Quays bus / tram priority watered down twice, but group still claims businesses not consulted

— Councillor questions arrogance of business groups implying 500 cars are more important than 7,000 people in busses as newspaper labels traffic plan “arrogant”. 

Dublin City Council rowed back first on a full car ban on Bachelor’s Walk and later on a full car ban on Eden Quay because of lobbying mainly from businesses, but one group is still claiming there was a lack of consultation.

The watered-down proposals in effect since yesterday allow cars on both Bachelor’s Walk and Eden Quay in single traffic lanes, down from two lanes before the changes.

The measures aim to give priority to buses which already carry over 7,000 per hour at peak, as well as giving priority to trams crossing the quays around O’Connell Bridge which will have a likely have a higher capacity. This is compared to just around 600 people in about 500 cars.

But despite the watering down of the priority for public transport users, the Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins told the Irish Independent that: “Businesses are outraged with the arrogance of Dublin City Council, who are rolling out these new projects without consulting them.”

The consultation for the project gained high-profile media coverage and major u-turns were made to provide greater motorised access to/from car parks and other businesses. 

The city council has outlined how the project is to allow for more people to be carried in the limited space city centre while still allowing access to car parks, but Cummins added: “This is a total anti-business project in my opinion.”

In echos of past claims that pedestrianisation and bus priority measures would kill businesses, the Independent also reports that the Dublin Chamber of Commerce has “hit out at a new traffic plan for the city centre” saying it would have a “devastating effect” on businesses. This is a move away from the Dublin Chamber’s main line that there is just a lack of clarity around the changes.

Reacting to the Irish Independent article, which has the headline “Chaos hits capital as ‘arrogant’ new traffic plans begin”, Cllr Patrick Costello (Greens) said on Twitter: “What’s arrogant is saying 500 mostly single occupancy cars have more right to the road than 7000 people in busses.”

Bus users this morning are reporting that buses are free from the normal congestion along the central section of the quays.

One bus user, Eddie Duffy, said on Twitter: “New layout on the quays just improved my commute time by 15mins @dublinbusnews @Dublinbususers @rtenews @DubCityCouncil #dublintraffic 👏👍🚌.”

Another, ‪Dermot‬ O’Mahony, said: “Kudos to @DubCityCouncil on improving North Quays/O’Connell Bridge bus bottleneck, much smoother and faster bus ride on 145 this morning…”

Last week the testing of Luas trams on the new green line extension, which runs from St Stephen’s Green to the north side city centre retail areas and on to Broombridge, started to become more active. Tram services will be open to the public in December.

IMAGE: By Ciaran Cuffe, via Twitter.

8 Comments

  1. I got the bus down the quays today as I didn’t want to cycle in the rain. The journey was easily 15 minutes shorter than normal – the bus is probably as fast as the Luas red line on that stretch now. This is a really major improvement.

  2. This is what it is like to live in a post-truth world. Organisations can just claim they weren’t consulted despite the facts. They can claim this will cost jobs without any evidence to back them up.

    The claims about saving 15 minutes on the journey time is interesting beacuse it matches the estimates for how much time the M20 will save for people going between Cork and Limerick. 15 minutes justifies spending €800,000,000 on a new motorway but when it comes to making lfe better for the vast majority of commuters in Dublin the people running these business lobby groups aren’t willing to spend a little extra time or (horrifying alternative) leave their cars at home and mingle with the masses on the bus or tram.

  3. I wonder if the Restaurants Association of Ireland have done any research on the modes of transport used by their patrons and staff. I would have thought an improvement to public transport would deliver an increase in business to restaurants, as people on a night out would find it more convenient to come into the city.

    I suppose it all comes down to people being afraid of change.

  4. Well in fairness, while i’m sure that there are people who genuinely have no other option, a significant proportion of those who drive the whole way into the city are likely to be quite senior in their organizations, and used to getting their way. Office and workplace parking spaces are relatively few and are generally granted on the basis of seniority and status. Those who have them tend to have large German cars and have been prepared to tolerate the slog through traffic each day to enjoy the luxurious fruits of their labour in comfort and to avoid having to mix with the envious lower-level drones sitting in their cramped buses.
    Now they are understandably very unhappy that the hoi-polloi may be able to zoom past them as they go nowhere fast in their immaculately upholstered, massively overpowered marvels of engineering.

  5. I just read a quote from a bus driver in the Irish Times saying that it took longer on the bus this morning too. I’m very confused as to how that it is possible. No doubt we’ll be seeing that used as evidence that this idea is a failure and we need to go back to the way things were before, or even better get rid of bus lanes and cyclists altogether!

  6. It appears that there was so much confusion on the part of car drivers as a result of the changes that it may have affected buses also. Hopefully just teething problems.

  7. @Eric I too saw that ‘Bus Driver’ quote & thought it odd that it wasn’t clarified whether he was driving in professional or private capacity.
    Anyhow I’m totally convinced by the parking lobbies’ excellent arguments and feel pedestrians and public transport users have been far too well served. Lets rip bus lanes and pedestrian zones out! Make Grafton Street Great Again!

  8. The restaurants association of Ireland whose members sell alcohol want free access for cars in Dublin city centre ? Is Adrian going to drive his customers home? Does he not see what a contradiction his statement is. Has he had a survey done among his customers to see how many are driving home. Ah sure it’s only a few glasses of wine. Where’s the harm in that. There are some who say driving with a full belly Ian more dangerous!

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