dublin city council’s dublin bus company bord pleanála college green
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Dublin Bus wants to keep running buses through College Green in defiance of Dublin City Council’s plans to develop the area as a pedestrian- and cyclist-only plaza.
The bus company, which previously publicly supported the council’s plans for a new €10 million civic plaza, wants An Bord Pleanála to stop the council from banning buses from crossing College Green, and to hold a public oral hearing on the scheme.
The board has ordered the council to reassess its plans for the plaza following submissions from Dublin Bus, the National Transport Authority (NTA), Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and city business interests.
The council in February last year announced its intention to turn the area in front of the Bank of Ireland on College Green into a civic plaza, banning all traffic access to and from Dame Street.
It had initially intended to have the plaza in place ahead of the start of operations of the new Luas Cross City this December. However, it did not submit its plans to An Bord Pleanála until May and the planning board is not expected to issue a decision until November at the earliest. Construction of the plaza would take up to 18 months, the council said.
The board has told the council to undertake a “comprehensive assessment” of proposed traffic changes “direct, indirect and cumulative” for College Green, and the entire city centre for “all transport modes”.
The assessment should include how traffic changes will effect individual streets, access to homes and businesses, including car parks, as well as details of current journey times for buses and other traffic over a distance stretching form Heuston Station to Shelbourne Park greyhound stadium in Ringsend, and from the Mater hospital to Leeson Street Bridge.
“The assessment shall address the wider city implications of removing traffic from College Green and the adequacy of infrastructure.” the board said.
The council must respond to the NTA and Dublin Bus concerns that its proposals were “premature” pending the ongoing redesign of bus services in the city, as well as the bus company’s concern that buses would be prevented from travelling west-east through College Green.
It must also respond to concerns about the “lack of segregated cycle facilities” creating potential conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians and the Luas, raised by the NTA and Dublin Bus, TII and Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
The council has until September 21st to respond to the board.