The National Transport Authority will spend €350m over the next ten years on infrastructure works around Dublin city for the provision of core bus corridors.
The transport agency has tendered for a 10-year contract for the provision of bus corridor infrastructure works, relating to the 12 new bus ‘spines’ which will comprise the city’s next-generation transit plan.
Two of those corridors, which feed into the city from all directions, have been approved to date – the Liffey Valley and Clongriffin routes received permission for construction from An Bord Pleanála last December and earlier this month respectively.
The NTA said that once the infrastructure contract is awarded, a further six design and build contractors will be put in place by the end of 2024 who will be charged with implementing the various routes for its BusConnects programme.
The authority noted that despite it having “significant experience in delivering major transport projects”, there nevertheless is a “recognition that the scale and complexity” of what is being attempted with the implementation of core bus corridors “will require additional capacity and capabilities”.
BusConnects as a project applies not just to Dublin but to Cork, Galway, and other locations.
The Dublin leg of the project, the first to enter an implementation phase, which initially went for public consultation in 2018, is expected to cost as much as €3.4bn up to 2030.
The NTA previously envisaged that BusConnects would eventually provide “significant improvement in the frequency and capacity of bus services” on the new routes proposed for Dublin, with “next-generation ticketing” also being proposed.
BusConnects had previously proven controversial locally, given the extent to which residents and businesses would be impacted by the need to widen the proposed routes via compulsory purchase orders.
Cork’s €600m BusConnects service, the next for implementation after Dublin, remains in its consultation phase.
Last November certain contentious land acquisitions and sections of bike lanes were dropped from revised designs for a network of strategic transport corridors (STCs) proposed under that programme, changes which led to a 48% reduction in the amount of private land which would have been impacted compared with initial proposals.