— Currently diverted buses may not return, but no ban on buses planned
— City manager takes to radio to correct comments made to Irish Times
— Keegan admits issues with design mixing bicycles and buses
Buses will not be banned from College Green under any current draft proposals linked to the Luas Cross City tram project, it was confirmed by the manager of Dublin City Council this morning on Newstalk 106-108FM.
Owen Keegan, chief executive of Dublin City Council, said: “I’m very pleased to reassure the vast amount of bus users who travel through College Green that they will continue to be able to travel through College Green.”
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, Keegan added: “The issue really concerns the buses that are currently diverted from College Green. They’re buses like the 46A that used to turn left at the bottom of Dawson Street, and along Nassau Street, Suffolk Street, down Church Lane and on to College Green”.
He said measures would have to be put in place to “accommodate” these currently diverted bus routes to get “directly back” close to College Green.
Keegan’s comments on Newstalk followed up comments attributed to him by The Irish Times, published earlier this morning. In an article headlined “Buses may be banned from College Green due to Luas“, The Irish Times reported him as saying: “College Green is going to be very, very busy and if you’re going to have high frequency Luas lines, if you’re going to have cyclists and pedestrians, it’s going to be very difficult to also have buses,” and that “I could see the possibility of taking the buses out.”
The Irish Times also quoted Keegan admitting that the proposed design for College Green last year had issues in the way it handled the mixing of bicycles and buses. He said: “We weren’t in a position to go forward with it. There are issues about the quality of the cycling provision and there are difficulties with whether we can cater for buses, those issues are not resolved,”
The — “now corrected — comments have received strong reaction in the media and online, and it’s not the first time an Irish Times article involving Keegan brewed up a storm. The same newspaper previously reported on the Liffey Cycle Route as a new idea of Keegan’s when the project was mandated in a city development plan which approved by councilors, it was then in development for a number of years, and had been already reported on by a number of media outlets.