Pope Francis pilgrims have been urged to use public transport or private buses if attending events during his visit to Ireland.
The National Transport Authority (NTA), An Gardaí Síochána and public transport operators have outlined the comprehensive transportation plan and road closure system to be put in place for the Visit of Pope Francis.
The Pontiff visits Dublin and Knock on the weekend of 25 and 26 August on the invitation of the World Meeting of Families 2018.
Leave your car at home, public or private coaches will minimise the walking
Gardaí say it is clear that there is a 'major oversubscription' of those who are expecting to drive to and from the Phoenix Park Mass on Sunday 26 August.
There is no car park near the venue where attendees will be able to park up and walk to the event. While the event organisers have secured additional car parking for this event, these car spaces are for those availing of Park & Ride facilities (more information below).
Garda Superintendent Thomas Murphy said: "This is the largest event Ireland has organised in nearly 40 years. It simply will not be possible to accommodate all the people who have indicated they want to travel by car to the Mass. Therefore we are urging people to go by train, bus, coach or Luas to this event. While walking is inevitable, you will be minimising your walk to and from the event by taking public transport or private coaches. ”
An Garda Síochána are urging the following:
• Leave your car at home
• Take public transport to and from the event or use private coaches
• If travelling within Dublin walk to the transport hubs
• Be prepared to walk on the day and suitable footwear is recommended
Those who have booked a ticket and indicated they would like to travel by car will be contacted next week by the World Meeting of Families.
Public transport is ready to take you to and from Phoenix Park on Sunday
The NTA has put in place a robust transport plan to cater for everyone attending the event from across the island, including those travelling from Northern Ireland.
Tim Gaston Director of Public Transport Services, NTA said: "Every bus, train and tram is being used for this event and for the safety of the travelling public if you have a ticket for the Phoenix Park, you will be allowed to travel for free within Dublin on the day of the event.”
Each operator Iarnrod Éireann, Dublin Bus, Luas, Bus Éireann and Go-Ahead will commence services from early morning especially for those travelling from outside of Dublin. The NTA is working closely with Translink in Northern Ireland and they are providing special rail and bus transport to the event.
There is an extensive range of public transport options available to get to and from the Phoenix Park, including:
• Free travel on all public transport within Dublin for Sunday 26 August.
• 250,000 journeys available from Iarnród Éireann across Intercity, DART and Commuter services.
• Bus Éireann will be operating a weekday service throughout the country to bring people to the event. In excess of 30,000 passenger journeys can be made on the day on Bus Éireann.
• Dublin Bus have created 7 dedicated Papal transport hubs which will take you in close proximity to the gates of the park. Almost 1,000 Dublin Buses will be available to get people to and from the Mass and over 400,000 journeys will be provided.
• Special Park & Ride hubs for this event have been created in a number of locations where people can park up and then take public transport to and from the event. These are Leopardstown Racecourse (Luas), UCD Belfield (Dublin Bus), Maynooth University (train) and Fairyhouse Racecourse (train).
• The LUAS Red and Green line will be operating a 6-10 minute frequency throughout the day.
There will be a LUAS Stop operating at the Leopardstown racecourse for the first time.
• Go-Ahead Ireland is providing shuttle buses to help with the transport requirements for the Papal Mass, using 40 double deck vehicles.
• Translink will be offering dedicated rail and bus services for the event to and from Northern Ireland. They will also be operating the shuttle service for us at Fairyhouse Transport hub.
For those travelling from outside Dublin, the National Transport Authority asks that you please pre-book your train or bus ticket or private coach. This is especially for those who have indicated to the World Meeting of Families that they intend to travel by train or bus but have yet to book their ticket.
Controlled Access Zone around Dublin City from 6am until 11pm on Sunday 26 August
There will be a secure area around Dublin, starting at the M50 from 6am to 11pm on Sunday 26 August. If you are planning on using your car to access Dublin City on Sunday 26 August then you should be aware that there will be diversions/road closures and other restrictions in place on the day. You will need to leave plenty of time for any journeys to and across Dublin City from 6am to 11pm on the Sunday 26 August, and pay attention to restrictions in place on the day.
There will also be rolling restrictions on Saturday 25 August as Pope Francis visits a number of locations in Dublin city centre, which will be announced soon.
For those who live and work near the Phoenix Park, the Pro Cathedral and the Capuchin Centre,a business and community liaison team is in place to handle queries. In the run up to this event, business briefings and community meetings and posters in local shops are planned. In addition, a package of information regarding road closures, diversions and advice for getting around that weekend will be distributed to over 125,000 homes and businesses, as well as a dedicated helpline and an office in the Phoenix Park to help answer people’s queries.
For those not attending the event, the NTA will also be operating all normal Sunday scheduled transport services. With road closures some buses will be diverted but customers will be informed of any changes to their route.
Knock event (Sunday)
Road closures in place from 6pm on Saturday evening
From 6pm on Saturday the centre of Knock Village will be closed (except to residents). The N17 between Charlestown and Claremorris will be closed from 12 midnight on Saturday until at least 3pm on Sunday.
For those who live and work near Knock, a business and community liaison team is in place to handle queries, working closely with Claremorris Garda Station.
Get on a Private coach or carpool to and from the event
Join a parish or community coach group or carpool where possible, as car park spaces are limited and may be some walking distance from the Shrine.
Coaches have a designated parking area on the N17. This will result in the shortest distance to walk to and from the Knock Shrine via a short walkway.
There is a considerable walk from the car parks due to the size, scale and location of the event and there will be no shuttle bus facility available between car parks and the event site. If cars are necessary, carpooling and car sharing is essential.
Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann will be providing public transport for this event. A bus shuttle service will operate from Claremorris train station to take people to Knock shrine. For those who have a ticket for the event, the bus shuttle service will be free.
No public viewing opportunities at Knock Airport
It will not be possible for the public to view Pope Francis arriving or departing due to security limitations.
Those flying into and out of Ireland West Airport Knock on Sunday will have some access with strict limitations. Only those named on airline passenger lists and those transporting named passengers will be able to access the airport between 12 midnight on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday.
Outbound passengers in particular are advised to allow more travel time than usual as there will be a number of security checks on airport access routes.
Information updated on a regular basis on www.gov.ie/popeinireland, which will direct you to all the main information website pages.