Confirmed: Luas causes bus journey times to more than double

Confirmed: Luas causes bus journey times to more than double”

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said Dublin Bus had carried out modelling and had forecast that College Green would be a problem when the new Luas line was introduced and this had not been properly considered.

He said the prioritisation of different forms of transport in the city was a matter for the National Transport Authority, while the sequencing of traffic lights was a matter for the city council.

By comparison, the same journey only took an average 10 minutes prior to the Luas extension.

Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that this threat of legal action had delayed the introduction of the pedestrian plaza that the council had planned, to cope with the introduction of the Luas Cross City and this plan is to be decided by An Bord Pleanála.

He warned that the issue of gridlock had been well flagged before the new Luas lines opened.

It comes a day after it was announced that ten more Dublin Bus routes are to be diverted away from the College Green area from March 5th.

They will be given priority at lights to avoid blocking traffic on the quays while crossing O'Connell Bridge and the Rosie Hackett Bridge.

Transdev will also be seeking 26 trams to be extended and wants to buy another eight trams.

"Whatever we put in place for Luas it seems that will not meet demand", Lunden-Welden said.

Buses in Dublin city centre move at an average speed of 14 km/h at peak times and have been slowed down by the Luas, it was claimed yesterday. "There will be higher demand".

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Lunden-Welden informed the committee that since the extension opened, College Green journey times improved by three to four minutes.

But he warned there are few viable options for taking buses out of College Green.

"Despite the significant rollout of Quality Bus Corridors, private transport remains extremely competitive in terms of journey times to the city, and in many cases is faster than the bus" he said. "I am terrified going around, coming from Pearse Street direction going right up Dame Street", he said.

A two-way cycle path has opened but cycling campaigners have raised safety concerns about the route.

Cormac O'Rourke told the committee that while he sympathised with commuters stuck in traffic or overcrowded trains, the current congestion is a symptom of economic success.

AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan told the committee that buses will have to leave the area when the pedestrian plaza is built, something which he says is supported by a majority of the city's citizens.

"It's incredible that anyone designed that facility with cyclists in mind".

"Put simply: There is no room for buses and trams on College Green as it is".

In a statement, Dublin Bus said it would "continue to work with Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority on solutions to alleviate delays being experienced by our customers".

"Luas can't move so the buses just have to".

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