19. Next Steps
19. Executive Summary
The Strategy sets out a phasing programme for the delivery of transport infrastructure, taking account of progress to date on schemes already in development and the need to meet national climate change targets.
To ensure that the policies and proposals of the Strategy are being implemented in a coordinated, effective and timely manner, it is essential that a robust monitoring programme is put in place. Monitoring is based around the collation of available indicators which allow quantitative and qualitative measures of trends and progress over time relating to the achievement of the Strategy Objectives. Monitoring is an ongoing process and the programme will allow for flexibility and the further refinement of indicators.
Considerations for the review of the RSES
The land use policies and assumptions used in the Strategy are set out in the current RSES. The RSES is required to be reviewed periodically, and the next iteration will be required to address the recent updates to National climate change policy. In addition, as set out in legislation, the RSES must be consistent with the Transport Strategy, offering an opportunity to further align the policy direction and integration of land use and transport planning. In this regard, the Strategy sets out a methodology for appropriate input into the RSES review, in particular regarding the potential for changes to land use policies and objectives at all planning scales.
19. Next Steps
The pace of implementation of the Transport Strategy will be dictated by the level of available funding. While the planning process for schemes can be lengthy and complex, it is the budgetary environment which primarily determines the rate at which strategic infrastructure projects can be delivered. As such, the phasing of this strategy has been fully aligned with the National Development Plan 2021-30.
The overall capital cost of the proposals set out in the Transport Strategy is in the order of €25 billion in current prices. Spread over the twenty year period of the strategy, this investment will deliver the public transport infrastructure, cycling network, roads, park & ride provision and the various other elements required to provide an effective, efficient and sustainable transport system for the region.
It is the intention of the NTA to deliver the Transport Strategy in accordance with the high-level phasing shown in Figure 19.1. The planning and design stage of major projects takes several years and it is worth noting that significant progress has been made in the design and planning for MetroLink, the DART+ Programme, the BusConnects Core Bus Corridors and Luas Finglas. The implementation of the BusConnects New Dublin Area Bus Network has commenced and significant resources have now been allocated to the delivery of the GDA Cycle Network Plan across the local authorities.
Figure 9.1 divides the period of the Transport Strategy into two time bands – the first up to 2030, aligning with the current National Development Plan, and the second period from 2031 to 2042. It sets out the completion or implementation dates for various projects, divided into the two time periods.
Figure 19.1 – Strategy Phasing19.2 Monitoring
To ensure that the policies and proposals of the Strategy are being implemented in a coordinated, effective and timely manner, it is essential that a robust monitoring programme is put in place. This section details the measures and indicators which will be used to undertake this task.
Monitoring can demonstrate the positive effects facilitated by the Transport Strategy including those relating to improving sustainable transport and meeting our climate change obligations as they relate to transport. Likewise, monitoring can enable, at an early stage, the identification of unforeseen adverse effects which will allow the NTA to undertake appropriate remedial action if required.
19.2.2 Objectives and Indicators
Monitoring is based around the collation of available indicators which allow quantitative and qualitative measures of trends and progress over time relating to the achievement of the Strategy Objectives as set out in Chapter 5. Monitoring is an ongoing process and the programme will allow for flexibility and the further refinement of indicators.
Measurements for indicators generally come from existing sources. Existing sources include those maintained by the NTA, TII, Central Statistics Office and other relevant authorities including the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly and local authorities. It may be necessary to expand some of these data sources to ensure that they are appropriate to fully assess the identified indicators and to ensure that they can be provided in a timely manner to allow for interim reporting.
Examples of sources for monitoring the strategy include:
- CSO Census of Population;
- CSO National Household Travel Survey;
- NTA Annual Bus and Rail Statistics;
- NTA/Dublin City Council Annual Canal Cordon Count;
- Annual Local Authority Traffic Counts;
- Transport Infrastructure Ireland National Roads Network Indicators; and
- Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Indicators Reports.
The NTA will continue its liaison and cooperation with the CSO on the methods and frequency of data collection to ensure that information is obtained in a timely and meaningful manner.
A Monitoring Report which assesses the implementation of the Strategy against the strategy objectives will be prepared by 2025 in advance of the review of the Strategy. This document will be prepared in parallel to the Monitoring Report prepared for the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
19.3 Considerations for the Review of the RSES
This Transport Strategy seeks to provide a transport system which greatly enhances the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors to the GDA, as well as meeting our climate change obligations. The land use policies and assumptions used are set out in the current RSES. The RSES is required to be reviewed periodically, and the next iteration will be required to address the recent updates to National climate change policy. In addition, as set out in legislation, the RSES must be consistent with the Transport Strategy, offering an opportunity to further align the policy direction and integration of land use and transport planning.
This section aims to set out potential considerations for such a review and is based on the following:
- Reducing the need to travel;
- Ensuring that investment in transport infrastructure and services is optimised to serve sustainable development; and
- Prioritising low-carbon modes.
While significant progress has been made in recent years in improving the relationship between land use planning and transport planning, there are still many instances in which transport has not been a central consideration in, for example, the decision to zone lands for residential or employment uses. At present, there are houses being built in locations in the GDA which present significant challenges to serve by public transport; are beyond reasonable walking and cycling distances of many services; and, as such, residents will be more likely to use the private car than those living in dwellings elsewhere.
This section sets out one potential pathway towards land use patterns which avoid such development and towards a more consolidated and urbanised future for the GDA which would contribute to Ireland meeting its climate change targets as they relate to transport emissions; and in which less time and resources are expended on travel between homes and workplaces; retail and other uses.
19.3.2 Challenges for Consolidation
In the current RSES, a target of 50% of future population growth is to be located within Dublin City and suburbs. Outside of these locations, significant growth is provided for in regional growth centres, key large towns, smaller settlements and rural areas. Similar policies apply for other land uses such as employment and retail.
As such, there are zoned undeveloped lands across the GDA which are in locations that are not served by high quality public transport; and where walking and cycling for purposes such as commuting to work, college or retail are more challenging than in larger centres or Dublin City and Suburbs. Furthermore, even within Dublin City and Suburbs, there are some zoned areas that are sub-optimal in transport terms.
19.3.3 Accessibility Analysis
In examining the potential for reframing land use policy in the GDA, the NTA carried out an analysis of land use development potential within the Metropolitan area, based on accessibility to the core public transport network proposed for the region in 2042. Within the Metropolitan area, the locations with potential to grow, and within a 1km distance of public transport stops/stations, have been identified, and are illustrated in Figure 19.1.
Figure 19.2 – Potential Future Growth Locations in the Metropolitan Area
19.3.4 Appropriate Locations for Development
Based on the above map, it is evident that in order to ensure that land use development complements investment in transport and acts as an enabler of the actions required to address climate change, further management of peripheral development is required. As such, and in accordance with the Planning and Development Act, the NTA will recommend that the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, in the preparation of the next Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy, and the local authorities, in preparing their subsequent statutory plans, seek greater levels of development consolidation in the following ways:
- A greater emphasis on development in Dublin City Centre at a significantly higher density;
- Provision for the review of existing zonings for residential and employment development with a view to ensuring development takes place within the 1km walking catchment of an existing or committed future public transport service;
- Policies which ensure that residential developments, other than single rural dwellings, will occur within walking or cycling distance of existing or planned future primary (2km) and secondary schools (3km);
- Policies which ensure that school developments will take place within walking and cycling distance of its population catchment;
- A review of the potential for high intensity residential, employment and mixed use development at key locations within Metropolitan Dublin, where it has been identified that the existing land uses comprise an under-utilisation; and
- Restrictions on the development of peripheral sites zoned for employment to low-intensity uses only which demonstrate low dependency on the use of the private car.
19.3.5 Potential Mechanisms for Delivery
To assist in the delivery of integrated land use and transport planning in a manner which will assist in the move towards a low carbon region, the NTA recommends that Government and planning authorities review the full spectrum of legislation, guidance, policies and plans which affect the development of land in the GDA, and identify and implement necessary reforms.
This Transport Strategy has set out a major transport investment programme, the benefits of which can only be realised if it is accompanied by complementary land use patterns up to 2042 and beyond. The NTA will contribute to this reform to ensure that the statutory environment in which Exchequer funding for the Transport Strategy is brought forward is appropriate and that transport planning and land use planning are fully integrated.
This section sets out an approach that could be taken to further the integration of land use planning and transport planning in the GDA as well as ensuring that our climate change obligations with regard to transport are met. This will form the basis for the NTA’s engagement with the EMRA in the preparation of the next RSES and with Government on the review of the NPF, as well as a framework for how the NTA will interact with Local Authorities in relation to new Development Plans and Local Area Plans.
Changes to the planning system and legislative framework may be required to deliver this, and the NTA will cooperate with all relevant agencies in this regard.