Dublin City Council to meet NTA over College Green traffic problems

Councillors criticise widespread delays following introduction of Luas Cross City

Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) will meet on Tuesday to consider if further interventions are needed for the College Green area.

Dick Brady, assistant chief executive of the council, said there has been "widespread delays" and "numerous complaints" following the introduction of the Luas Cross City last December.

Mr Brady told the council's monthly meeting at City Hall on Monday evening that despite Dublin Bus reducing its fleet by 20 per cent during the morning peak, bus journey times are still greater than they were before the new Luas was introduced.

Mr Brady said the council and the NTA are “monitoring the situation” and will meet on Tuesday to consider if “more interventions are needed”.

Seventeen Dublin Bus routes were diverted from College Green last week to alleviate traffic delays in the city centre.

Mr Brady said longer Luas trams are due to be introduced in the coming weeks and that An Bord Pleanála will hold a public hearing on the College Green plaza on February 21st. The plaza would mean all traffic, including buses and taxis, would be banned from accessing Dame Street through College Green.

“Dublin City Council do not have a vendetta against the driver of a private motor car,” said Mr Brady. “Our only aim is that the road space we do have is used in the most efficient manner and the best possible use to the citizens of this city…We don’t have any ulterior motives.”

He also told the council the NTA is working on a study on the city’s bus routes, “which should bring forward, I hope, radical proposals in the manner buses operate and the routes they operate”.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the situation at College Green is "dangerous" and there are "still issues" despite bus routes being directed away from the area.

“People want a proper fit for purpose public transport system,” said Cllr Flynn. “What we have at the moment is a disaster. We have a situation where the economy is being disastrously affected.”

Sinn Fein councillor Chris Andrews said "the status quo can't remain" and that interventions must be made. "Currently it is hazardous for cyclists," he added.

Fine Gael councillor Paddy McCartan said "there was always going to be snag points at College Green".

Cllr McCartan said the removal of 17 bus routes “is making a difference” and that the number of taxis allowed in the area must be examined. He said taxis are “creating as much backlog as the public transport”.

Councillors voted to hear a presentation on transportation and traffic following a motion from Labour councillor Mary Freehill. This will be heard at the next monthly meeting on March 5th.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times