Tuesday 21 November 2017

Relief for Dublin commuters? High-speed bus corridor on cards as Malahide residents hit hardest

Gridlock adds 70pc to journey times

Traffic congestion is adding to the commuter headache in the capital. Stock picture
Traffic congestion is adding to the commuter headache in the capital. Stock picture
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Bus journeys in the capital are taking up to 70pc longer at peak times due to growing congestion in the city.

Figures from the National Transport Authority (NTA) show that commuters travelling from Malahide into the city are among the worst affected.

But there are major delays in the morning and evening peaks across all main bus routes.

It comes amid concern about growing congestion levels, with traffic volumes on main roads into our major towns and cities rising by more than 15,000 last year, fuelling concerns about a return to boom-time gridlock.

In Dublin, volumes were up 4.2pc, statistics from Transport Infrastructure Ireland show.

The NTA will today outline a set of proposals aimed at improving bus services in Dublin, which includes development of a series of high-speed bus corridors into the city centre.

Proposals for a high-speed Bus Rapid Transit network will also be revealed, along with a review of the Dublin Bus network and fare structures, and a move to lower-emission vehicles.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham told the Irish Independent earlier this year that the changes would include widened bus corridors with segregated cycle lanes, and priority for buses at traffic signals to improve services.

"The bus gets full priority (where a bus lane is in place) on 30pc of journeys. That leads to issues when you have a congested road network," she said in an interview.

"The next stage we're looking at is taking each of the corridors (into the city) and seeing what level of investment is required to ensure as high a level of priority as possible."

Figures from the NTA show that it takes 69pc longer to travel on the Malahide corridor at peak times, compared with off-peak. It is the worst-performing route in the city.

It is followed by Howth and Finglas, where journey times are 67pc longer, Lucan and Bray (64pc), Blanchardstown and Clondalkin (63pc), Stillorgan and Clontarf (61pc), North Clondalkin (60pc), Swords (57pc), Ballymun and Rathfarnham (56pc), Templeogue (53pc) and Blackrock at 49pc.

Ireland is required to reduce transport emissions, which account for 21pc of our national total, to meet international obligations to tackle climate change.

The most recent figures from the Department of Transport show there are 2,026,977 private cars on the road, an increase of 2.11pc or 41,847 year-on-year.

Irish Independent

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