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There was chaos on the Cross City Luas on Monday morning as the new rail line struggled to navigate through its first morning of rush hour traffic.
Passengers on some trams said it took more than eight minutes to travel from the Luas stop on Dawson Street to the College Green while one bus travelling in the opposite direction took 22 minutes to cover 200 metres from Pearse Street Garda station to the gate of Trinity College.
There was a virtual gridlock on College Green between 8.30am and 9am as Luas trams got caught between two red light lights at the Trinity College pedestrian crossing and the crossing closer to the Bank of Ireland.
As many as six trams were lined up from O’Connell St to College Green unable to move.
Gardaí had to be called in to alleviate the gridlock and by about 9.30am. the worst of it had been “flushed through the network”.
There were also reported pinch points at Parnell Street, O’Connell St and College Green and public transport staff who spoke to The Irish Times on condition of anonymity expressed concern that the problems are likely to be repeated at peak travel times throughout the week.
“One tram coming from Dawson Street got stuck on a red light at College Green and then another tram came down the tracks right behind it and blocked that junction entirely,” one told The Irish Times “They just got stuck on the junction and buses couldn’t pass in either direction.
“It’s clearing now but one bus from Pearse Street to Trinty took 22 minutes and they were trams queueing up along Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street. The whole thing is a joke,” he said.
A garda suggested the problems were caused by pedestrian lights and buses being slowed coming down Dame Street to facilitate too many trams passing through the College Green junction.
“That just created more traffic jams in coming from Dame Street and up from Pearse Street,” he said. “ I think it probably is just teething problems and maybe more private cars need to be diverted out of the city.”
The Irish Times has contacted Transdev the operator of the Luas and is waiting for a comment.