herald

Monday 23 July 2018

Minister accused of 'abysmal' response to Luas 'traffic chaos'

Minister Shane Ross
Minister Shane Ross

Fianna Fail is ramping up pressure on Transport Minister Shane Ross over "traffic chaos" in the capital.

The party's Dublin spokesman John Lahart has claimed that Mr Ross's response to congestion that has occurred since the opening of the new Luas Cross City service has been "abysmal".

The Government last week announced plans for a €3bn metro between Swords and Sandyford, a €2bn expansion of the Dart network, as well as investment for the Bus Connects project for quality bus corridors as part of its Project Ireland 2040 initiative.

Mr Lahart said that while Mr Ross offers "this great vision", delivery on some projects is several years away and "Dublin needs solutions for the gap between now and when that infrastructure comes along".

He said there should be smaller, immediate moves to tackle gridlock.

A spokesperson for Mr Ross said he would be addressing issues raised by Fianna Fail in Leinster House today.

In a Dail motion, Fianna Fail notes the introduction of the Luas Cross City and the plan to introduce extra carriages to meet demand, but claims there was a lack of forward planning to allow for the introduction of Luas Cross City and there is "traffic chaos" as a result.

Fianna Fail also says that there are a large number of suburbs without the Luas, Dart or dedicated public transport corridors.

It puts the economic cost of congestion at around €350m a year. The party has called for "short to medium-term policy changes to get routes into and out of Dublin moving again".

It wants more feeder buses for the Luas and Dart, an increased number of buses at peak times, and more quality bus corridors.

Bottlenecks

It also wants more investment in park and ride facilities, as well as increased parking facilities at train stations.

The motion suggests exploring the use of the River Liffey to help alleviate bottlenecks, citing the existence of boat services in other European cities.

Separately, Green Party TD Catherine Martin wants the Oireachtas Transport Committee to quiz Luas operators Transdev on delays.

Transdev is to appear at the committee tomorrow with representatives of Dublin City Council, taxi drivers and others to discuss congestion at College Green.

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