NTA’s Dublin Quays figures at odds with commuter experience
New figures released this week by the National Transport Authority are at odds with feedback from commuters regarding the impact of new traffic changes in the city, according to business group Dublin Chamber.
The Chamber said that figures showing an improvement in bus journey times between specific points along the north and south quays fail to show the impact on the wider city.
The Chamber said the claims of improved times are not consistent with feedback from shoppers and workers.
Around two thirds (63%) of Dublin businesses have reported longer commute times since new traffic changes were implemented on Dublin’s north and south quays, according to a survey by Dublin Chamber.
Dublin Chamber’s Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen said: “The success of the recent changes on the quays cannot be determined by these figures alone. Dublin Chamber calls on the NTA to publish overall bus journey times for commuters using routes through the quays and for bus routes which are impacted by – but may not be benefitting from – the recent changes.”
The Chamber, which represents over 1,300 companies across the four local authority areas, said that just 2% of commuters noted an improvement in the commute time to/from work in the three weeks following the introduction of the traffic changes on the quays. One-third (35%) of respondents noted no change in their commute time.
Dublin Chamber has long expressed concerns at the piecemeal way in which Dublin’s transport network is being planned.
Mr McQueen said: “Everyone accepts that change is required to the way in which Dublin city centre functions, particularly as a result of the new Luas Cross City line. The Council has proposed – and is implementing – a number of individual plans for the city centre, but there is a lack of clarity about how and whether the changes will all work together. Dublin Chamber has continually called for analysis to be published which outlines the impact the displacement of cars from the quays will have on the entire city, out to the M50. This data has never been made available. The release today of selective data regarding the north/south quays does little to reassure businesses and users of the city centre.”
The Chamber has warned that there is high concern amongst businesses regarding how the city centre is going to function in both the short and medium-term.
These doubts are leading to high levels of uncertainty and preventing companies from making investment decisions, the Chamber said.
Mr McQueen said: “All of the proposed changes have the aim of cutting down the number of cars coming into the city centre and getting more people to use public transport. This ambition is welcome and achievable. But the level of public transport investment is way below what is required to make it a reality. We need to get serious, and match ambitious plans with proper funding.”
The Chamber’s survey, carried out between the 15th and 18th of September amongst more than 500 businesses operating within the M50, also identified increased problems with deliveries. Almost one-third (31%) of respondents said delivery times had got worse. Two-thirds noted no change, with just 1 in 50 (2%) reporting an improvement.