— Contraflow bus lane only for cycling and buses.
A contraflow bus lane on Winetavern Street is set to be open Sunday week, September 25, according to Dublin City Council. Winetavern Street runs from Christchurch to the quays by the city council’s Wood Quay offices.
The contraflow bus lane is to allow for the routing of the planned the Spine G of the BusConnects routing project due to start operations in October. It should be noted that cycling on the contraflow bus lane southbound will be uphill with no overtaking space for buses.
The routing of buses via Winetavern Street is among a number of parts of BusConnects which will remove buses on College Green and the eastern end of Dame Street, allowing an incrementally move towards having no motor traffic on those streets ahead of putting a plaza in place.
The project also includes some protection to the northbound cycle lane on Winetavern Street, although it will also include a new bus stop in that direction which will interrupt the segragation.
The Winetavern Street project means the entry to Winetaven Street at Christchurch will be reduced to one lane northbound, before widening out again after the historic buildings. The northbound cycle lane is to be protected at Church.
There is some ongoing confusion about the different elements of BusConnects, with even councillors confused. The routing project of BusConnects has been underway for some time and includes a phased introduction of Spines and other routes to replace the old network.
It is separate from the infrastructure-focused Core Bus Corridor Projects, but the routing project also requires some in infrastructure changes such as this contra-flow bus lane, new bus stops and similar small-scale measures.
A spokesperson for the council said: “The Winetavern Street contraflow bus lane will facilitate the imminent introduction of Spine G of the BusConnects Network, connecting Spencer Dock with the Red Cow Luas Stop/Liffey Valley. The introduction of this bus lane will initially facilitate driver training and junction signal optimisation prior to services commencing on October 16.”
The council said: “The new contraflow bus lane will assist with bus services throughout the city centre and provide a new link from the north side of the city to the south side of the city.
“The changes will be implemented early on the morning of Sunday, September 25. Works have been taking place over the last few weeks to prepare for the changes. There will be a road closure in place on Winetavern Street from 6am to mid-day on that morning to make the final changes and the new layout will then be in place. There will be traffic management on site for the first few weeks as people get used to the changes,” the council said.
A press release issued from the council said that the contraflow bus lane is for buses and cyclists only, and that “as with all contraflow bus lanes taxis are not permitted”. This is a national law and the city council does not have the power to allow or disallow taxis in contra-flow bus lanes, although the use of such lanes by taxis seems to be little enforced.
Taxi drivers and people who cycle make a poor combination. The drivers lack the training and the patience to be acceptable co-users of those spaces.