Sunday 24 June 2018

Buses delayed by seven minutes due to city jams

The Luas
The Luas
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Dublin Bus services through College Green are being delayed by up to seven minutes at peak times as buses, Luas Cross City, cyclists, cars and pedestrians compete for road space.

Congestion in the city centre arising from the introduction of new tram services between St Stephen's Green and Broombridge has delayed bus services, with route changes not resulting in improvements in some cases, Dublin Bus has confirmed.

Although 17 services have been diverted away from College Green in recent weeks in response to concerns about traffic congestion, the firm said it had led to only limited improvements.

"Since early December, during the morning peak, our services through College Green were taking an additional one to three minutes," it said.

"This increased by a further three to seven minutes in mid-January.

"After the route changes were implemented on January 29, some routes improved by up to four minutes in the area while others have not improved."

The National Transport Authority (NTA) said it would consider banning taxis and diverting more bus routes following complaints about delays since Luas Cross City opened late last year.

A spokesman said the NTA would "look at everything" to ensure public transport services operated freely, which could include banning taxis from College Green.

Signals

Signalling systems are also being reviewed in the city centre following problems with a new 55-metre Luas tram that became stuck on O'Connell Bridge on Thursday.

The NTA said it was in ongoing discussions with Dublin Bus and Dublin City Council since Christmas about traffic arrangements, but there are fears gridlock will worsen when longer trams enter service later this year.

"We would acknowledge there are issues and there is congestion but it's a very complex set of junctions. We're looking at ways of mitigating congestion there," a spokesman said.

Bans

They added that diversions to 17 bus routes introduced in recent weeks have had an impact.

Asked whether taxis could be banned, the spokesman said that it was within the powers of Dublin City Council to do so, adding: "We will look at everything."

Some transport sources have suggested delays in developing the College Green plaza, which would remove cars from the area, had exacerbated the delays in the morning and evening peaks.

Others have noted that Luas Cross City was planned before the plaza scheme was announced.

Dublin Bus said it was working with the NTA and Dublin City Council on solutions to alleviate the delays.

"Any solutions need to involve all modes of transport in the area," it added.

Irish Independent

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