Traffic plan key to getting public transport moving says councillors echoing Dublin Bus CEO

A central part of the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan is to give priority to public transport Dublin City councillors have said.

Councillors were echoing Billy Hann, CEO of Dublin Bus, who told the Business Post newspaper that congestion in the city centre is one of its largest problems which stops it from running an effective bus service.

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“Last year alone in 2023, we carried just over 145 million passengers and that equates to just over 400,000 a day. We have more than 121 routes across the greater Dublin area. The vast majority of those routes operate to or through the city centre,” Hann told the Bussiness Post.

He added: “One of the biggest problems we have with moving passengers is the congestion in the city centre. So on a daily basis, it’s very difficult for us to run a really reliable and punctual service when the level of congestion in the city is the second worst in the world and delays buses travelling through central Dublin.”

During the public consultation, 82% of respondents said that they would support reducing road space for private vehicles in the core city centre to facilitate a more efficient public transport system.

How important the plan was to buses was echoed by a number of councillors at their monthly meeting last Monday.

Cllr Micheál MacDonncha (Sinn Féin) said: “Just to generally welcome the report, despite the flawed process I think, the outcome is generally welcome. Anything we can do as a city council to improve public transport, in particular, make it more available, make it more accessible, absolutely should be done.”

“Part of the plan is focused on the north quays — we don’t use the potential of the north quays they have great potential as obviously they’re south facing but the potential to use them for primarily pedestrian, cyclists, public transport and open space it would be great,” he said.

Michael Pigeon (Green Party) said: “At the core of this is just making the bus work because if you listen to the CEO of Dublin Bus, which moves 51%, the majority of commuters into Dublin every day, it’s 400,000 passengers a day and, he said that of the 121 routes, the vast majority goes through the city centre.

He added: “This is what we need to do we need to prioritise buses because a bus moves a hell of a lot more people than one or two cars.”

Cllr Patricia Roe (Social Democrats) said: “We welcome this plan. It’s been a long time coming and it will be good for the city anything that helps public transport move more smoothly through the core City Center is to be welcomed and removing cars from — unlike what has been reported in the media — a couple of pinch points in the city centre will achieve this.”

She said that it is particularly important for suburbs that don’t have other forms of public transport than the bus that buses can “move smoothly and effectively through the city centre and this is what this plan aims to achieve”.

Cllr Darragh Moriarty (Labour) said that his party welcomes the proposals. He said: “It was us as councillors through our city development plan process who set the ambition of a reduction of 40% in traffic — that was adopted by this council, that was voted on by this council. If we want to set ambitious targets we have to implement strong decisive action that gets traffic off our streets that is only cutting through our city centre.”

He said the quays haven’t worked for decades and car parks will be open to people.

Cllr Deirdre Heney (FF) claimed that the number who engaged in the public consultation process was low before she said the construction of the Clontarf to City Centre Cycle and Bus project was an “absolute living nightmare for people” and she brought up complaints about BusConnects bus stop in Donnycarney and Killester.

Cllr Heney on Monday night referred to the “people I’m dealing with”. But, based on the people she is dealing with, Cllr Heney recently put forward a motion about the Griffith Avenue cycle route, which she said “‘nobody uses’ according to residents” — a point which was disputed by her fellow local area councillors and proven wrong by data from traffic counts.

She said that the council needs to “bring people with us” — something some fellow councillors claimed councillors themself failed at.


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