Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (86)

Brian O'Shea

Question:

197 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Transport the position with regard to his Department's discussions with the NRA regarding the request from Bus Éireann for permission to use the hard shoulder on roads between Dublin and satellite towns in order to counter severe traffic problems that are causing long delays on routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2131/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I am anxious to ensure that as many practical measures as possible are taken to improve public transport flows and reduce congestion throughout the country. In that regard, my officials are engaged in discussions with Bus Éireann, the Dublin Transportation Office, the quality bus network office of Dublin City Council and the National Roads Authority regarding the use of the hard shoulder on roads, including those linking Dublin and satellite towns. A number of projects have been identified for development and their implementation is now being pursued by Dublin City Council. To give effect to these projects, some amendments to the road traffic legislation are being prepared and these will be included in the forthcoming Road Traffic Bill.

The objective of allowing buses to use hard shoulders is to assist bus operators in meeting their schedules thereby assisting in the achievement of modal shift from the private car to public transport, while at the same time maintaining safety.