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Commuters feel brunt of double Luas closures

THOUSANDS of Luas passengers will be inconvenienced by the closure of two separate stops on the Red Line because of upgrade works.

The Belgard stop on the Red Line is partly closed to passengers bound for Tallaght until next autumn, and the Connolly Luas stop will be out of use until May 30.

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA), which is carrying out the works to both Luas stops, has insisted that the closures will not cause inconvenience to passengers using the Red Line.

However, up to 35,000 passengers use the Luas Red Line to commute to work in the city centre, and many even travel from the country to use the Park and Ride facility at the Red Cow stop.

A spokesperson from the RPA told the Herald that it expects the Belgard Luas stop to be fully operational by September, but only one line at the stop will be operational until then.

"The Belgard works are related to the Citywest extension. In order to do a link up with the existing line, we've had to put in a delta junction to make a connection. We'll have a fork going off to the Citywest junction."

And a spokeswoman from Veolia Transport, which runs the Luas, insisted that it has received no complaints in relation to the disruptions.

"There haven't been any complaints in relation to the Belgard stop. There's only been a handful of questions by people asking what stop they get on at," she stressed.

Customers using the Red Line to travel to Tallaght must board at Kingswood or Cookstown instead of using the Belgard stop.

Some 80,000 people travel on the Luas every day.

The spokesperson for Veolia explained that only one side of the Belgard stop is closed, so it only affects passengers travelling towards Tallaght.

"It's not even the whole stop that's closed. It's only one side of the stop," she said.

Meanwhile, the Connolly Luas stop will be closed for three weeks from May 8 to May 30, and the RPA says the surface of the stop will be upgraded during this time.

"When we were building the Docklands extension we did some works at the Connolly stop to link up the two, and we said we'd have to come back to the Connolly stop again to finish it," a spokesperson said.

"It's three weeks that we're closing the stop for in order to upgrade it and enhance it. We put in a temporary surface and stones at the stop when we were linking the two lines, but now we're putting in the proper surface which will be up to the Luas standards. We're going to put in some improvements as well."

Veolia said the alternative for passengers bound for Connolly is to get off at the Bus Aras Luas stop and walk for three minutes to Connolly station.