Luas picture

SOME bus journeys have more than doubled in duration since the introduction of the Luas Cross City, it has been revealed, with local representatives blasting the impact on hard-pressed commuters.

Since being introduced in December, the Luas Cross City link has caused traffic chaos within the city centre.

In January, several bus routes were re-routed from College Green to try to alleviate rush-hour traffic.

However, last week, an analysis of bus journey times over three days within the city have shown that journey times have doubled since the introduction of Cross City.

The Luas has also caused issues for taxi drivers, with the same analysis showing that taxis and buses are moving at just 1.7kmph during rush hour traffic.

There have now been suggestions that all traffic apart from the Luas should be banned from College Green to O’Connell Bridge.

It is believed that outside of peak times, the Luas can cross the centre city within five minutes, but in peak times the Luas is only able to serve 22 journeys per hour, as opposed to the planned 40.

The suggestion to remove buses has been met with criticism from local councillors, saying that buses serve many more people than “the Luas ever will”.

The redirection of buses outside of the primary city travel corridor would result in individuals potentially being left nowhere near their end destination.

It would also encourage traffic in other areas of the city, such as along the quays.
Deputy Noel Rock (FG) said: “When it comes to any suggestion that buses should be run off the road in order to prioritise the Luas, all public representatives need to be clear: absolutely not.

“[Bus] routes have been established over the course of decades based on demand.

“Any alternative routes would, given how much of the city arteries the Luas now runs along, require buses to be stopping nowhere near where people actually want to be.

“It would be nothing short of a planning disaster, and would be favouring the few over the many”.

As previously reported in Dublin Gazette, those on social media have reported that travel times could be up to 40 minutes in rush-hour in certain areas following the first redirection of buses to new routes.

The addition of new, longer trams that have been put in service have also come under scrutiny, with the revelation that the 55-metre trams have the potential to block yellow boxes and junctions.

These carriages can hold 380 passengers, while a standard Luas can hold 320. Their introduction last Thursday saw part of the longer trams protruding onto the quays from O’Connell Bridge, causing traffic issues.

The longer carriages were introduced after complaints of overcrowding; however, users on social media – such as 98FM DJ Jeremy Dixon – have posted images of packed, “unsafe” Luas carriages.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “It’s a serious safety issue. I’ve just got off a Luas that was so packed, two children were visibly upset.”

In response to a request from Dublin Gazette for a response to the issues raised, a spokesperson for Luas operators Transdev declined to comment.