Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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Its hard to know what thread to put this on…see OConnell St also
Dublin Bus wants roads deal with Luas
Transport committee: Dublin Bus has said the viability of a â‚¬200 million plan to beat congestion may be in doubt if it can not come to an accommodation with Luas over crucial road space in Dublin city centre.
Both transport companies are vying for on-street priority in the crucial centre area of Nassau Street, College Green and Westmoreland Street.
Yesterday, managing director of Dublin Bus Joe Meagher said it could now take up to 25 minutes for a bus to travel between St Stephen’s Green and Parnell Square, a situation which made bus use in the city “almost unviable”.
Mr Meagher told the Oireachtas Committee on Transport that the bus company needed additional priority on city streets, and said the prospect of Luas utilising a route option along Nassau Street and College Green via Westmoreland Street to O’Connell Street was “a major, major issue for Dublin Bus”.
The route is one of a number being considered to link up the existing Luas Red and Green lines. It emerged as favourite at a public consultation process in February, largely because it is the shortest and most direct.
The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA), builder of Luas, has said the success of tram systems around the world was dependent on trams having their own space where they travel on public roads and not queuing at traffic lights.
However, Mr Meagher said Dublin Bus provided 58 million passenger journeys which began or ended in the vicinity of the front of Trinity College.
With travel speeds in the city centre averaging between 5km/h and 8km/h depending on the time of the day, the company had developed an investment plan based on 425 new buses and new quality bus corridors (QBCs).
This plan was dependent on “free movement” of buses along QBCs and in the city centre.
He said the plan also included the development of more cross-city bus routes, six new orbital and five new radial QBCs and priority movement in the city centre.
Priority movement could mean continuous bus lanes, bus-only access roads, bus-only turns, and bus priority at lights and junctions.
He warned that congestion was currently costing the company â‚¬60 million a year, while the average speed of buses across the network had fallen to just 12km/h.
Mr Meagher said Dublin Bus had raised the issue with Luas, and had extensive discussions with the Dublin Transportation Office, which, he said, had been understanding of the bus company’s position.
Dublin Bus also made a submission at the public consultation stage meetings held by the RPA.
The company recommended that Luas utilise “option B”, a route around Trinity College to the west along Nassau Street and Westland Row.
Dublin Bus said it was also seriously concerned about the disruption to routes and services during the Luas construction phase, which could see Dawson Street, Nassau Street, Lower Grafton Street, College Green, Westmoreland Street and part of O’Connell Street dug up.
Mr Meagher said Dublin Bus did accept the importance of the Luas and metro projects in transport infrastructure but there was “a need for close co-ordination between Luas, metro and Dublin Bus to minimise disruption”.