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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Emma Nevin

Frustrations in Dublin West as BusConnects route delayed over width of road

Frustrations are mounting in west Dublin and north Kildare communities over the delay in implementing the planned W6 BusConnects route.

The route will link Maynooth with Hazelhatch, Rathcoole, Newcastle, Saggart and Tallaght, providing a direct way for Maynooth University students living in west Dublin to travel to college. However, the roll-out of the route has been delayed due to the road at the Hazelhatch canal bridge not being wide enough for buses to pass each other.

Works are being planned by the National Transport Authority and South Dublin County Council to widen the road but it is estimated this won't be completed until at least 2024. In the meantime, the NTA is planning on splitting the route into two, the W61 and W62.

Read more: New contraflow bus lane to open in Dublin city centre ahead of major BusConnects rollout

These are planned to be rolled out in the first half of 2023. The W61 will operate between the Moyglare area of Maynooth and Hazelhatch station, while the W62 will run between Newcastle and Tallaght.

Dublin Mid West TD Emer Higgins said she is "extremely disappointed" about the delay. "This means that the route will initially not directly link Newcastle with Hazelhatch and thus not provide a direct route from Tallaght to Maynooth which is really disappointing," she said.

"The NTA has been promoting the W6 as a way for young people from Rathcoole, Saggart and Newcastle to get to college in Maynooth and many students and their parents have been in touch enquiring about when the route is due to start as they will be relying on it to get to college, but unfortunately now the planned delivery date has been pushed out once again.

“My understanding is that the road width at the canal bridge needs to be widened before the W6 can operate as one fully connected route. I called this out as a potential hurdle four years ago but the NTA seem to be only realising that it’s a challenge now.

“The NTA have informed me that they will work with South Dublin County Council to carry out the appropriate road widening works to facilitate a safe two-way operation, but it will take a significant time to plan and deliver those works so in the meantime, they want to deliver some of the benefits quicker than would be the case if they were to wait for the full through services to begin operation."

A spokeswoman for the NTA told Dublin Live the temporary routes will be needed for 12-18 months after they became operational. "Route W6 is planned to start during the first half of 2023. Initially this route is likely to operate in two sections," she said.

"There is an issue with the width of the road south of the canal at Hazelhatch Bridge that makes it difficult for a bus to successfully pass another. The NTA are currently working on an engineering solution to resolve this, however we wish to deliver a number of the benefits of the service as soon as possible so it is likely that the route will be operated as follows in the short term: W61 – Maynooth (Moyglare) & Hazelhatch Station, W62 - Newcastle & Tallaght.

"The benefits of the full route will be delivered as soon as an engineering solution is developed, agreed with South Dublin County Council and implemented. Meanwhile the temporary W61 and W62 services will enable us to provide a service to the Moyglare area in Maynooth, strengthen links to rail and Luas at Hazelhatch, Saggart and City West, and deliver a bus link between Newcastle and Tallaght.

"We anticipate that the temporary services will need to be in place for 12-18 months and will be working to minimise this."


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