Dublin Bus warns 82 million passengers a year will be impacted by capital's pedestrian plaza
More than 80 million Dublin Bus passengers will be affected by the proposed creation of a pedestrian plaza in Dublin city centre.
As many as 100 buses an hour will have to be re-routed if plans by Dublin City Council to create a pedestrian plaza on Dame Street, in front of the Bank of Ireland, go ahead.
This will involve banning all buses, cars and taxis from travelling from College Street onto College Green and Dame Street. They will continue to travel north to south past Trinity College. Stops on Dame Street will be removed and buses re-routed. Dublin Bus warned of "potential knock-ons in terms of reliability" which could affect the 82 million passengers a year who travel through the city centre.
"Services through Thomas Street, George's Street and Patrick Street will be affected, and up to 100 buses an hour will need to be re-routed," one source said. "Some car traffic would have to go from the quays and there would need to be traffic management. Could this work? Yes it could. But it's reliant on less car movement and more kerbside space on Aston Quay and Bachelors Walk.
"The issue is where will buses go and will customers get the same level of service? If it doesn't work, we can't go back (to the current system)."
Among the changes proposed to facilitate buses is reducing private car volumes from the north and south quays. Buses will be allowed travel in both directions on Grattan Bridge and Parliament Street, allowing them to be re-routed.
Buses travelling from O'Connell Street towards the southside, which previously used Dame Street, will take a new right-hand turn at O'Connell Bridge. They will travel down the south quays, take a left onto Parliament Street, before going right for Lord Edward Street or continuing left onto Dame Street and taking a new right-hand turn onto South Great George's Street.
Buses travelling on South Great George's Street towards the northside will take a left turn onto Dame Street, then a right onto Parliament Street and across Grattan Bridge and join the north quays. New bus stops will be provided. The city council and the National Transport Authority have proposed restrictions on private cars around Bachelors Walk, and creating new bus gates on the south quays; Eden Quay is also being considered. A four-week public consultation begins in March, with the changes introduced by summer 2017.