Bus routes to be diverted from College Green on Monday
Taxi restrictions also being considered in attempt to reduce delays through city centre
The introduction of the new Luas Green Line in December led to traffic delays in the Trinity College/Nassau Street area in the run up to Christmas. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Seventeen Dublin Bus routes are to be diverted from College Green on Monday to alleviate traffic delays in the city centre.
The 25, 25a, 25b, 25d, 37, 39, 39a and 70 currently go up College Street and around Westmoreland Street from Pearse Street but will be re-routed through Tara Street and Burgh Quay and will return back on to their normal routes at Aston Quay.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has assured commuters that none of the bus stop locations on these routes will change.
However, Xpresso routes 25x, 27x, 32x, 33x, 39x, 41x, 51x, 66x and 67x, which only operate at rush hour, will no longer serve stops on D’Olier Street, Nassau Street, Kildare Street and Merrion Row.
Instead, the routes will now serve stops at Hawkins Street, Westland Row and Merrion Square West before returning to their normal route at St Stephen’s Green East.
The NTA has warned that if delays persist further changes to bus routes and possible taxi restrictions will follow.
Dermot O’Gara, head of public affairs at the NTA said “hopefully these interim measures will relieve the pressure on College Green”.
“They will be in place until there’s clarity around what’s going to be happening with the plaza,” Mr O’Gara said.
A public hearing on plans for a €10 million plaza project was cancelled earlier this month. The plaza would mean all traffic, including buses and taxis, would be banned from accessing Dame Street through College Green.
It is not yet known when An Bord Pleanála will reschedule the hearing.
“The real issue here is the arrangements for the plaza. When all of this was being looked at, the original idea was that new arrangements for the College Green Plaza and the Luas cross city services would all have been happening at the same time or in and around the same time,” Mr O’Gara added.
“Unfortunately, the plaza has got delayed as a result of planning permission issues so it means now that the new Luas services are trying to get through the old traffic arrangement.”
The NTA said it plans to work with Dublin Bus and Dublin City Council to monitor the impact of the route changes.
The introduction of the new Luas Green Line in December has led to traffic delays in the College Green area.
New longer Luas trams operating at an increased frequency will be travelling through the location by the end of March and will require a high level of priority to meet journey times.
Fianna Fáil’s Dublin spokesperson John Lahart said the city needs a “traffic tsar”.
He said at present no one person is responsible for transport in the city, there is no coordination and the responsibility is spread across four separate councils each with their own boss.
“There is a need for a traffic tsar who would be accountable to the city of Dublin,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“The Luas is a victim of its own success. It is hugely welcome, but it appears that there was no forward planning. Issues are being dealt with as they emerge. Why was no modelling done?”