Shane Ross says he is "certainly not inactive" on Dublin Bus strike

Moore than 400,000 commuters are facing further travel disruption

Shane Ross says he is "certainly not inactive" on Dublin Bus strike

Transport Minister Shane Ross talking to the media on his way into Garda Headquarters | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Transport Minster Shane Ross says he is not ruling out opening Dublin bus lanes to the public amid the Dublin Bus strike.

Some 400,000 commuters are facing further travel disruption as workers hold a fourth day of strike action.

No Dublin Bus routes, sightseeing tours or Airlink services will operate Friday, while Nitelink buses will not run on either Friday night or Saturday morning.

Further stoppages will take place on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th September.

These are in addition to the 48-hour work stoppage already scheduled for next week - Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th.

While several further days of strike action for October were announced by SIPTU yesterday.

Mr Ross says he has every sympathy with the travelling public, but that he will not intervene in the dispute.

He also rejected criticism of his handling of the situation, and told reporters he is looking at the bus lane situation.

"I'm taking advice on it, and I've looked for advice from both the gardaí and the Road Safety Authority.

"I'm not ruling it out - I'd love to do it, but you realise that the advice which I'm getting is that there are serious safety issues".

"I feel great empathy for everybody involved - particularly the commuters who have been inconvenienced - and I'm certainly not inactive.

"I'm monitoring it very, very closely on an hourly basis - but it is very important to us that we're not seen to be a soft touch."

Asked if the Department of Transport should step in as a shareholder in the company, he replied: "Shareholders don't step in in industrial disputes - it's a matter for the management and it's a matter for the unions to settle this between them, and maybe with the help of the apparatus of the State as well."