herald

Monday 15 October 2018

Dublin Bus diverts more routes to cut College Green congestion

Buses, Luas trams and taxis vie for space at College Green
Buses, Luas trams and taxis vie for space at College Green

Dublin Bus is to divert 10 more routes away from traffic-choked College Green to ease the delays being experienced by passengers.

There has been growing concern about gridlock in the area since Luas Cross City trams began operating there in December.

The Oireachtas Transport Committee will today question bosses from Luas operators Transdev, Dublin Bus and Dublin City Council about congestion in College Green.

Solutions

One member, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, said last night that the committee will want to hear "viable solutions" to the city's traffic problems.

The latest move to divert 10 bus routes kicks in from March 5 and comes after 17 Dublin Bus routes were re-directed away from the College Green area last month.

A Dublin Bus statement said it will continue to work with the city council and the National Transport Authority "on solutions to alleviate delays being experienced by our customers".

However, it added: "Any further solutions proposed must involve all transport modes which operate in the city centre and must have a balanced approach."

Earlier this month, it was reported that bus services are being delayed by up to seven minutes at peak times in the area.

Dublin Bus chief executive Ray Coyne will today tell the committee that congestion during morning and evening rush hours is "a significant problem" and bus speeds at these times are around 14kmph.

He is expected to say congestion is not limited to College Green, and additional capacity introduced in the system now would benefit the city in the long term.

Ms Murphy said College Green is a "critical artery" that often serves people who do not have access to train or tram routes.

"If we're going to encourage people on to public transport, reliability is the number one most important thing," she said.

Ms Murphy said commuters must be able to judge the length of bus journeys, adding: "If you can't achieve that, people will revert to their cars."

Last night, the Dail debated a Fianna Fail motion introduced by the party's Dublin spokesman John Lahart calling for short and medium-term solutions to Dublin's "traffic chaos".

Infrastructure

He argued that big infrastructure projects such as the Metro Link announced last week as part of Project Ireland 2040 are years away and there needs to be moves to tackle gridlock now.

Fianna Fail wants more feeder buses for the Luas and Dart, more buses at peak times and more quality bus corridors.

The Government tabled a counter-motion acknowledging increasing congestion and insisting that there are "short, medium and long-term public transport investment priorities" in Project Ireland 2040 that will address congestion and "deliver real change on the ground".

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