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  • Northside West

Luas Cross City had a shaky start

Monday, 18th December, 2017 1:00pm
Luas Cross City had a shaky start

Luas driver Gareth Irivine celebrates at Broombridge Terminus after succesfully bringing the first tram home. PHOTO: TOM HONAN/JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Luas Cross City had a shaky start

Luas driver Gareth Irivine celebrates at Broombridge Terminus after succesfully bringing the first tram home. PHOTO: TOM HONAN/JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY

IT TOOK years of planning and months of roadworks, but the Luas Cross City extension finally opened on December 9.

City businesses described the new tramline as “a very welcome early Christmas present for Dublin”.

However, it was an unwanted gift for some commuters when traffic was brought to a near standstill during the first few days of operation.

On the first Monday of service, major rush hour traffic disruptions caused by a signal failure sparked frustration along O’Connell Street, College Green and Dame Street.

The following day brought complaints from commuters left waiting at stops as trams trundeled by and reports of a lack of space on some trams.

Dublin North West TD, Noel Rock (FG), called on Dublin Bus, LUAS operator Transdev and Dublin City Council to work together to solve traffic issues.

“While teething problems can be expected, the delays of up to 40 minutes to cross the city as commuters made their way to work cannot become the norm,” he said.

“Traffic signalling needs to be very actively monitored and refined.

“The delay experienced by commuters was a fiasco.

“Once these issues are ironed out I hope we will witness an ease in traffic backlogging in the city.”

The €368 million line will ultimately facilitate up to ten million passenger journeys a year and Dublin Chamber say it’s a huge boost for city centre retailers.

“It has been a long five years for businesses in the city centre, but it is fantastic to see the line open on-time and in advance of Christmas,” said the chamber's head of public affairs, Graeme McQueen.

“The opening of Luas Cross City provides shops and businesses in the city with a huge boost.

“City centre businesses - and users of the city - have been extremely understanding during the construction works.

“Businesses have always seen the Luas Cross City construction as a case of short-term pain for long-term gain, with the city and its people set to reap the benefits for decades and generations to come.”

Dublin Chamber commended all parties involved with Luas Cross City for delivering the project on schedule and within budget.

"The success of the Luas Cross City project bodes well for the delivery of other much-needed projects over the coming years, such as Metro North, Dart Underground, BusConnects and a world class cycle networ,” McQueen added.

“While it is important to celebrate the completion of Luas Cross City, the focus must now be on commencing work on these projects as soon as possible.”

Dublin Lord Mayor, Mícheál Mac Donncha, also welcomed the commencement of the new Luas service from St Stephen's Green to Broombridge.

"It directly serves the city centre and a big section of the Northside, as well as linking the entire existing Luas network to the new line,” he said.

“I believe this will be transformative, making commuting easier for workers and helping to lift businesses and services on and near the Luas route. 

"I commend all involved in helping to deliver this key new infrastructure for Dublin, including Dublin City Council.

“The construction has been disruptive for many but I believe it will have been worth the wait.

“The key to traffic problems in our city is more and better public transport, including trams, buses and trains.

“The development of this infrastructure must continue."

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here