Bad to worse

'Patience is at breaking point' - longer Luas trams withdrawn from service due to system fault

The longer trams were first introduced last month in an attempt to ease passenger frustration due to overcrowding.

LUAS CROSS CITY 864_90536619 Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

A TROUBLED 24 hours for the Luas service in Dublin took a turn for the worse this morning with the news that the company has taken its much-vaunted longer Luas trams out of circulation on the cross-city route.

The longer trams, which measure 55 metres compared with the standard Luas length of 40 metres, were initially introduced last month with the goal of maximising passenger numbers and alleviating commuter frustration with overcrowding given the increase in demand for the service with the launch of Luas cross city.

However the initiative has proven to be a controversial one, with the longer trams alleged to have caused increased traffic congestion in the city centre.

The trams have been taken offline due to a system fault, according to the National Transport Authority.

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said that the news regarding the longer trams was symptomatic of the situation “going from bad to worse”.

“The latest announcement will aggravate and compound commuters’ frustration and anger,” she said.

At this stage their patience is at breaking point, not to mention (the) grave safety concerns and accessibility concerns for wheelchair users and young children.

“This is further evidence that not only was the government ill-prepared for the launch of the cross-city Luas, but there appears to be no contingency plan in place. This has resulted in a protracted and ongoing fiasco which could have been avoided,” she added.

It is not yet clear when the longer trams will be up and running again, with NTA chief executive Anne Graham suggesting the problem will be rectified in a matter of weeks.

A spokesperson for Luas operator Transdev could not be reached for comment at time of publication.

The trouble with the longer trams tops an inauspicious week for the tram service.

Yesterday, services on both lines were seriously delayed during the morning commute, with some passengers suggesting those delays had become the rule rather than the exception.

Around 100,000 commuters use the Luas service everyday.

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