Whale Theatre, Greystones 26th July. Attendance 95
Newcastle, 7th August, Attendance 45
Kilcoole, 8th August. Attendance 40
Many points were raised but in general it was felt Bus Connects produces a better bus service for the area. Some points directly relevant to Bus Connects which should be changed:
- Considerable concern in Kilpeddar/Willow Grove that the bus will not serve. I think that it should still go through, Northbound (201 route), as it only will add about 2 minutes to the journey.
- Deletion of the 2 84x services outside peak. This is a very good service and the earlier one is standing room frequently. They should be restored and add one at 9 am would be useful and a later one in the evening. Getting on returning one is a problem as short distance people fill it up. The 90 minute ticket will make it worse. Not letting people off as happens now with Bus Eireann could solve this.
- Some 201’s could go via the harbour in Greystones as now. 400 homes are being built there now.
Important points which would make the service better and need further consideration:
1. An Outer Orbital Bus Route, using the Orbital Road (M50). Similar to the 84x, Greystones, Bray Southern Cross Road, LUAS Carrickmines, LUAS Red Cow, possibly to the new bus interchange at Liffey Valley, maybe to a Blanchardstown node. Many people in North Wicklow work in Sandyford and West Dublin and public transport is far too slow and indirect. Thus they use cars but a more direct bus service should reduce traffic on the N11/M50. While connecting to LUAS at Sandyford would be better in some ways the bus would get tied up in the bad traffic there.
2. Bray traffic is often very bad. While the journey from Greystones to the DART station can be done in 15 min without traffic, at peak rush hour a car/bus leaving Greystones at 8.15 will take about 40-45 min to reach the DART station in Bray. Putting a bus centre at the DART there will give poor and uncertain journey times. People reported taking 50 mins to get from North Greystones to Bray DART at times. In that time an 84x would get to UCD. Proposals for Bray bus corridors only cover the North end which is short. They have not advanced as far as I can see. The 201/202 need bus priority all through South and Central Bray which I think would be strongly resisted. A transfer interchange should be on the N11 at possibly the Enniskerry turn, Fassaroe or maybe Loughlinstown.
3. Bus Priority is needed at Redford and at the Southern Cross Roundabout in Bray where traffic going into Bray blocks the left turn from Greystones.
4. Following our many complaints, for many years, DB has said it can’t connect up the buses and DARTs. 84/184s frequently leave the station as the train arrives in. Yet this plan assumes a much better connection. People are very sceptical of this.
5. A person who used to work in bus planning was sceptical this plan would work on our narrow roads compared to US wide roads. He was concerned that the E bus would get delayed as it is cross city and they would all bunch up. Then driver’s hours would be short and buses would have to be removed.
6. I am concerned that stopping buses on the carriageway and at traffic lights will seize up traffic on most roads in this area as they are narrow. Buses go along the R761 (with high traffic volumes) and town centre roads which only have 1 lane each direction. They can’t be passed when stopped on most roads which will cause serious congestion. This far from the city centre cars will still form an important means of transport and need to pass stopped buses.
7. UCD is not a 9 to 5 place and transport is needed at other times.
8. Concern at Sea Road in Kilcoole not being served.
9. If the 184 has been privatised with a 5 year contract how can these changes be introduced in 2 years.
10. Lack of connected tickets with the 133 Bus Eireann route. This would enable transfers from the 201/202 to that service providing connection to Wicklow town and other areas. The 133 is currently unreliable but when working as it should it provides a swift and easy route to the city at regular intervals throughout the day. Cycle Parks and Park n’ Ride sites could be built along its route also on the 301 route.
11. Concern at how to access St. Vincent’s Hospital.
12. Many are concerned in Kilcoole that the Bus App does not work properly.
13. Bus stop at Redford Park (4215) going South. Many schoolchildren wait here and it is unsuitable and unsafe. The schools served by that bus stop are growing rapidly with an additional 150 pupils per year approx as the post primary school has yet to reach full capacity. DB said they would make it safer (Council owned land is available) but this hasn’t happened. Shelter needed.
14. Interchanges need to be planned carefully to ensure easy transitions for those who are less physically mobile
The journey is very slow taking an hour to the centre, average speed 30 kph. Could some DARTs stop only every 2nd station speeding it up. It is always getting slower.
Frustration at lack of wi-fi in certain sections.