Due to new Luas tram operations, Cars will be reduced to one lane on Dublin's quays
Due to the new Luas tram operations, which will begin fully in December, cars will be reduced to one lane on the quays in the city centre from this Sunday.
Cars will also be banned from turning right onto O'Connell Bridge from Bachelors Walk under the new traffic management plans for Dublin City Centre.
Dublin City Council said the changes will come into effect this Sunday, are being brought in because Luas Cross City will soon begin testing and also to improve bus services.
The Luas will run across O'Connell Bridge every three minutes at peak times and a full service will begin in December.
In the next few months, though, Luas will be tested and therefore the traffic routes are being changed from the end of this week.
Bachelors Walk has become a bottleneck in the city for Dublin Bus services, especially for any buses which want to turn right across two lanes of traffic to get onto O'Connell Bridge.
The new plans will see an extra bus lane on the north side of the Liffey quays, from Upper Ormond Quay to Eden Quay and on the south quays from Burgh Quay to Essex Quay. On these routes, cars will be reduced to one lane on both stretches.
Brendan O’Brien who is the DCC Head of Technical Services said the changes will improve mobility and allow freer movement of public transport as the number of commuters increase.
"The additional bus lanes will alleviate the difficulties faced by public transport on the quays, where the worst delays for buses in the city are experienced.
"At the peak morning time of 8am to 9am, over 7,000 people travel along the north quays on buses. This compares to around 500 cars and the same number of cyclists,".
Dublin city council had originally intended to ban all private cars from travelling straight onto Eden Quay from Bachelors Walk but revised their plans after criticism from local businesses and north city residents who were concerned about displaced traffic.
Cars will now be allowed onto Eden Quay as well as turning left onto O'Connell St but buses will be given priority at a new set of traffic lights to be installed on Bachelors Walk near Litton Lane about 100 metres from O'Connell Bridge. Cars will still be allowed to turn right onto O'Connell Bridge from the south at Burgh Quay.
The problem which may arise from the new traffic changes is that if cars continue to use the north quays in the same numbers it could produce long tailbacks. As a result of these potential issues, business groups have expressed concern at the effect of the new traffic measures when commuter volumes return to normal next month.
Conor Faughnan of the AA is predicting increased congestion and traffic problems saying that the north quays are already a "pinch point" and that any further tightening could cause tailbacks as far away as Chapelizod.
Keith Gavin of the Irish Parking Association, who formed an opposition group to the new plans called the Dublin For All group, said
"we are disappointed with this announcement and very concerned about the changes. We have already highlighted in our submission to Dublin City Council the potential for damage to city businesses which these changes will mean."
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