtown

A section of the route that has already adapted to a sustainable shared roadspace. Providing for public transport now will prevent the need for road widening in the future. 

Connected Network: Source Jarrett Walker and Sons

An S5 orbital would greatly enhance the connectivity of the entire network, connecting the Green and Red Luas lines and incorporate Dart network also

Luas tracks with S5 added in blue

Even when sharing with general traffic, a bus route can significantly reduce congestion and noise, particularly when well connected to other routes as it would be once the revised network plan is implemented as part of BusConnects. This is because even at just a third of their occupancy and combined with the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles, a bus route will significantly reduce the number of cars from the road, greatly improving air quality and reducing overall noise pollution also. It would also improve childrens´ access to friends, school and shared community spaces.

For those for whom the bus is not an option, for the cost of having to share the road with a bus every 10-15 minutes, there would be significantly less congestion on their route, improving journey times for everyone.

AA Roadwatch traffic hotpots.

Route clearly visible on AA Roadwatch map of traffic hotspots

In the absence of a metro or light-rail option for the area, the NTA must provide sufficient bus services to meet both the community transport needs and sustainable living goals.

New single decker hydrogen fuel cell Dublin Bus

Speaking about the ordering of a greener fleet of vehicles, Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA has been quoted as saying —“These buses are just one part of the overall approach, and hydrogen is just one of the technologies that we are looking to in the drive to make public transport more sustainable. Alongside these buses, we are also about to order 45 battery single-deck battery-electric buses for use in urban areas, with another 150 or so to come.”

We shouldn’t wait for congestion on our suburbs to get worse to improve our suburban public transport for people who cannot or do not want to drive between suburbs. Now is the time to act, the funding is there, we just have to demand it.

Next Steps

1. Leave us a comment below and/or copy this link and share on social media, local community groups, councillors etc…

2. Email it to the BusConnects team directly at info@nationaltransport.ie indicating your desire for the proposal to be considered
. You may wish to address that NTA’s main point that the country cannot afford to run/maintain a bus service here.

Note: By voicing your support for new bus routes like this you are actively practicing your civic duty and contributing to Ireland meeting it´s UN sustainable development goals. In Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2023 the country has committed itself to reducing it´s transport emissions by 51% by 2030. Routes like these in combination with the existing projects are the best way for us to actually meet that objective, making our city a true leader on sustainble travel. A sincere thank you for your support.

Next up: Our view on BusConnects Proposals Templeogue/Terenure

Updates

May 2024

Templeville Road public consultation sees part 8 for segregated cycling infrastructure.

Jan 2024

NTA response ignores the fact that most new services are replacing existing services and that the S4 orbital is out of reach for residents of Templeogue/Walkinstown and beyond. It suggests interchanging with Dart and Luas but provides no new services to facilitate access to these rail lines, see section of reply below:

“A service on the proposed lines would indeed add some useful extra connectivity to the network. It would also add very significant extra cost and, unfortunately, we cannot justify the subsidy which would be needed.

It is not the Authority’s practice to run trials for this kind of significant addition to the network as we would not wish to introduce new facilities which we believe we could not sustain.

Residents in the areas concerned will still see significant benefit new radial services F1, F2, F3, 81 and 82, and, for some, orbital route S4. These services make a very wide range of destinations reachable, with attractive frequencies throughout the day and week and the availability of free interchange with other buses, and with Luas, DART and rail.”

-National Transport Authority

Dec 2023

We have added potential eastbound bus stop locations below (pending local feedback/layout designs)

Nov 2023

Route updated for improved cycling continuity via best practices as described in the NTA’s Cycle Design Manual.

  • Continuity of dual-directional cycle track on Springfield Avenue until second pedestrian crossing
  • On road cycle track at Circle K for improved continuity (for those not continuing on greenway)
  • Installation of protected cycling infrastructure between Templeogue Village and Templeville Roundabout

Sep 2022

Good response from Eamon Ryan’s office, passed on to NTA. They said the proposal would add useful connectivity, but also extra costs. They believe they would not be able to sustain such a service.

June 2022

Dun Laoghaire County Council proposes active travel route along the R112 from Dundrum to Stillorgan. This underpins the urgent need for a bus service in tandem with this.

March 2022

We support South Dublin County Councils Templeville Road Cycle Route and would like to see it extended until the Templeville Road junction with Templeogue village to connect it to the existing network at Springfield Avenue/Dodder river. Provision of bus bays should be facilitated to enable this route to adapt to our proposed bus route below.

Dec 2021

It has been proposed by Proinsias Mac Fhlannachadha to extend this route to Kylemore Road for Luas access and terminate at Parkwest for Dart+ access.

Colm

Colm is a Madrid based QA Engineer from Terenure with a passion for sustainable transport. Amongst his motivations for this project, he would like to see Ireland achieve a 'very high' rating in the annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), an independent monitoring tool for tracking countries’ climate protection performance.

6 thoughts on “The overlooked orbital from BusConnects

  1. This would be a fantastic service which we are in desperate need of. The traffic on the Braemor road is often at a standstill and this new route would help alleviate the congestion whilst also catering to multiple schools. It is about time that we invest in routes that provide essential links between suburban areas.

  2. As somebody who’s lived in the area for the entirety of my life and has had to live with poor public transport throughout that time, I can safely say this is desperately needed.

    When I initially saw the original BusConnects proposal for this area I was left in disbelief. They somehow managed to make our public amenities even worse. Out of the 3 bus services offered around Walkinstown only one is halfway consistent. The most consistent option I have is walking 45 minutes to reach the Red line Luas. I’ve never been able to safely plan a trip without accounting for an hour leeway due to this.

    The proposal of introducing a new orbital is desperately needed. It is beyond a joke that such a well traveled road system has never had a bus on it. This needs to change while there is an opportunity to do so, or the Walkinstown/Templeogue road issue will only continue to become worse as time goes on.

  3. Thank you for a very comprehensive submission.
    I live in Templeogue (Cypress) and when I am travelling to Heuston Station, I get a lift to Kylemore. It would be super to have a S5 route.

    One thing you have left out is Luas Red Line feed to St James Hospital and New Childrens Hospital. I emailed Minister for Transport, Colm Brophy TD and Pamela Kearns SDcoco.

    Kind regards,
    Bob

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