Hailo warns against proposed College Green traffic changes

Restricting taxi access could result in ‘serious implications’ for passengers and drivers

Hailo has expressed concern over a study that proposes to extend the current “bus gate” at College Green to exclude cars, vans and taxis on a 24-hour basis. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Hailo has expressed concern over a study that proposes to extend the current “bus gate” at College Green to exclude cars, vans and taxis on a 24-hour basis. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Proposed traffic changes to College Green will have significant impact on taxi passengers, drivers and local businesses, taxi service Hailo has said.

The changes, which include restrictions on private cars and taxis, form part of the Dublin City Centre Transport Study, published by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority.

The study proposes extending the current “bus gate” at College Green to exclude cars, vans and taxis on a 24-hour basis, restricting the street permanently to Luas, buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

The proposal said taxis will be excluded “from using the road space as a through route or as a taxi rank” and that the taxi rank at College Green will be relocated, to ensure the space is “utilised most efficiently”.

Hailo said the proposal to restrict access to College Green and its associated area will result in a significant inconvenience to taxi passengers by reason of the circuitous routes that taxis would have to take to deliver their passengers to their intended destination in the city centre resulting in increased travel times and additional fare costs.

It said the complete taxi restriction will also mean taxis will not be able to service hotels, bars, shops and businesses in the area.

After analysing hundreds of thousands of recent taxi journeys in Dublin city, Hailo said it found almost 20 per cent of all journeys which originate within the canal cordon currently pass through College Green and therefore will be impacted by these proposed changes.

“It is Hailo’s opinion that the measures proposed are anti-competitive by reducing the ability of customers in the city centre to access taxis, whilst also increasing the cost of journeys, thus pushing customers on to other public transport modes,” the company said.

Hailo Ireland general manager Tim Arnold said the taxi service acknowledged the importance of providing an improved public transport system. However, he said the importance of taxis in providing an alternative transport mode has not been taken into consideration in the study.

“Taxis should be considered an integral part of Dublin’s transport network. Restricting taxi access could have some potentially serious implications for taxi passengers, drivers and businesses,” he said.

He said the College Green bus gate should remain open for taxis on a 24 hour basis, but especially between the hours of 11pm and 7am, when buses and Luas services are less frequent.

“Taxi use spikes when bus and Luas services aren’t operational. Thus, taxis should be able to use College Green at those times.”

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