Giving priority to Luas and buses is “purely anti-motorists” says TD

A plan to give space and priority to buses and Luas Cross City trams, which will cross the quays every 3 minutes at peak times is a “purely anti-motorists” according to one Dublin TD.

Dublin City Council have highlighted how the new bus lanes and reduction in general traffic lanes is needed because over 7,000 people per hour use buses on the quays compared to only around 500 cars carrying only about 600 people, and the frequency of trams crossing the quays from next month onwards will not allow the same number of cars to stay on the quays without grid locking buses.

The new 52 metre long trams will carry up to 380 passengers every — meaning two trams will likely carry more people in less than 10 minutes than all the cars on the north quays will carry in an hour. The extension of the Green line is due to open in December, but extensive testing is to start next month.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said on Facebook that the plans were “purely anti-motorist”.

Despite motor tax being based on emissions and not being ring-fenced to pay for roads, she added: “People forget that drivers paid road tax and they want to take their cars out.”

“There are delivery vans and people who need to get across town in their cars; I believe it will be exceptionally difficult for drivers and it is purely an anti-motorists plan,” said Deputy O’Sullivan.

She said: “It is impossible to park in these circumstances and it will cause huge delays. I welcome anything that improves the environment but I am not convinced this is a good idea.”

The city council however said that the rationale for the changes includes to reduce the current delays experienced by public transport users, to ensure that Luas Cross City can be introduced with minimal delays to its services and to ensure that far more people can move easily and efficiently through this area of the city than at present.

“The additional bus lanes will alleviate the difficulties faced by public transport on the quays, where the worst delays for buses in the city are experienced. At the peak morning time of 8am to 9am, over 7,000 people travel along the north quays on buses. This compares to round 500 cars and the same number of cyclists,” said Brendan O’Brien, head of technical services at the transport section of Dublin City Council.

He added: “It is expected that these permanent traffic changes will lead to an increase in the amount of people using public transport while still allowing access to the quays for general traffic.”

Donal Keating, Head of Operations, Dublin Bus said: “Dublin Bus welcomes Dublin City Council’s and the National Transport Authority’s new traffic arrangements on the north and south quays. The additional bus priority is important for public transport and highlights the importance of buses in tackling congestion in the city centre. We carry 400,000 customers per day, and these new traffic arrangements will ease traffic difficulties on the quays and help our customers avoid potential delays to their journeys.”

CORRECTION: Orignally this article said there was trams every 4 minutes in each direction, this was corrected to say trams every 3 minutes.

13 Comments

  1. Stephen McManus August 16, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Who said the dinosaurs were extinct?

  2. Stephen McManus August 16, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Feedback sent to Maureen through http://maureenosullivan.ie/contact-us/

    Dear Maureen,

    I read about your statements and could not resist to write to you to explain that it is not the new traffic arrangements that are anti-cars, it is the future itself that is.

    Modern cities need to prioritise people, sustainable transport and active mobility like walking and cycling over privately owned cars for many reasons, from public health, to lack of space and the negative impact that cars have on everyone’s quality of life and the environment.

    Please do the right thing and try to avoid campaigning for private cars in urban areas, only political dinosaurs are still doing it and I still don’t see you as one.

    Best regards,

    Stephen McManus

  3. Haha, nice one Stephen.

    This crap uttered by TD O’Sullivan is every bit as much horse-shite as that stuff about the fairies causing road subsidence.

  4. I’m surprised that a public representative is so ignorant that they don’t realise there is no such thing as road tax. Actually, I don’t think I’m surprised.

  5. To be brutally honest I’m unsurpsied that an independent could be so ignorant. All they really needed to do in the last election was rail against austerity and anything that might have the whiff of taxes. This Trump style Facebook post doesn’t need to be reasonable, it is designed to play to a base of selfish idiots who want to drive their cars anywhere they want, any time they want and don’t give a damn that they are sucking down far more than their fair share of resources. O’Sullivan hopes there are enough votes in this to keep her in office. As is typical of this breed of politician they never need to offer solutions, vociferous objections to other peoples’ solutions are a lot easier and just as good (if not better) at garnering a few votes.

    As has already been pointed out there is no such thing as road tax. The claim that this is “purely” anti-motorist is ludicrous too since to be so there would have to be no other benefits apart from sticking it to the driver but I’m sure if she took a breath in between rants she’d realise the benefits to public transport are actual.

    This is no better than the ranting of poorly informed, spoiled brats you find on internet message boards.

  6. ah good ole MOS, elected in the 11th count with 8.4% of 1st votes.
    She has no mandate what so ever and represent a small, small amount of the minority.

  7. It’s funny, everyone seems to say “I welcome anything that improves the environment but….”

  8. I think it’s bizarre that a socialist TD representing “Dublin Central Communities”, would come out this statement. I would expect a socialist TD to support measures that benefit ordinary citizens, the masses, not the few.

    The central communities she represents will benefit the most from these measures. The number of cars in the city centre will reduce and the quality of public transport will improve. What’s not to like?

    On her website she complains about the poor quality of public transport and lack of planning, and now she complains when the city tries to make things better. It’s completely cynical, she is seeking to appeal to as many voters as possible. She’s as bad as that other Dublin TD, the bould Bertie Ahern, just not as successful.

  9. Is Brendan O’Brien saying that 7,000 people ride bikes along the quays or that 500 do every morning?
    Does the councillor realise that bus and bike commuters are the majority?

  10. I’m fairly sure that cars and bicycles are around the same. There was one bit of the quays where there were more bicycles than cars but it was not 10 times the number.

    Of course bicycles use up less space, are less damaging to the roads and create a tiny fraction of the noise and air pollution so it would be hard to argue against making provision for them even if they transported less people than cars. Well hard to argue against that without appearing to be a selfish idiot.

    Anyway, this new measure is FAR more about making things better for busses than it is for bicycles. Busses transport far more people. If we were to apply the same rhetoric used by the car centric bloviators when provision for cycling is concerned we’d be saying to get rid of cars altogether. Why waste money on a mode that transports less than 10% of people. A mode that only the ‘elite’ who can afford to spend 1,000s are using. Of course that last part may cause those people who try to claim that cycling is elitist and cars are proletarian to have an aneurism. Hugh is right. It does seem odd for a socialist to be prioritising the private car over public transport.

    It is easily explained by hypocrisy. I’m in favour of improving public tranport so long as it doesn’t impact my ability to drive wherever I want, whenever I want and then park my car within 100m of my destination, preferably for free. I’m in favour of the environment, in some vague way, but not in any way that causes my polluting car to become more expensive or less convenient. Since this particular person, and this type in general, are not in any position to actually do anything they are free to cry out that the government needs to do something about whatever issue they want while also complaining about every measure introduced to actually achieve that. It’s easy to demand magical solution that will make everyone happy when you never have to actually provide them.

  11. A piece in The Village says “At present the Liffey route, despite its perceived dangers for cyclists already channels over 5,000 cyclists per day.” So the numbers have probably risen to 7,000 since those they were quoting, given the speed with which cycling is growing.

    https://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2017/08/why-dublin-city-needs-to-support-the-best-liffey-cycle-route/

  12. The numbers in the article above are per hour and your link are per day.

  13. I don’t want to too populist but you all make some very good points.

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