herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

NTA wants more cash despite route cut plan

transport

Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus
Arwen Foley

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is looking for more money for public transport projects at the same time as trying to have 10pc of its routes privatised.

Bus drivers from SIPTU and the NBRU will strike this Friday and Saturday over the moves to put routes out to tender.

But at the same time, the NTA is seeking funding for up to 120 new buses to provide extra services to meet a projected 10pc increase in demand as the economy recovers.

A 24-hour bus link between Dublin Airport and the city is on the table as well as increased capacity at peak times and for weekend workers.

Meanwhile, commuters have been warned to plan how to get to and from work well in advance of the bus strikes scheduled to begin on Friday.

Traffic chaos for tens of thousands of people in the capital and beyond is expected as the 48-hour strike wreaks havoc.

​Drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann will engage in the strikes which are planned to be repeated on May 15 and 16.

STRIKe

A further three-day strike is also planned for the end of May.

Arwen Foley of AA Roadwatch said Friday is expected to be the worst day as many people will be in work ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

"No matter how you plan to set off, leave plenty of time as traffic delays are expected to start a lot earlier than usual," she said. "Friday, in particular, is going to be a very difficult day for commuters."

Ms Foley warned travellers planning to catch a flight over the bank holiday that there could be significant delays approaching Dublin Airport.

"The Swords road can be very traffic-heavy at the best of times, so those heading to the airport should plan ahead and start off much earlier than usual," she said.

"Additional delays can be expected on the N7 Naas Road."

The traffic mayhem is set to hit travellers nationwide, said Ms Foley. A number of private bus operators servicing Dublin and national routes are expecting a surge in demand as the strike disruption looms.

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