Dublin City Council, who are now very keen to appear active on the transport front in our fair city, are talking about extending bus lane operating hours from 7pm to 8pm. They are also talking about making the lanes active on Sundays in cases where they are not currently. We love the idea, but why stop there? Why not make them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – with services using them to boot?
Oddly enough, a poster on boards.ie suggests that the plan will not be put into practice. Why? Because “they didn’t have enough information on traffic levels at 8pm”. We can thank our lucky stars that these muppets won’t be on the Dublin Transport Authority then.
OPERATIONAL hours for bus lanes could be extended by an hour as Dublin’s peak time traffic lasts longer into the evening.
And the Quality Bus Corridors (QBCs) will also be in force on Sundays to cope with “horrendous” weekend congestion if the new proposals are adopted.
The suggested changes come before Dublin City Council’s influential Transportation and Traffic Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) this week.
A motion tabled by Labour’s Andrew Montague states: “That the manager extend the hours of operation of bus lanes to 8 pm on those lanes that cease at 7pm and to extend the days of operation to include Sundays on those bus lanes that don’t operate on a Sunday.”
Cllr Montague said he tabled the motion after noticing that “very often 7pm comes and buses can’t move any more”.
“Rush hour does not stop straight away at 7pm,” he added.
He said: “I think it’s important that our buses are as useful as possible to encourage people to use them.
“Extending bus lane times by an hour means it’s more attractive for people to use public transport. When bus lanes work, it frees up car space for people who have to use cars.”
A number of bus lanes operate 24 hours, seven days a week but the majority cease to be in force after 7pm and on Sundays.
Cllr Montague gave as an example the QBC through Drumcondra where traffic is still very busy at 7pm and buses get caught in the congestion.
“It’s all about giving people an efficient public transport system,” he said.
He also wants the council to liaise with Dublin Bus to ensure there is a sufficient supply of buses on Sundays.
“Traffic can be hell in Dublin on a Sunday. Part of the problem is that there is not a good public transport system on a Sunday,” Cllr Montague said.
The proposals could have major implications for parts of the city centre and surrounding areas where bus lanes have become integral to the transport system.
The city councils website states: “The QBC programme is acknowledged as having been very successful in providing an attractive alternative to the private car.
“The on-street public transport priority measures have resulted in significant reductions in bus journey times, facilitated a very substantial increase in bus passenger numbers and contributed to an increase in bus modal share after years of decline.”