Traffic & Transport

BusConnects Network Redesign Public Consultation

The NTA is proposing numerous changes to public transport in the Greater Dublin Area. The bus element of these efforts has been dubbed BusConnects and includes three parallel strands of activity, that is

  • Infrastructure and bus priority measures, such as new bus lanes. There was a public Consultation on the Lucan Core Bus Corridor (CBC) at the end of 2018/ start of 2019 and the NTA has indicated that there will be a second public consultation on the Lucan CBC in late 2019/ early 2020
  • Improvements to fares and ticketing such that passengers can change from one mode of transport to another without incurring additional cost
  • A redesign of the bus network. The first public consultation on the proposed  Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign ran from July-September 2018 and the second public consultation is currently underway  and continues until December 3rd 2019.

Key routes for Celbridge under the proposals are

  • the C4 to Ringsend via Lucan, N4, Quays, Pearse St [this differs somewhat from the 2018 proposals which proposed routing the C4 via Barnhall and Leixlip village in an amalgamation of the 66B and 67 routes and via Kevin St + St, Stephen's Green in the City Centre],
  • the W8 orbital route between Maynooth and Tallaght taking in Celbridge, Hazelhatch, Newcastle, Saggart, Citywest
  • the 259 local service linking Hazelhatch, Clane Road, Aghard's Road, Gleneaston, Leixlip Confey, Riverforest
  • the 327 peak only service  by Aghard's Road, Clane Road, Lucan By-pass and onto UCD via the City Centre, Merrion Square and Ballsbridge [this will replace the 67X services via the Aghards Road and Clane Road route]
  • the 328 peak only service  by Maynooth Road, Main St, Lucan By-pass and onto UCD via the City Centre, Merrion Square and Ballsbridge [this will replace the 67X services via the Maynooth Road and Main St route]

Celbridge Community Council made a submission on the 2018 BusConnects Dublin Area Network Redesign based on the public transport provision we believed was needed in Celbridge. These views were based on those expressed by many from the Celbridge community over a number of months regarding use of public transport. 806 others from the Celbridge/ Leixlip area also made submissions. Celbridge commuters came out strongly in opposition to the abolition of the peak-time Express bus services to and from Dublin and in opposition to routing of all buses from Celbridge via Barnhall and Leixlip in what would effectively be an amalgamation of the 66B and 67 bus routes. It was widely felt that such changes would downgrade Celbridge's connection to Dublin City Centre. Thankfully, the 2019 BusConnects Dublin Area Network Redesign proposals from the NTA respond positively to our opposition by reinstating the current level of Express bus services and by retaining the current routing of buses past Weston.

Celbridge Community Council is currently working on a submission for the 2019 BusConnects Dublin Area Network Redesign public consultation and, while we note many improvements from the 2018 proposals, we still have a number of things we believe could be improved. 

A better network is essential to get people out of cars so we felt it was important to fully explore this as a community. We hosted an information evening and workshop on 28th November 2019 where attendees brainstormed with us what they saw as the pluses and the minuses of the 2019 proposals. It's great to be at a stage where we're exploring a better network and not bogged down by the degradation in service that was proposed last year. We invite you to view the video containing narrated slides from our information evening and workshop or view a PDF of the slides. It includes the original presentation slides plus outputs from attendees' brainstorming activities.

Celbridge Community Council also prepared a series of videos last year to illustrate how the commutes of a number of typical residents of Celbridge would change under the 2018 proposals. Only two of these scenarios remains valid. Have a look at them below and follow the discussions on our Facebook page...

What can you do about the BusConnects Proposals

Make a submission!

The NTA is inviting people to have their say on the proposed network redesign via an online survey before the 10th December 2019 deadline.

...but First

  1. Read the Bus Network Redesign Brochure for the Celbridge | Leixlip | Maynooth area and other documents on the BusConnects Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign website
  2. Play with the bus route mapper which shows the best way to get to your destination either at peak-times or at any time throughout the day
  3. Ask the NTA your own questions by emailing info@busconnects.ie and/ or in person by attending an information session
  4. Get involved in conversations on our Facebook page
  5. Read Celbridge Community Council's submission on the 2018 BusConnects Dublin Area Network Redesign to see some of our ideas from last year
  6. Let our elected representatives know your views

What will you say?

Don't forget to make your submission before 10th December 2019

Tell them what's good and what's bad, for example, how do you feel about each of the following?

  • The W8 orbital route from Maynooth to Tallaght via Celbridge, Hazelhatch, Newcastle, Saggart, Citywest. Will this open up work/ study destinations for you or members of your family?
  • The 259 local route connecting Hazelhatch to Leixlip (Confey / Riverforest) via Hazelhatch Road, Clane Road, Shackleton Road, Aghard's Road, Gleneaston, Leixlip Main Street, Captain's Hill. How well does this suit your needs for getting to Leixlip? The closest it gets to Louisa Bridge is 7 minutes walk away and it passes even further from Intel.
  • The replacement of the 67 with the new C4 route which will start at the Salesian College, come down the Maynooth Road, through the village, continue out the Dublin Road past Weston,  go through Lucan village then take the N4 and Chapelizod Bypass to Heuston. In the city centre it will go out Pearse St and terminate at the Ringsend depot. [2018 proposals would have seen the C4 bus detour through Leixlip village as the 66B and 67 routes were being merged. 2019 proposals are for the 66B to be replaced by a local shuttle bus between Castletown and Confey - current 66B users are unhappy about this].
  • The replacement of the Aghards Road / Clane Road 67X buses with a new 327 peak-only service and the replacement of the Maynooth Road / Main St 67X buses with a new 328 peak-only service [the proposed level of service is the pre-25/11/2019 level so the NTA needs to be told to ensure the same level of service as the 67X at the cut-over time]
  • The fact that the TFI 139 bus from Naas to TU Dublin Blanchardstown via Leixlip is not included in the 90 minute fare
  • The fact that the Bus Eireann 120 is not included in the 90 minute fare
  • Connectivity to neighbouring areas (e.g. Maynooth, Leixlip, Lucan, Newcastle, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Citywest etc.)

How Celbridge residents commute to Dublin

Celbridge is a commuter town with large numbers commuting to Dublin and other locations daily.

The Census 2016 "Feeder Towns into Each City" map states that

In 2016 there were 4,541 persons in the settlement of Celbridge who commuted to Dublin city and suburbs which equates to 48.4% of persons at work and living in Celbridge. Of these commuters 2,254 are women and 2,287 are men.

The average journey time of workers who commute from Celbridge to Dublin city and suburbs was 44 minutes and their average age was 41.

The introduction of a train service from Hazelhatch to Grand Canal Dock via the Phoenix Park Tunnel has been a real boost for commuters from Celbridge but very many in our town experience problems accessing the train at Hazelhatch or are uncomfortable with how crowded trains to Grand Canal Dock are. Until the capacity problems on Irish Rail are resolved, bus transport remains crucial for most commuters from Celbridge to Dublin city and suburbs.

Of those who commute to Dublin city and suburbs,  the mode of transport was

  • 70% (3,144) by car,
  • 19.6% (887) by bus
  • 6.3% (285) by train

Comparing Celbridge with other towns in the Greater Dublin area like Swords, Malahide, Bray, Greystones, Maynooth and Leixlip that feed into Dublin city and suburbs it’s apparent that the towns closest to rail lines have the highest percentage of population using rail services.

For all these feeder towns except Swords and Celbridge, a large number of residents can easily walk to the train station as they live within 1km. Residents of Swords live at least 4.8km away from Malahide train station.

While a small number of residents on the south side of Celbridge  could walk to Hazelhatch train station, most residents live at least 2.5km away and need to cross the only bridge over the Liffey in the town and this suffers from serious congestion. The vast majority of residents are 3-4km away from Hazelhatch train station.

Some trains from and to Hazelhatch are served by a feeder bus. Indicative schedules can be seen on the Irish Rail timetable but it should be noted that the morning buses need to leave earlier than the times indicated on the Irish Rail timetable in order to make it to the station on time.

Kildare Data Hub figures (possibly based off Census 2011 data so a bit dated) show the following commuting patterns:

  • The population of Celbridge in the workforce is 8413  and, of these,
    • 5075 commute outside Co. Kildare,
    • 1010 people  work in Celbridge
    • 283 people  work in Leixlip,
    • 252 people  work in Maynooth,
    • 124 people  work in Naas,
    • 47 people  work in Newbridge,
    • 24 people  work in Kilcock,
    • 22 people  work in Clane
  • 2123 people work in Celbridge  and, of these, 1010 people both reside and work in Celbridge.

The following map, generated from AIRO's Census Mapping Module for Kildare shows how easily the people of North Kildare can get to a train station. Unsurprisingly, Celbridge fares way worse than North Kildare towns on the Maynooth train line. Residents north of the bridge apparently need 8-12 minutes to get to the station (obviously longer in peak-hour!).

Transport Management Plan for Celbridge under 2017-2023 LAP

Transport Management Plan and Public Transport Strategy for Celbridge was promised in the Celbridge LAP 2017-2023. Objective  MTO3.1 states that the Transport Management Plan and Public Transport Strategy should be prepared within 12 months of the adoption of the Celbridge LAP so this should have been completed by August 2018 but it is expected to take another year.

Everything relating to public transport is being pushed into the BusConnects project.

Improving Safety for Pedestrians, Cyclists and Traffic Crossing the Liffey Bridge including Changes to Traffic Flows

The National Transport Authority and Kildare County Council published a report on 24th August 2018 regarding options available for pedestrians, cyclists and traffic to cross the Liffey Bridge more safely. Copies of the report were provided to Celbridge-Leixlip Municipal District Councillors and North Kildare TDs. This report has still to be made public but we believe the report proposes

  • removal of the footpath on the current vehicular bridge to widen the space available for vehicular traffic
  • addition of a boardwalk on the outside of the bridge between the Bank of Ireland and the Abbey Lodge (McNamee's)
  • restrictions on traffic turning  up the Hazelhatch Road in an effort to alleviate traffic delays and congestion
  • possibly other traffic restrictions
KIldare County Council advised the Councillors in April 2019 that on a recent visit by the Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to Kildare County Council, the Roads Department was advised that the NTA had appointed a design consultant to progress the proposal and complete the required reports/documentation for the statutory Part 8 procedure. The anticipated timeline for the commencement of the statutory Part 8 procedure was mid 2019.  This has not yet happened.