1,300 homeowners may lose land to new bus route
Up to 1,300 homeowners will know by October if they are to lose parts of their front gardens to deal with Dublin’s congestion dilemma, says Transport Minister Shane Ross.
Mr Ross has strongly defended National Transport Authority (NTA) plans to create 16 radial bus routes aimed at halving commuting times over the next 10 years.
The minister accepts that some people will be “very upset” by what is proposed but argued that they will be generously compensated should they be forced to sacrifice part of their property.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke programme, Mr Ross said the NTA still does not yet have exact routes in mind, but will have them after the summer, at which time a much more detailed plan will be published. The minister said the 1,300 is an approximate number and more likely to be closer to a maximum.
He did say what is proposed is not totally satisfactory, as people will be losing parts of their land, which will lead to a devaluation of their properties.
“However, congestion in Dublin is critical and space will have to be made by taking space off people’s garden,” he said.
Mr Ross acknowledged that the plan to take people’s land arises because of pinch points in places such Rathmines and Templeogue.
He dismissed concerns raised by Conor Faughnan of the AA about the scale of the disruptions during the construction of the new routes.
“I think that is alarmist,” said Mr Ross. “There will be disruptions, it is going to cause difficulties in areas. You cant have such a transformative project without disruption, but the long-term benefit will be worth it.”
He added that the NTA is determined that every householder will be spoken to. Every property has a different value and some houses will go up due to their proximity to the new routes and others will go down because they are losing some of their land, he noted.
Pat Davitt, chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, said the impact of the proposed reduction in garden size could have a disastrous impact on the value of homes.
“The problem is that the proposed change may alter the complete streetscape of the house, which would devalue it,” said Mr Davitt.
He said that up to 25% of the value could be knocked off the value of the house.
Shane Ross: Dublin congestion must be tackled.