Dublin bus lanes should be enforced 24 hours a day, according to Green Party Councillor Janet Horner.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the North Inner-City councillor said the change is particularly needed on GAA match days.
She said the traffic around Croke Park was brough to a standstill over the weekend as soon as the bus lanes opened to cars in the evening.
“We had a very busy weekend in the Drumcondra area where we had two major GAA fixtures and again, after 7pm, when the bus lanes stop operating, all the people who have travelled up to the match by car are then pouring into the bus lanes,” she said.
“You see the bus lanes grind to an absolute halt and you have hundreds of people sitting on a Dublin Bus who may have been commuters, who may have been out shopping for the day - whatever they might have been doing in Dublin - had nothing to do with the GAA fixtures and are unable to move an inch through Drumcondra because there is so much private traffic that has spilled out into the bus lanes.
“Particularly in this area of Dublin, because we’ve had so many concerts this year so far and we have all the GAA fixtures, you really see how ineffective it is to have part-time operational bus lanes, if you want to have a free-flowing public transport system that prioritised moving hundreds of people on buses smoothly around the city.”
Cllr Horner said the part-time rules were introduced when the bus system was smaller and there were less cycle lanes around the city.
She said the current fines for using a bus lane while they are operational are strong enough – but the rules need to be enforced.
“I know for example in the UK, they have camera-based enforcement. So, if you so much as edge your wheels into the bus lane a little bit too early before you want to make a left turn up ahead, you will get a fine for encroaching on a bus lane.
“It’s very strict and you’re able to roll that out very smoothly with camera-based enforcement.
“Here the fines are minimal and people flout the rules all the time.
"You’ll see people deciding they are going to turn left a quarter of a mile up ahead, so they think it is appropriate to already now move into the bus lane.
“We have very regularly flouting. That can be dealt with very easily by introducing camera-abased enforcement for traffic offences., which to my mind is a common-sense move, which will require a bit of background work and moves but would significantly improve how smoothly we can enforce our rules and keep things moving.”
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