Rethinking public transport

 

Sir, – Olivia Kelly reports that Dublin City Council is planning significant – and welcome – changes to how road space in the city is shared, requiring “large-scale bus diversions and restrictions on cars” in response to the Covid-19 situation (“Dublin and Covid-19: Car restrictions, more space for bikes, bus restrictions in the offing”, News, May 22nd).

Much of this will require rapid and complex planning from the ground up.

However, one major element of this jigsaw is already designed and ready to go. It’s called Bus Connects, and since 2017 it has been through numerous public consultation and redrafting stages. The designers highlighted the excessive number of buses in the city centre with the existing network.

The most recent plans can and should be implemented immediately. They may not be perfect, but the current reduced demand for bus services means that passenger disruption will be at a minimum, while driver and passenger feedback will highlight any minor adjustments required.

With less busy roads, many workers will be encouraged to use their cars to return to work, so urgent action is needed to provide a functioning public transport service. – Yours, etc,

PAUL WALDRON

Ballinteer,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – The current social distancing measures on public transport are unsustainable and need a radical rethink.

Limiting the capacity of a double-decker bus to 17 persons is a nonsense.

Additional measures to reduce the risk of infection could include enhanced screen protection for drivers, no cash fares, compulsory face masks, and hand sanitiser dispensers on entry.

Buses that are 75 per cent empty are leaving individuals stranded at bus stops.

What a great way to encourage the use of public transport!

Common sense has gone missing. – Yours, etc,

WILLIAM RYAN,

Dublin 15.