general issues

Swords Express take dispute with transport minister to the High Court

The Swords Express are taking Noel Dempsey to court over the granting of permission for Dublin Bus to use the port tunnel. All a bit odd considering the services so not actually share the same route except for a short stretch in Swords – and even then the services are so differentiated that they serve totally different types of customers.

RTE reports:

A private bus company has begun High Court proceedings against the Minister for Transport over what it says was a decision allowing unfair competition.

Swords Express claims the Dept of Transport allowed Dublin Bus to change its route to compete with the private service.

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timetables and routes

Dublin Bus routes disrupted by thugs

Once again scumbags have forced a reduction in bus services in some of the parts of the city that need them most. After taking advise from the guards, bus routes through Blanchardstown and Clondalkin have been diverted, and this will continue until the problems are resolved.

Andrew Phelan of the Herald reports:

Dublin Bus has been forced to pull out of trouble spots in the city following savage assaults on its drivers.

Following intensive talks with gardai, routes in Clondalkin and Blanchardstown have been diverted until further notice.

And now the company is looking for members of the public in Clondalkin to help them track the prime suspects in the attacks, or else the community risks losing its bus service.

Two bus routes serving the area have diverted away from their scheduled routes over a series of incidents that reached crisis point when a driver was viciously beaten. According to sources, the young victim was headbutted and punched on the ground by two men after he came to the assistance of a colleague who was being assaulted by passengers.

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government and politics

Louth politicians begin to notice the DTA too

As we pointed out back in April, the proposed Dublin Transport Authority does not cover any part of the County Louth. We noted that it was “conspicuous by it’s absence”.

Apparently Louth’s politicians are even slower on the uptake than their Dublin counterparts, and have only begun to take note of this quite important fact in recent weeks.

As usual the local people, the users of the transport services in question, are being let down by their public representatives.

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road traffic

Dublin City Council endangering pedestrians with advertising

Pedestrians, cyclists and even the blind have all been placed at risk thanks to a secret deal between Dublin City Council and advertising firm JC Decaux.

The firm are supplying some bikes (cost: secret) in exchange for the right to place lots ad lots of advertising on footpaths (value: secret). Many of these signs block either the view from vehicles of pedestrians about to cross the road and/or the ability of pedestrians to see on coming traffic.

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light rail

Luas trams make noise, court told

Couple buy house next to railway track which is scheduled to re-open. Railway re-opens. Value of home increases. Couple sue because the trams make noise. It must be just awful living next to a clean, frequent and fast mode of public transport able to get you into the city centre in approximately 6 minutes.

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timetables and routes

Dublin Bus route 41X port tunnel battle continues

More departmental permission needed to return via the port tunnel

While we may have given the impression (and indeed believed ourselves) that the issue of Dublin Bus being allowed to use the Port Tunnel was over and done with, it appears it is not so simple.

While permission has been given to run buses into town via the magnificent concrete monument to the Celtic Tiger (may it rest in peace) that is the tunnel, no such permission exists to run buses in the other direction.

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light rail

Dublin Metro standards will be high, claim RPA

Nicola Cooke of the Sunday Business Post writes:

The operator chosen to run the planned Metro North system in Dublin will forfeit an annual fee of tens of millions of euro if it does not achieve the highest standards in the world in key areas such as passenger numbers, punctuality and breakdowns.

Documents sent to the four consortiums bidding to build and operate the 17-kilometre line from St Stephen’s Green to Swords specify that the network operator must achieve a minimum 85 per cent target across all key performance indicators, or its income for the year will be withheld. Industry sources said this would be the highest standard in the world for any new metro.

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Circle Line bus company ceases operations in Dublin

Meanwhile the Department of Transport drop it’s objection to the 41X going via Dublin’s Port Tunnel

A statement was issued this morning by Circle Line, the private bus company serving Lucan and Celbridge, announcing that they are to cease operations. If ever you needed an example as to why a privatised bus service is a bad idea, then this is one.

Circle Line, a paradox not just in name

Circle Line are claiming that they have been forced to go into liquidation due to “…unfair competition from Dublin Bus…” and because “…it was subject to route saturation from Dublin Bus immediately after it started.” This is, of course, nonsense. Unfortunately Dublin Bus are so inadequate at managing their own public relations, preferring to send threatening letters to websites rather than properly addressing inaccuracies in the media. So, for no fee, let’s do their job for them.

We agree that private bus operation in Dublin is not on a level playing field with Dublin Bus, in fact they have the advantage over the public operator. Due to the way transport policy is run in Ireland, and the way the Department of Transport (Dot) like to do business, we do not have a situation were operators can run like-for-like services against each other. In fact, direct competition is prohibited. So much for the “consumer choice” that has been touted every time privatisation comes up.

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buslanes and qbcs

Dublin bus lane operating hours extension proposed

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.

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road traffic

Dublin City Council propose rickshaw licensing

Cue the minister wringing his hands and muttering darkly about 1930s transport legislation

Apparently oblivious (or maybe not) to the competency of the Department of Transport and it’s minister, especially with regard to the licensing of private operators, the traffic committee of Dublin City Council wants wee Noel to start licensing rickshaw operators in Dublin city centre.

What’s not clear is what effect that would have, or what the council expect to happen even with such legislation being put on the statute books. Since we already have a licensing structure for buses that nobody is willing to enforce, why on earth do the council think that one for rickshaws, of all things, would be?

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