Parking pain: Luas nose-to-nose with trucks as tram tests begin

‘We did anticipate some problems with illegal parking at start,’ says Luas spokesperson

Dublin’s new Luas Cross City line has hit traffic problems before services even begin, with cars and delivery vans blocking the tracks during tram operating tests. Photograph: Graeme McQueen/Twitter

Dublin’s new Luas Cross City line has hit traffic problems before services even begin, with cars and delivery vans blocking the tracks during tram operating tests. Photograph: Graeme McQueen/Twitter

 

Dublin’s new Luas Cross City line has hit traffic problems before services even begin, with cars and delivery vans blocking the tracks during tram operating tests.

Morning and evening peak-time testing of trams began this week, ahead of the start of services on the line, which will run through the city centre from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge in Cabra from December.

Gráinne Mackin, communications director for the project, said the tram tests were interrupted several times when drivers met vehicles parked illegally on the tracks.

“We are in the bedding-in period and people are on a learning curve, so we did anticipate there were would be some problems with illegal parking at the start,” she said.

“However, from Monday, September 11th, daily testing, every 15 to 20 minutes, Monday to Friday, will become part and parcel of the city, so it will be very important that people don’t block the line. It’s not viable and it’s not allowed.”

‘Gauge run’

Following a successful “gauge run” on June 17th, Luas staff have been placing notices on cars parked along the route advising them the space is needed for tram testing.

Graeme McQueen, of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, posted photographs on Twitter of Luas and delivery lorries standing face-to-face on Dawson Street.

The pictures showed lorries and vans stopped on the street, some of them unloading goods on the Luas lines. Two pictures showed a Luas tram stopped nose-to-nose with a parked lorry.

Last month, construction workers placed notices on cars parked on the tracks around St Stephen’s Green, warning them of similar infringements.

Mr McQueen said the “purpose of the testing process is to catch this problem” and he felt that “communication between Luas Cross City and the businesses” had been good.

‘A job of work’

He said there now appeared to be “a job of work” in explaining to the lorry and delivery van drivers where they could pull up.

“There is a job to explain where deliveries can still happen and it is going to be more difficult,” he said.

“It has been a slow job because it is not easy, but we are coming out the far side now and the work is to entice people back into the city,” he said.