Tuesday, 14 October 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
100. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Transport the position in 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 in routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23126/03]
Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): 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. Bus Éireann, in particular, is being affected by delays created by traffic volumes on certain of its inter-urban services. In circumstances where such services are delayed, the use by its buses of a part of the road that is generally not used for general traffic purposes would seem to provide a potential answer to at least some of the difficulties.
In that regard, I have asked my officials to examine the potential for the use of hard shoulders at particular pinch points on various roads, including those linking Dublin and satellite towns. My officials are now engaged in discussions on the matter with the National Roads Authority, the Dublin Transportation Office, the Quality Bus Network Project Office and Bus Éireann. The legal and safety aspects are also being considered.
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