THE decision to close the Sandyford Luas Park and Ride facility has been criticised by a local politician.
Dublin Rathdown based Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond called on Transdev and the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to be more considerate of Luas users when commencing works on the line and altering the service.
The Park and Ride closed on Friday to facilitate works and is not expected to reopen until September.
Senator Richmond said: “Since the closure of the Sandyford Park and Ride facility on Friday last, with the loss of nearly 50 car park spaces, I have been contacted by several frustrated local people who are suffering the knock on effects of this.
“I appreciate that the works are vital to accommodate the much welcomed longer trams, something I have been calling on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to prioritise.
“However giving less than a week’s notice for these works during a holiday period bed is very frustrating for commuters.
“These Luas customers have already been forced to endure increasingly congested trams over the last number of months and a little consideration to their commute would have been appreciated I am sure.”
Senator Richmond said that he had written to the managing director of Luas operator Transdev asking that the company engage with local parking providers to ensure adequate spaces are available for Luas users.
“They could also work better with car park operators to ensure the commute is hassle free for LUAS users,” he said.
“For example, they could harmonise the payment system in Sandyford carpark with the considerably larger Stillorgan car park.
“This would go a long way to increasing harmony between Transdev and the long-suffering commuter.”
Senator Richmond welcomed the works, which will facilitate extended trams, but added that he felt that closing car parks at short notice was not helpful for customer relations.
“Shunting through operational changes to the LUAS service with such short notice because of works I’m certain were well flagged, is neither a solution nor a way to improve relations with customers.”