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Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

'Virtual bus lanes' among plans to increase public transport use in Dublin

The National Transport Authority is to “free up road space” for travel by means other than private cars.
Aug 9th 2013, 1:17 PM 14,341 78

GREATER RESTRICTIONS SHOULD be expected by Dublin motorists as part of an effort to free up further space for public transport in the nation’s capital.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has published a new five-year plan for Dublin’s streets that sets out to “free up road space” for travel by means other than private cars. The NTA will also seek to encourage people using the road network at busy times to use “more appropriate means of travel or to travel at less congested times”.

The report points out that under 19 per cent of those in the greater Dublin area use public transport to get to work. This is compared to a national figure of less than 9 per cent. Between 2006-2011 all modes of travel to work in the Dublin area recorded falls except cycling which saw a 23 per cent increase. The falls across other areas can be attributed a reduction in work levels due to the economic decline.

The authority says that Dublin Bus is the dominant form transport in the capital with 115 million passenger journeys annually but notes that the fleet has “dis-improved” over the past decade with a considerable portion of buses now dating back to the start of the previous decade. As part of development of the bus network, additional bus lanes will be implemented according to the report. The plan adds that where there is no space available “virtual bus lanes” could be introduced:

This is accomplished using signalling arrangements to relocate queuing from an area of the route to an area where bus lanes exist,thus allowing the bus to bypass the queue.
The NTA states that the €368 million ‘Luas Cross City‘ is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017 and will run between St. Stephen’s Green and the rail station at Boombridge in Cabra, linking both current red and green Luas lines along the way.

The report also points out that in some of Dublin’s surrounding counties car ownership is approaching ‘saturation levels’, where everyone legally entitled to drive owns a car.

The full Draft Integrated Implementation Plan 2013 – 2018 from the NTA can be viewed here.

Read: Dublin Bus staff to be balloted after all-night talks >

Read: Transport companies apply to hike fares in 2014 >

Read: Ever wanted to park on the street and not get clamped? >

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Rónán Duffy

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