Luas stakeholders must get their act together as the mounting problems related to the rollout of the Luas cross city are eroding public confidence in the service, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Dublin Rathdown based Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond said: “Since the Luas cross city project was launched in early December, what was a great public transport service, has disimproved sharply. Thousands of Luas users who welcomed the increased connectivity quickly learned that the extended route came at a great cost.
“Since the launch of Luas Cross City we have seen reduced frequency across the Green line, overly congested trams to the point that safety concerns were raised, the inability of commuters many of whom have prepaid tickets to even get onto to trams and absolute traffic carnage across much of the city centre on a daily basis.
“The incident this morning on O’Connell Bridge, where one of the new much heralded 55 metre trams blocked traffic on the South Quays because of its size, is the latest in a stream of farcical incidents that have all been well flagged in advance yet responses have been lethargic at best, if existent at all.
“I have, over the last few months, engaged with senior officials in Transdev and Transport Infrastructure Ireland. Each time I was assured that congestion would ease once all the seven new 55 metre long trams entered service before May 2018. Today’s disastrous start does little to allay the fears of thousands of commuters who had expected services to return to normality. A project of this scale cannot be so easily affected by minor traffic infractions and cause massive knock on traffic chaos in a city the size of Dublin.
“We have seen constant reports, deliberations and delaying of the plans for College Green, despite all parties involved knowing that the cross city service and longer trams were coming. Dublin Bus has made the decision to aid congestion by removing 1 in 5 buses away for this area and yet despite concerns being flagged by Dublin City Council the longer Luas trams certainly stumbled at the first hurdle.
“It is time all stakeholders including passenger representatives sit down immediately and outline a clear plan ahead of the An Bord Pleanála hearing in March. The constant altering of what was promised to the public must end and a vision for proper public transport for Dublin announced immediately.”