First BusConnects infrastructure route given green light from planning board

An Bord Pleanála, the national planning board, has given planning permission for the BusConnects Liffey Valley to City Centre Core Bus Corridor Scheme — it’s the first of the National Transport Authority’s BusConnects infrastructure routes to gain planning permission.

The Liffey Valley to City Centre route starts towards the rear of the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and goes via roads and streets such as the Ballyfermot Road, Sarsfield Road, Emmet Road, Mount Brown, and Thomas Street.

Conditions on the approval include that the NTA seeks the agreement of the planning authorities on the design of crossings to bus stops in line with the Cycle Design Manual, the location of bicycle parking stands, details on kerb heights, adequate loading facilities for businesses, construction methods and monitoring of construction impacts on humans and the environment.

The Board however overruled the planning inspector on details of the project.

Donal Donnelly, an An Bord Pleanála senior planning inspector, suggested a wide-ranging planning condition including traffic further claiming and public realm in line with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets

Donnelly’s suggestion included that “Pinch points shall be in line with the road user hierarchy as designated within DMURS, i.e., the width of the general traffic lanes should reduce first, then the width of the cycle track should be reduced before the width of the pedestrian footpath is reduced. Footpaths and cycle lanes shall not be reduced below 2m where there is scope to reduce the adjoining general traffic lane to 2.75m.”


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He also said that “All cycle tracks shall have a minimum width of 1.5m excluding kerb width” and that an advance stop box not be used in one location.

The Board’s Order and Direction, signed by board member Patricia Calleary, said: “In deciding not to attach the Inspector’s recommended condition number 3 that would have required amendments and additions to the proposed road development, the Board was satisfied that the development as described by the submitted plans and particulars was, by itself and subject to the conditions attached by the Board, in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. Accordingly, the Board concluded that the attachment of this recommended condition was not necessary.”

It added: “In this regard, the Board noted that the proposal brought forward for assessment has been advanced through an iterative design process and was satisfied that the design as submitted to the Board would result in a significant improvement for all road users including in particular users of public and active transport modes of travel.”

The Inspector’s Report and the Board’s Order and Direction can be read in full at pleanala.ie.

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