'Embarrassing' - Phoenix Park bus route on hold as gate is too small for buses

The NTA is looking at options to bring forward proposals 'in the coming months'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.38 2 Mar 2022

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'Embarrassing' - Phoenix Park...

'Embarrassing' - Phoenix Park bus route on hold as gate is too small for buses

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.38 2 Mar 2022

Share this article

'Embarrassing' is how one commentator describes the scrapping of a planned Dublin Bus route, after it emerged a bus is too big to fit through a gate at the Phoenix Park.

The new bus route was to run from Heuston Station to Broombridge in Cabra - serving Dublin Zoo and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre.

It was part of the same plans which saw a 30 kilometre speed limit introduced earlier this week, as well as new road layouts.


However the first public bus service for the park has now been put on hold.

A spokesperson for the National Transport Authority (NTA) explains: "The particular gate is too narrow for a standard single or double-deck bus.

"For that reason, NTA and OPW are looking at options with a view to bringing forward proposals in the coming months.

"The implementation of any pilot programme will be contingent on a number of factors including the availability of funding."

Transport commentator Conor Faughnan says this was a very basic mistake.

"It's a little embarrassing, that's for sure. It's a bit embarrassing for the OPW, which had sponsored this, and for the National Transport Authority.

"The Phoenix Park arrangement was supposed to be a joined up plan, calming the traffic in the park and including alternative to car use for accessing the park.

"We found out during the pandemic that Dubliners love Phoenix Park and they descended on it from all point of the compass.

"Many arriving in cars, many arriving by public transport - and it made us rethink the park and see if it could be improved."

'Doesn't inspire confidence'

Conor says it shows the planning wasn't joined up.

"It is a little embarrassing that something as basic as this seems to have caught everybody by surprise.

"The gate is too narrow for a bus to fit through - this occurred to nobody as they were designing the bus route.

"And we're now told that they will attempt to figure out a solution in the months ahead.

"It really doesn't inspire great confidence that the thinking was joined up".

And he says however this is settled, the protected structure cannot be interfered with.

"They'll have to find a solution, and the solution clearly cannot include destroying the protected structure that is the Cabra Gate.

"So whether they need a minibus, or a skinny bus, I'm sure they can figure it out - at least one would hope so.

"It just makes you worry that schemes like this aren't truly thought through.

"There are other 30kmh zones in Dublin and in other cities - and unfortunately they're tending to be characterised by local authorities and planners simply not thinking them through.

"The notion that you can write a 30 kilometre speed limit on a pole and do nothing else, and think that you've improved the traffic environment, is proven false.

"So if we are going to do projects like these, they do have to be properly thought through - even at a basic level - before they're implemented".

Main image: Double-decker busses are seen on Dublin's O'Connell Street in June 2009. Picture by: Kevin Foy / Alamy Stock Photo

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