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'Possible increased fares': Taxis won't be allowed to use some College Green roads during rush hour

A taxi driver association said that this move would increase fares as drivers will have to take longer routes.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

IN TWO WEEKS’ time, new taxi restrictions will be put in place on College Green roads to help alleviate traffic congestion problems in Dublin city centre.

An association representing taxi drivers has said that this could lead to increased fares as drivers will be forced to take longer routes.

Numerous commuters have complained of morning travel problems after the Luas Cross City was introduced, including massive delays and stalled Luas trams around the College Green area.

Today, the National Transport Authority said that from the 12 March, taxis won’t be allowed to travel southbound in the College Green area during peak times in an effort to solve those problems.

During the hours of 7am to 10am, taxis will be restricted from driving southbound from the front of Trinity College, towards either Grafton Street or Dame Street.

There will be no restriction on movements by taxi through College Street towards Westmoreland Street, or on northbound movements from Dame Street towards Westmoreland Street in front of Bank of Ireland.

Offering a compromise, the National Transport Authority (NTA) said that taxis will now be able to travel northbound along the Luas alignment from Dawson Street to Westmoreland Street between midnight to 6am.

This will facilitate taxis to operate in a part of the city centre where there are high volumes of night-time activity thanks to pubs, restaurants and nightclubs in the area, it said.

But the National Private Hire And Taxi Association said that this was simply reversing a previous decision to close that road off to taxi drivers to facilitate the Luas Cross City’s route through the city.

It added that it was disappointed with the decision, but said there wouldn’t be a protest as it would be the passengers that would be hit by the decision.

“We’re disappointed we weren’t involved or consulted,” spokesman Jim Waldron told TheJournal.ie, adding that they had made submissions to the NTA and Dublin City Council.

We think that this is going to add to an increase in fares because drivers will have to take longer routes – that’s not what we want to do.
For the businessman and businesswoman who has to be in work at 8 or 9 in the morning, it’s going to make their journey longer.

He said that taxi drivers feel that this decision was just “pushing the problem along the streets”, and said that they would have preferred if the other 10 bus routes that are earmarked for diversion away from College Green should be removed first before the taxi restrictions are implemented.

Around 150 taxis per hour move southbound through College Green during the morning peak, according to the NTA. Reducing taxi movements will ease congestion and relieve pressure by freeing up space for the other public transport modes.

The changes have come after a number of other changes by the NTA, including redirected bus routes and introducing longer and more frequent trams to accommodate additional passengers.

A recently introduced 55-metre Luas tram stopped on the 45-metre O’Connell Bridge last week. The tram’s rear carriage was protruding across a yellow box junction between O’Connell Bridge and the south quays.

Read: The Luas goes at a ‘slow jogging pace’ through Dublin city

Read: Dublin Bus is changing another 10 routes to avoid College Green in the city centre

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