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.