Friday 23 August 2019

Another move to phase out cars in city centre as extra bus lanes to be introduced

Photo: Newsdesk Newsdesk

Private cars are set to be banned from travelling along the quays in Dublin as the council looks set to introduce extra bus lanes.

RTÉ is reporting that Dublin City Council (DCC) is planning to introduce more bus lanes to prepare for the new Cross City Luas.

In a report to the Transport Committee, council management states the Luas will be halting traffic movement on the Quays every ninety seconds and the changes are being made to limit congestion.

The report also says that Bachelors Walk currently causes the worst delays for Dublin Buses trying to cross two lanes of traffic to turn onto O'Connell Bridge.

As a result, DCC is planning to ban private cars from travelling from Bachelors Walk onto Eden Quay or turning right onto O'Connell Bridge.

Cars will be allowed to turn left onto O'Connell St to access car parks and allow deliveries.

Extra bus lanes may be introduced along Ormond Quay, Bachelors Walk and Eden Quay.

Eden Quay from O'Connell St to Marlborough St will be used only by public transport, taxis and cyclists.

The south quays will have an extra bus lane along Burgh Quay, Aston Quay and Wellington Quay.

In addition, there will be a new bus lane on Winetavern St at Christchurch for traffic coming onto the quays.

The plan will go out for a six-week public consultation starting on 27 February.

Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs for AA Ireland told RTÉ Radio 1 that the plan is "good news".

"On the whole this is a good news story, the extension of the Luas line is a fantastic move. It probably should have been done years ago. But it will bring some problems - the sharpest of those is at O'Connell Bridge."

Mr Faughnan said the new transport plan will pose a lot of problems for cars in particular.

"Cars will no longer be allowed from Bachelor's Walk to Eden Quay and that is a distinct problem for a lot of cars. If you ask the DCC what are those cars supposed to do instead, they simply don't know. They said there are a number of alternatives being considered.

"Everyone who understands the traffic situation in the capital supports the investment of public transport but you cannot simply abandon those who are using their cars or treat them as though they are something to be fixed. There are a lot of people without an alternative and this is likely to prove to be disruptive."

Mr Faughnan said that under the Road Traffic Act, the DCC can without reference to the councillors impose this new plan.

"Through traffic in the city centre will be hugely inhibited. If you consider the natural island that is formed in the city centre between the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal. That canal cordon has nearly 200,000 people crossing it every morning to get into work. Public transport can still take just less than half of those individuals.

"The DCC is doing nothing to help those people. The language is constructed around these people being the source of the problem rather than an intricate part of the transport needs."

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