Tour buses to be sent to docklands to cut city traffic
Tour bus operators will be sent to park in the docklands after they drop off tourists in Dublin city centre under new plans to reduce traffic congestion.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has proposed the plan after complaints about the buses taking up prime parking spaces in the city centre for too long.
Details of the plans emerged after Dublin City Council (DCC) and the NTA announced major plans to revamp the city centre. These include pedestrianising more of the capital's streets and also stopping cars and taxis going through some of the main thoroughfares.
A parking facility in the docklands offering around 50 spaces for coaches is planned by the NTA. The parking lot will facilitate private tour operators as well as buses going to and from sports events in Dublin's biggest stadiums.
Areas such as Nassau Street are notorious for being clogged with tour buses, while Mountjoy Square on the northside of the city is frequently congested with coaches during match days at nearby Croke Park.
The new facility will not be used as a drop-off point, but will be an area to keep empty coaches whose passengers have been left in the city centre.
The NTA said that the time has come for an off-street facility after a number of different business organisations said they were concerned that a lack of appropriate parking for coaches was damaging their business.
Dublin Bus has experienced problems accessing its bus stops in areas near Trinity College where coaches are parked.
"Nassau Street is the area where we experience the most disruption with respect to coach parking, and this is causing issues around accessing bus stops," a spokesperson told the Sunday Times.
"We experience these issues during the summer months, but it can be problematic all year round."
There was a mixed response to the plans for traffic in Dublin, with some taxi drivers raising concerns about the proposals.
Parts of the quays as well as College Green are to be closed to private cars under the scheme.
The area in front of Trinity College will be closed to all traffic apart from buses, the new Luas Cross City trams and cyclists.
Suffolk Street and the northern side of St Stephen's Green will be pedestrianised.
Keith Byrne, of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, previously told the Herald that the proposals were "badly needed" to make the city more accessible for bike users.