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  • Southside

Southside commuters slam ongoing issues with Luas

Tuesday, 16th January, 2018 8:00am
Southside commuters slam ongoing issues with Luas

This photo posted on the ‘Stop Luas Overcrowding’ Facebook page appears with the caption ‘severe overcrowding recently at the Balally Luas stop’.

Southside commuters slam ongoing issues with Luas

This photo posted on the ‘Stop Luas Overcrowding’ Facebook page appears with the caption ‘severe overcrowding recently at the Balally Luas stop’.

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Rachel Farrell

HARD-PRESSED Southside commuters have expressed their frustration at issues arising from the extension of the Luas.

Passengers have been reporting long waiting times since the Luas Cross City opened last month.

Now, local politicians have said a reduced service beyond the Sandyford Depot towards Brides Glen has led to overcrowding while the closure of the Park & Ride facility at Sandyford has added to passengers’ woes.

The parking facility will be closed for approximately nine months to facilitate works at the Sandyford Luas depot.

Customers have been advised to park at Stillorgan or Carrickmines.

Senator Neale Richmond (FG) said that since the closure of the Sandyford Park & Ride facility with the subsequent loss of nearly 50 car park spaces, he had been contacted by several frustrated local people who are suffering the knock-on effects.

According to Transport Infrastructure Ireland spokesperson, Tom Manning, the closure was necessary to allow for the expansion of the Sandyford depot to accommodate longer trams.

“These longer trams, with their increased capacity, will carry almost 380 passengers compared to the existing 320 per tram,” he said. “This will ease congestion and provide for the expected population growth in the Greater Dublin area.”

Mr Manning explained that information was added to the Luas website on December 20 and flyers were placed on cars in the following days.

“At the same time posters were erected at Sandyford and Stillorgan Luas stops,” he added. “All social platforms were used to communicate the message from December 20.”

However, Senator Richmond said that “shunting through operational changes with such short notice because of works I’m certain were well flagged” was neither a solution nor a way to improve relations with customers.

“I appreciate that the works are vital to accommodate the much-welcomed longer trams, something I have been calling on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to prioritise,” Senator Richmond said.

“But these Luas customers have already been forced to endure increasingly congested trams over the last number of months and a little consideration to their commute would have been appreciated I am sure.”

Senator Richmond said he had written to the Managing Director of Transdev (the Luas operator) asking for the company to engage with local parking providers to ensure adequate spaces are available for passengers.

“As well as being important for the commuters themselves, it will also help to safeguard local estates across the Sandyford area from becoming the unintended victims of these works through increased offsite parking,” he added.

“They could also work better with car park operators to ensure the commute is hassle free for Luas users.

“For example, they could harmonise the payment system in Sandyford car park with the considerably larger Stillorgan car park.

“This would go a long way to increasing harmony between Transdev and the long-suffering commuter.

“The extended trams are much needed and will hopefully address some of the concerns I have raised for months now in relation to congestion.”

A Facebook page entitled ‘Stop Luas Overcrowding’ has attracted several comments from frustrated commuters.

One comment reads: “It’s an absolute disaster. I get the Luas home from Harcourt street around 5.30 most evenings.

“Friday past I had to wait while 3 luas went past jammed to the door. And still only ever 2nd one going to Brides Glen. Surely they should all go to Brides Glen at peak times and they should be more frequent than ever 15 minutes.”

Sinn Féin councillor for Sandyford Glencullen, Chris Curran, said: “This is a serious issue that affects thousands of commuters.”

This image on the same Facebook page is captioned: ‘This image was taken 7.50am this morning at Glencairn Luas stop. The next tram arrived almost full. Some intending passengers failed to board the tram’.

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