New traffic scheme for Luas works causes early morning commuter chaos
COMMUTERS to the capital this morning faced travel chaos after a new traffic scheme was introduced to facilitate work on the Luas cross-city line.
There was widespread confusion and traffic congestion after changes were introduced at St Stephen's Green – a key arterial route into the city.
It included two right turning lanes to Merrion Row from the Green and one left-turning lane continuing around Saint Stephen's Green.
Dublin City Council said that the right-turning lanes provide access to the north side of the city through Merrion Street Upper and to the southside through Baggot Street.
However, the changes caused delays as motorists, faced with traffic cones and new signage, struggled to understand the new system.
The council added that when construction of the line begins at west and north Saint Stephen's Green and at Dawson Street, there will be a reduction in traffic capacity at Dawson Street.
Meanwhile funding for the Luas cross-city line will be provided by the European Investment Bank, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has said.
The minister welcomed the decision by the bank's directors to agree "in principle" to provide "significant" financial backing to support construction of the link.
The non-profit European lending institution was established in 1958 to provide investment for projects that advance EU policy.
It is owned by the member states of the EU and its funding would be provided at a more competitive rate for the state.
"Negotiation of the financing agreement will start in the coming days and is expected to be finalised early next year," a statement from Mr Varadkar said. "All sorts of new journeys will suddenly be possible for the first time thanks to Luas cross city, which is also expected to add an estimated 10m extra passengers to the Luas network," he added.
The estimated cost of linking the red and green Luas lines in the city centre stands at around €368m and it will include the construction of 13 new stops.
Work is already under way on the project, including the construction of a new bridge over the River Liffey and work on various roads.