Keeping the Luas on track


Sir, – Allocating the limited space inside the M50 has to start by looking at how much streetspace each travel mode takes and how many people fit in vehicles taking that streetspace. (“Teething problems or a challenge too far?”, December 11th)

During the morning peak, more people travel by car than by any other single mode. About 13 cars fit in the same street space as a 55m Luas tram with one driver. On average, each car takes no more than 1.25 people during that peak time, according to canal cordon counts.

These 16 people represent less than one-twentieth of the 380 passengers on a Luas tram.

Double-deck buses are 10m long and carry 93 passengers. Five buses (with five drivers) with 465 passengers take the same space as one Luas vehicle and 13 cars.

Given that all vehicles need some assured stopping space between them, Luas makes better use of the available streetspace on high traffic routes.

Operational costs are lower than buses. There are less emissions at point of use. It is far easier to monitor and mitigate emissions at electricity generating stations than it is for the 2.5m vehicles on our roads.

A recent IMF report assessed management of public investment here (Irish Times, November 10th). It found that there is a very big efficiency gap between us and other countries.

We in Dublin need to learn from well-run cities like Zurich. A good start would be to extend Luas Cross City to create a north city Luas loop together with Luas on Drumcondra Road as planned originally. A north city Luas loop would be faster and cheaper to build than Metro North. This €2bn relic of the Celtic tiger craziness is the same kind of solution to ease movement as is relying on private cars during peak commuting times in urban areas. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.