Major change to bus network needs careful consideration – Troy

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD says the proposed overhaul of the Dublin Bus network needs to be carefully considered and the public must be given the opportunity to have their views heard through the consultation process.

Deputy Troy said, “The announcement made today by the National Transport Authority represents a complete redesign of the Dublin Bus network. It’s clear to all passengers that changes to the network are needed to help meet growing demand and to ease congestion in the city centre. The proposals put forward by the NTA represent an opportunity to tackle these issues and improve public transport services.

It’s important members of the public are given an opportunity to air their concerns during the consultation process. Some areas will lose direct city centre services as a result of these changes, but the NTA insists that passengers living in these areas will see journey times drop and an increase in service reliability. This needs to be expanded on further during the consultation process to ensure this is actually the case.

“I have some concerns surrounding the ability of Dublin Bus to provide the additional services envisaged under this plan considering the company is already struggling to meet demand. The increase in capacity in recent years has lagged behind the increase in demand. It is becoming increasingly common for passengers to be left at bus stops while numerous full buses pass them by.

“We need to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to allow Dublin Bus deliver a fully functioning service on the re-designed network. The plan itself acknowledges that for it to succeed, there must be key improvements to the existing transport network, including a new interchange at Liffey Valley and expansions at other interchanges, including those in Tallaght and Blanchardstown. These resources need to be in place before the network changes begin.

“The recent transport chaos with the Luas Cross City launch shows us that careful planning is needed before rolling out any changes. Dublin Bus could require considerable funding to deliver these changes. Minister Ross needs to clarify when this money will become available.

“This also represents an opportunity to begin the overhaul of the Dublin Bus fleet. It’s shocking that there isn’t a single hybrid or electric vehicle operating at present in the fleet. This needs to change and a move towards hybrid and electric vehicles must get underway,” concluded Deputy Troy.