The National Transport Authority (NTA) has removed three online videos from a high-profile campaign promoting its €2 billion BusConnects plan after admitting they wrongly depicted Dublin's traffic congestion as much worse than it is.
The time-lapse videos claiming to show chronic tailbacks, posted on the official BusConnects Twitter account, were pulled over the May bank holiday weekend after a complaint that they “didn’t bear any relation” to reality.
One purported to show cars not moving for almost 20 minutes at a junction in Kimmage. Original footage, subsequently released by the NTA, shows the traffic cleared within two minutes.
Liam Dwan, an IT consultant who lives beside the junction, discovered the errors when he slowed down the video clip, which was accompanied by a clock claiming to show the length of delays. It also showed a bicycle moving two feet in the space of about 10 minutes, while the actual footage shows the bicycle passing in a moment, he said.
“I have been living on the road for more than 15 years, and in all that time I have never seen traffic not moving for 20 minutes,” he said. “The timeline didn’t bear any relation to the pictures.”
What about other videos?
Other videos taken down from the BusConnects campaign include footage claiming to show traffic congestion at Harold’s Cross Road and Malahide Road.
Gráinne Mackin, head of communications for BusConnects, blamed the “anomalies” on the clock not being “in sync” with the time-lapse footage.
“Extracts of the time-lapse video were taken to make a shorter segment for Twitter and the clock alongside was not sequenced correctly to show the exact frames,” she said. “For the time lapse, a still image is taken every five seconds and then compiled to make up the footage. This created a time-lapse video of one minute [and] 18 seconds. However, a shorter segment, using this footage, was then created for social media and this is where the mistake was made and we have acknowledged that and remedied as soon as possible.”