Belcamp Community Masterplan, Dublin
SYSTRA was commissioned by Gerard Gannon Properties in 2021 to prepare a Sustainable Transport Strategy supporting proposals for the Belcamp Strategic Housing Development, located on the northern fringes of Dublin. The proposed development covers 87 hectares of the former Belcamp College site, falling within the jurisdictions of both Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council. The site has a potential for over 3,000 dwellings, in addition to associated mixed-uses. An approach to maximise sustainable travel and reduce reliance on the private car was adopted; this approach has been tailored to address the semi-rural location and limited existing public transport facilities and services present in the surrounding area.
SYSTRA made use of the NTA’s existing regional SATURN models for 2028 as a basis for understanding and assessing expected future travel demands for the site. This included elements of the BusConnects network, a bus-based infrastructure scheme being developed to provide improved coverage across Dublin. Using the 2028 models required assessing the proposed development at an intermediate stage of the projected build-out, determined at 1,000 of 2,546 dwellings, against a “do minimum” position, a representation of the network as it is expected to operate in 2028. It was also then possible to use the NTA’s 2040 model, which included further transport improvements such as a new bus link to Dublin Airport, as an indicative test of the eventual full build-out of the site.
To further appraise the proposed development traffic impacts, a series of junctions within the vicinity of the site were analysed in terms of their operational performance, concluding that travel by car to and from the site would be likely to encounter delays as a result of existing and expected future network pressures. Therefore, it was deemed necessary to determine how use of alternative modes can reduce demand and pressure on the existing road network and where those alternatives could offer a genuinely attractive option in terms of journey time and experience.
The information gathered from the modelling was then used to propose measures, including improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure on off-site routes and the introduction of a dedicated bus service linking the site with Clongriffin station and Dublin Airport, which could be demonstrated to directly meet expected demands for travel to key destinations and which would therefore have a material impact on demand for car-based travel.
It is anticipated that by applying the suggested measures, the proposed development’s overall impact on the transport networks would be reduced. Based on evidence gathered from the modelling exercises it was considered that there was a robust basis for the expected benefits of these measures to be taken into account when the residual impacts of the proposed development are assessed for the purposes of the Transport Assessment.
The Sustainable Transport Strategy was submitted, with a planning application anticipated for late 2021.