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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Focus on communication during Luas Cross City line construction

The first construction on the Luas Cross City line in Dublin city centre is imminent, and one businessman is urging others to ensure they stay up to date with how it proceeds.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE EMPHASIS IS on communication as Dublin gears up for the construction of the Luas Cross City line, which will join the red and green Luas lines in the city.

Grainne Mackin has been appointed by the National Transport Agency (NTA) as the Director of Communications for the Luas Cross City project, an example of how the stakeholders involved are showing they are aware of the importance of communication as the project gets underway.

This is the first time that anyone has been given the role of communications officer for this specific part of the Luas project.

Disruption

Mackin told TheJournal.ie that work on the new line is imminent, but that people will not experience on-street disruption for another few months. The cellar works - during which Georgian cellars are to be filled in – will begin at the end of June, but are not expected to create much disruption except on some footpaths. In September, the utility works will begin, which will lead to some traffic diversions.

The cellar works will go on until February of next year.

One Dublin-based businessman is encouraging business owners to make sure they stay engaged with the Luas Cross City line as it undergoes instruction.

Ruaidhri McSharry, whose former business was located on Harcourt St while the green line was being built, encouraged business owners to “engage in the process from the outset” and to “continue to keep an eye on the progress”.

Communication

Mackin said that the NTA wants to give all the people affected by the works – commuters, business people, and shoppers, for example – as much notice as possible, and details about where diversions are going to be.

“Communication is going to be really important,” she said, advising that “a lot has moved on since the last project”. That includes how commuters get into and around Dublin city, with real-time bus information and Dublin Bikes being two new elements of the city landscape since the Luas was first introduced.

“The Luas’ popularity is testament to its success,” said Mackin. With a large amount of taxis also on the city streets, there are “different considerations” this time around in terms of the movements and travel patterns of urban commuters.

The concern is “how we communicate with people – making sure people have as much notice in advance [as possible]“, said Mackin, noting that social media will play a big role in that.

Mackin said that appointing a director of communications for the Luas Cross City project “shows the commitment that the stakeholders have”. Her role is a joint commitment between Dublin City Council and the NTA.

She said that it is “hugely important the city remains open” during the new Luas line construction, and that people know if their journey will be affected.

There are committees and forums in place to ensure communication between all the groups involved and the business owners and residents in the affected areas, she added.

Everyone has their own input, said Mackin. They want to be “working as closely as possible together” and there is a “genuine commitment to do that”.

Everyone wants to play their part.

Ger Hannon of the Railway Procurement Agency told TheJournal.ie that it is “fair to say we have very much taken on board everything we have learnt over the years” from the initial Luas lines and extensions, and that they will be applying that now in the works that are coming up.

He said that they want to ensure that once the contractors commit to doing the work, that they will be able to proceed with that “without hiccup”.

He continued that face-to-face meetings with business groups and individual businesses along the line is very important, and that they will also be providing people with information on the construction work by “making extensive use of social media”.

Read: Georgian cellars to be filled in during Luas Cross City construction>

Read: Negotiations ongoing over future of Number 29 Georgian museum>

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