I’m a frequent bus user – for work every day, and as much as possible for city centre visits at weekends. So it was with that experience the Friday and Saturday of this week have been amazing.
On Friday it took my bus 45 minutes to do the length of O’Connell street at 9am in the morning. Never has it taken that long. And this was the Friday of a holiday weekend – normally quieter than normal. To make this journey worse, the driver was in the wrong lane, and so, wouldnt let anyone out to walk. And on Saturday, something very similar, though not as much time taken.
And for as far as the eye could see – only Dublin Bus buses.
The Dublin Buses are in the wrong lanes for where they need to be going. So they then need to cut across 3 lanes to get to their stops. But then their colleagues don’t yield for them, causing mayhem.
Three times in those 2 journeys did the drivers end up stuck in yellow boxes. And not just a small overhang at the back or maybe the back wheels, but at least half the bus. Enough to block all traffic coming the other way, including the Luas.
Buses go down the inside lane of O’Connell street trying to make time, and then get caught behind the 46a or the 10 which are dumping 50 passengers off, and taking on 50 more. So the driver tries to move to the outside lane again, but again his colleagues won’t let him.
A good example are the bus drivers rounding College Green in order to go up Dame street, rather than around to Nassau Street. Coming off D’Olier street, there’s a choice of two lanes – the left one for Nassau Street and the right one for Dame Street – and invariably the drivers on my route would make their way along in the wrong lane – the left one, getting caught in traffic rather than taking the right lane and getting a clearer run to Dame Street.
Granted, the problems aren’t all of the drivers’ making. But surely there has to be a better way than having nearly all North to South bus routes terminating on one of two narrow streets in the city centre – O’Connell Street or D’Olier Street.
I appreciate that most passengers will want to get off on one or other of these streets, but there is more than just O’Connell street to cross the Liffey, and if people happen to be brought too far west or east, they have the Luas to fix that – if the walk is too much for them.
Of course, all this is going to get worse before it gets better if we’re going to see the start of work to join the two Luas services!