Introduction Newton Transport Plan – Metro Dart O3

NEWTON (National Environmental Web Transport Orbital Network) Transport Plan NTP is a simple fully integrated Orbital public transport system for Greater Dublin Area benefiting all Dublin, adjoining counties, most of Ireland, users with disabilities, with safety as paramount. Putting car out of city without adequate public transport, pushes problems elsewhere makes city less safe, penalises unfortunately people, undermines business, leads to isolated or ad hoc planning that undermines a transport solution. Get city centre right, rest fall into place. 

Aims.

To help combat Climate Change by reducing car movements, gives users a choice of suitable public transport, by taking users direct, to any destination, for long distant users, workers, students, and businesses to access city’s outskirts on time, to hospitals and other activities.  Key features of plan, for rail, bus, and Luas to integrate. Priority cycling, pedestrians, suitable public realms. It is essential Businesses are unhindered, with plenty Park/Ride locations.  

Concerns. Did anyone initially, examine Bus Connects or was it a pig in a poke. In transport planning it is essential that all modes of transport blend together to ensure maximum potential use, to avoid duplication, imbalance, and lack of frequency. Bus Connects has failed badly so far in Lucan, with more car movements than ever, since it started in 2021, this when so many are still working from home. Massive cost of Bus Connects and Metro Link, the highest ever investment in public transport. (throwing money at it, does not guarantee success). Bus Connects can work if designed to suit users and if it adopts some of the new concepts in the Newton Transport Plan. Biggest flaws with Bus Connects, too many buses in wrong location at peak times, Back Tracking, Blind Changing, and imbalance frequency. By directing almost all to the city centre, Bus Connects and Metro Link, will have little effect in car reduction. Buses held to ransom by protests a major concern. All addressed in Newton Transport Plan. 

Balance. The lack of balance is a major flaw in public transport. Users from Enfield have on average one bus an hour, users at Capel Street have up to forty (40) an hour, planners want to extend this to over70 an hour with no change in Enfield. These can walk, cycle, or get a taxi and they have Luas. This transport imbalanced can be reduced with the Split Travel STAR concept (Split Trips Along Routes) in the Newton Transport Plan.  Other measures College times, 11.00 to 19.00 hours. Working day more shift patterns. Four Day Week, the extra day should rotate. These measures would greatly aid public transport use. There is a balance of public transport routes into Dublin in our plan with every second one being bus or rail. Moving almost a thousand buses daily from Dame St to Quays and to Luas line on Nassau Street for no extra passengers, adds to bus congestion and more imbalance.            

Rail will play a major role in car reduction mileage in NTP.  It will be a Metro Dart in Dublin, as remaining rail lines in Dublin are being upgraded to Dart. The full rail network will use standard rail gauge, vital for linking up, like existing Dart and mainline rail gage. This allows the whole of Ireland’s rail network, both north and south to have the same rail gauge. By linking existing rail lines allows our Metro Dart plan to be completed in half the time at half the cost as the proposed Metro Link. It allows for more trains into Dublin for car reduction. With direct rail access to all areas of Dublin more people will be able to live at home in the countryside and get to work or to other activities on time. By linking up the Rail network in Dublin with Standard rail gauge, users can get directly to most areas of Dublin. All areas in Ireland that have a rail station will have direct access to Dublin Airport. Areas on Cork, Sligo, and Wexford lines will have additional access to stations on Belfast line and vice versa. Malahide and Belfast line will also have direct access to Airport and stations along whole rail network. A Cork Belfast link. Trains can treble at peak time on Dundalk line. This addresses the old problem of having to go into the city first and too much changing. This plan also facilitates users going to countryside by going directly.  This plan facilitates users with a disability with Island platform system that reduces bridge crossing etc. Metro Dart (our option) provides two rail lines in and out of Dublin Airport (Metro Link one). High usage areas, vital there are two rail options, if one is out of order the other is available. NTP gives direct rail access to Dublin Airport, from all Ireland, and all Dublin that has rail. 

Motorway Rail on M50 and Motorways. New way to provide rail to and around Dublin, to reduce car movements, get users to work to all areas on time and it is inexpensive to build. Not possible with Metro Link, with different rail gauge it can’t link up with Metro Dart it can.   

Bus. New system for bus usage, simple and inexpensive, a loop system. An orbital bus loop network for all Dublin. A bus loop system in the city centre, with Quay Bus Contraflow Loop, along river Liffey, the main part of the whole plan. This maximises bus usage in city centre, takes up minimum road space, prevents buses choking city centre. It addresses the main flaws in public transport, uncertainty, not getting a seat, passing users along routes, and waiting (hated by all users). Buses on the outskirts will also avail of several Loop systems to maximise and address frequency problems. This Loop systems greatly reduces bus numbers crossing Luas lines at peak times and reduces buses delaying Luas trams.

Luas. A great public transport system. Newton Transport Plan links it up as an inner Luas orbital Loop. This takes users within walking distance of any area in the city centre. This Luas loop (G-Link) will be needed more than ever when Maynooth and Kildare lines are upgraded to Dart to disperse users on extra trains arriving at Heuston Connolly and Dockland stations. This plan allows for new Luas lines to city centre, from Lucan, Rathfarnham. and Santry.  Technology is improving fast, trackless trams will be part of the future, no tracks.    

Cycling. A very important mode of transport in Newton Transport Plan to help solve the city’s traffic and transport problems. It gets great priority with full safety measures. Cycling must not be used, to undermine public transport. 

Safety is paramount in the Newton Transport Plan. The Quay Bus Contraflow Loop is so designed that safety is so important, cyclists are separated from buses, and they face each other, cyclists are safest if they are seen. It also eliminates the most dangerous movements of all, the blind spot for bus drivers, as drivers won’t be making right hand turns on Quays. We are very concerned with bus stops on cycle ways where users cross cycle way to get bus. We are also concerned with new cycle lanes at left hand turning junctions, they are not safe. If these unsafe measures for cycling are not addressed, more people won’t cycle.      

Roads. If M50 gets blocked or obstructed for any reason. An alternative road is essential. Service Road SR51 is required, most of it is already built. Build the missing section from Leixlip intel to Clonee Interchange completes second orbital. It will facilitate a Luas line.  

Public Transport Planning. All major activities such as House building, Road construction and Railway laying, all have qualification and training. There is no qualification or training for designing or planning public transport. This is a main contributory factor why public transport is so unsuccessful.    

Rail Gauge, why it is so important. Proposed Metro Link is using narrow or Luas rail gauge.  This gives Swords users access mainly to city centre (Airport beside them). If users from Swords want to go to north Dublin or Drogheda by rail, they must go into the centre to get a train back out again. Users from Drogheda for the Airport must do the same in reverse. With Standard gauge (Metro Dart), users can go directly to anywhere where there is rail. Swords and other rail users have up to ten times more advantages with Metro Dart. Users from all Ireland, and Dublin that have rail will have direct access to all Dublin and Dublin Airport. 

E-scooters. They will be part of a future transport solution, for the first and Last mile on way to work, they will be allowed on public transport and for school going. Dublin is a changing city with many more living in countryside and working in Dublin’s outskirts. Metro Dart is a balanced orbital system it won’t unduly influence property values or add to city Sprawl. NTP designed that there are two ways to most destinations to avoid delays due to accidents etc. 

Principles of Public Transport Usage. 

  1. Suit commuters, 
  2. Put vehicles where needed.
  3. Provide a balanced service.

Conclusion.

Public Transport solution to reduce car movements to address traffic congestion and to combat Climate Change must be designed to place public transport vehicles where needed. This is done in the Newton Transport Plan with the Loop systems in orbital layouts, aided by the Split Travel concept S.T.A.R. Split Trips Along Routes.

A.C.R.A is very much in favour of cycling. Public Transport and cycling must operate together. We wouldn’t like to see cycling been used in any way to undermine public transport. This can come about by the lack of understanding of public transport.

Piecemeal planning. Is a major concern to us, it can delay or undermine major projects later. This is why An Board Pleanála must ensure this does not happen. Quay Bus Contraflow is best system of all, why are the planners against it. If there is a better system let us know. Standard rail gauge is also best, as all mainline rail in Dublin will be Dart.

Cost. There is major spending in the present plans for Bus and rail, that will have little effect on car reduction. Newton Transport Plan can be completed at a fraction of the cost and built in less than half the time benefiting most areas of Ireland. initially three main sections, Bus Loops, Luas city orbital (G-Link) and Metro Dart, rest will be completed over time (map3).  This plan will encourage more future rail with inexpensive motorway rail on centre median, with new stations concept and island platforms. rail is needed to reduce vehicle movements.    

Operations. It is essential that any one mode of transport doesn’t undermine another. It is essential there is balance. Buses are flexible, Rail is ridged, and space is scarce, this is why balanced planning is required for effective operations, to reduce duplication, avoid public transport congestion and reduce the scourge of Isolated, ad hoc. or piece meal planning. An example if Baggot Street is used for a busway instead of Luas this would upset the whole transport balance in Dublin. By leaving it as a Luas Street it wouldn’t upset the bus network. 

Convenient planning is a dangerous way to plan it usually results in short term measures that may delay or undermine an overall solution with many areas losing out.  The latest proposal for the Quays is the 18th attempt in my time (Tom Newton) and still no solution.   

Metro Dart, the linking up of the full rail network in Dublin to Dart standard to the already successful Dart system by building a surface rail link from the Belfast line at Donabate to the Glasnevin rail junction at Cross Gun Bridge. This allows the rail network in Dublin to directly link all areas in Ireland that have rail, with two rail options to city centre. It allows all areas of Ireland both north and south that have rail to directly access Dublin Airport. This direct link up by rail is the beginning of getting users to outer destinations at same time as users get to city centre at present. Metro Dart is not over expensive, can be completed relatively quickly.

The Newton Transport Plan for Dublin city centre is simple, the Quay Bus Contraflow Loop on the Quays, can be completed quickly at little or no cost. G-Link Luas is creating a Loop system for Luas in the city centre to disperse users, arriving on the extra trains into Dublin due the lines been upgraded to Dart, taking them close to their destinations. This Luas Loop system in the city centre is relatively inexpensive to put in place.

All areas are now experiencing traffic congestion and it looks set to get worse. The main aims of the Newton Transport Plan are to address the traffic and traffic problems of Ireland now. Public transport, Housing, Business and Entertainment go together. 

Shopping centres wont work without anchor tenants, public transport won’t work effectivity without an anchor terminal. City centre is the ideal bus anchor terminal, it won’t change.  

We are available to talk to all and present our plan. 

Let’s hope the NTA, other bodies and organisation can work with us to find the best transport solution for all and bring business and the people along with us to make Dublin and Ireland B.E.S.T. for Business, Entertainment, Shopping, Tourism. The Newton Transport Plan Designed, Planned, and Researched, by Tom Newton Duncan Stewart, Caitriona McClean. 2024.