Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Dublin Port Tunnel

  • 02-02-2015 7:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    I drove from the airport to Dundrum via Drumcondra earlier, absolute joke, we have the expensive port tunnel in place, at what % of capacity does this thing run?

    Should the toll not be set to take the max amount of traffic that it can at any one time? Or is this already the case?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 571 BonkeyDonker


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    I drove from the airport to Dundrum via Drumcondra earlier, absolute joke, we have the expensive port tunnel in place, at what % of capacity does this thing run?

    Should the toll not be set to take the max amount of traffic that it can at any one time? Or is this already the case?

    The tunnel is to take hundreds of HVG's out of Dublin quickly and efficiently - this it does and it does well. Same with the buses that use it.

    But if it was priced to be affordable to cars etc it would not do the above jobs as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    I get that, and I know there is a max amount of vehicles that can be in it at any one time, my point was, should the toll not be set at a rate which gets the highest number of cars to use it, which remaining just under the max vehicle threshold? i.e cars off the congested streets and more revenue for the state / tunnel operator and getting max use out of an expensive piece of infrastructure...


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    The toll rates have been adjusted, twice from memory, to bring the volume of cars using it up. There may be the ability to do that again, the NRA would be the people to petition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    You could have just paid the toll...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    The poster paying the toll is irrelevant, as he is only one person. The toll should be adjusted to get a reasonable flow of cars through during off peak times, while keeping it flowing during busy times. Perhaps a €1.50 rate might entice more drivers to use it.

    Perhaps making taxis free/cheaper might also help.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,720 ✭✭✭ kingtiger


    why didn't you take the M50?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    the toll is €3 off peak - that's pretty cheap for a road that gets you from the city centre to the airport in 10 mins

    the peak time toll is there to discourage people from commuting into the city centre by car, not specifically to keep them out of the tunnel - you still have the option to pay it if you're in that much of a hurry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,183 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Did you consider taking public transport?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    It's great to have got the trucks off the city streets., but I'd guess it's way under capacity. I use it a fair bit at 7pm when the cheaper rate kicks in. There's always a bit of a rush for a minute or two, but even then, it feels like you have it to yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    You could have just paid the toll...
    E10 no thanks, I paid less for a flight to leeds bradford yesterday...
    Did you consider taking public transport?
    yeah I did, paid return for aircoach, of course the city shut down with the snow on Thursday, that when it hit the ground just melted, so had the same effect as rain, so had to ditch my idea of leaving the car in one of my work places and taking the aircoach...
    but I'd guess it's way under capacity
    that is my guess, would be interesting to know for sure...
    why didn't you take the M50?

    because after the "upgrade" it is still at a standstill for a large stretches, Ill be stuck in traffic and avoiding the toll before I will pay it to sit in stop / start traffic on a motorway...
    the peak time toll is there to discourage people from commuting into the city centre by car, not specifically to keep them out of the tunnel - you still have the option to pay it if you're in that much of a hurry.
    If the idea is to keep traffic out by city by charging E10, its not doing a great job, the volume of traffic going into the city is insane and if it is going in one way or another, why not raise revenue, decrease traffic on the N1 route, making it quicker and safer for other users and maximising the return from the port tunnel. They are still at that 80-100 bus lane on the Drumcondra road, has only been over a year now on a critical route...

    I would have loved to be able to simply head home the other day, park hop on the luas at dundrum interchange at SSG or go straight to the airport, but that joke is being discussed in another thread.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 78,221 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    i.e cars off the congested streets
    Traffic expands to fill available road space. By de-congesting other routes, you would just make those routes attractive to other road users. You would end up with the city streets and the tunnel being congested.
    Perhaps making taxis free/cheaper might also help.
    Then it would just be full of part-time taxi drivers going to the office in the morning. :)

    Idbatterim wrote: »
    because after the "upgrade" it is still at a standstill for a large stretches, Ill be stuck in traffic and avoiding the toll before I will pay it to sit in stop / start traffic on a motorway...
    The motorway will always be quicker, safer and more fuel efficient that the city centre.
    If the idea is to keep traffic out by city by charging E10, its not doing a great job
    No, the €10 toll is to keep commuter traffic out of the tunnel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    The motorway will always be quickes, safer and more fuel efficient that the city centre.
    It is 19km from dundrum to the airport via town as opposed to 32km going via m50... Like I have said the M50 can be stop start for miles too, at least with town the distance is considerably less and no toll...


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,073 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    The issue is really that the tunnel is a motorway but it terminates in a local road when you come out and leave the port. Those roads will easily become completely congested if traffic diverts from Drumcondra to the tunnel. The traffic would eventually back up into the tunnel and if that were to happen, the tunnel would have to be closed until it cleared.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,183 ✭✭✭ sdanseo


    The issue is really that the tunnel is a motorway but it terminates in a local road when you come out and leave the port. Those roads will easily become completely congested if traffic diverts from Drumcondra to the tunnel. The traffic would eventually back up into the tunnel and if that were to happen, the tunnel would have to be closed until it cleared.

    The tunnel was designed, and is, was and will only ever be intended for one thing - removing port traffic from the city and giving it a fast link to the M50, M1 and other major routes. It was not built as a billion-euro shortcut for commuters or taxi drivers, and that's why it has a large toll at peak times.

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer my car to public transport from a comfort perspective, but the tunnel is not an option for getting in and out of the city on a regular basis. If I worked in the city, I'd be on the DART.

    The correct method of travel for the journey the OP mentions (in a car) is the M50. The reason this road is at a crawl for many parts of the day is in part because there are junctions which could not be upgraded to fully freeflow. In my experience, it's busy but moving when this happens and definitely quicker than going through town.

    Of course, there are a couple of other things that slow traffic down, the principal of these being people who do not understand the concept of an overtaking lane (let alone TWO overtaking lanes and an auxillary lane) - their mind explodes, they stay in the middle lane and in medium or high volumes the entire motorway is slowed down and its capacity decreases.

    Solutions for the problem is to use the M50. It's quicker even with the traffic. You can pay €15 a year or if an infrequent traveler nothing at all and register a tag or video account for the M50 which reduces the toll by a third.

    We also need (I won't labour this as it's been done to death here) a large amount of public information which teaches people how to actually use the motorway and enforce misuse of overtaking lanes, travelling dangerously slowly and other assorted driving errors with extremely large fines and penalty points. Leave the proper road for proper drivers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭ trellheim


    The M50 is completely under-tolled as well at north and south points but that is a different argument I suppose


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    The issue is really that the tunnel is a motorway but it terminates in a local road when you come out and leave the port. Those roads will easily become completely congested if traffic diverts from Drumcondra to the tunnel. The traffic would eventually back up into the tunnel and if that were to happen, the tunnel would have to be closed until it cleared.
    In practical terms, I'd agree with this. Until the Eastern bypass gets built, the tunnel is primarily a billion euro drive-way for the port, which doesn't seem to me, to be a very good thing to have spent a billion euros on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 414 ✭✭ apoeiguq3094y


    plodder wrote: »
    In practical terms, I'd agree with this. Until the Eastern bypass gets built, the tunnel is primarily a billion euro drive-way for the port, which doesn't seem to me, to be a very good thing to have spent a billion euros on.

    Yeah its not like the port is important or anything?? Its not providing a link for exports to our biggest trading partner. Or it doesn't keep the quays from being clogged with heavy vehicles.

    I.e. it doesn't directly benefit me so its useless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Yeah its not like the port is important or anything?? Its not providing a link for exports to our biggest trading partner. Or it doesn't keep the quays from being clogged with heavy vehicles.

    I.e. it doesn't directly benefit me so its useless.
    :confused: It doesn't benefit you? If you read my first post on the thread, you'd see it benefits me and I'm happy that the trucks are off the streets. But, a billion euros? We could have moved the port out of the city for that kind of money.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    plodder wrote: »
    :confused: It doesn't benefit you? If you read my first post on the thread, you'd see it benefits me and I'm happy that the trucks are off the streets. But, a billion euros? We could have moved the port out of the city for that kind of money.

    There was talk of that if I recall, moving it up the coast. It would have freed up a lot of land for development and reuse which would have paid for it, but the tunnel would still be needed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,539 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    There was talk of that if I recall, moving it up the coast. It would have freed up a lot of land for development and reuse which would have paid for it, but the tunnel would still be needed.

    Near Balbriggan apparently. A PD idea if I'm not mistaken.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 11,539 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    but the tunnel would still be needed.

    Again, apparently there was a story doing the rounds that the real idea behind the DPT was to provide access to the port area for development reasons and moving the port was on the cards for many years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    plodder wrote: »
    :confused: It doesn't benefit you? If you read my first post on the thread, you'd see it benefits me and I'm happy that the trucks are off the streets. But, a billion euros? We could have moved the port out of the city for that kind of money.

    50% of the products brought into the part are destined for inside the M50. Why move the port away from it's biggest market?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    markpb wrote: »
    50% of the products brought into the part are destined for inside the M50. Why move the port away from it's biggest market?
    I'm not suggesting it should be moved. Though I think at the time, there was a suggestion of moving it to Loughshinny near Balbriggan. Rather that to maximise the value, that the Eastern bypass should be completed. I use the tunnel a bit because I work right beside it, but it's obvious it's under utilised. Any time I use it, there are never more than a couple of other vehicles, except for a handful of trucks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    plodder wrote: »
    it's obvious it's under utilised

    Under utilised only by _your_ definition, not everyones. A road doesn't have to be clogged with traffic to be properly utilitised. There are lots of reasons why a quiet road means it's being used properly.

    Freight carrying vehicles are almost guaranteed the six minute travel time which is important for making shipping connections, sticking to driving time limits, reducing the cost of transport, etc.

    Tunnels are a lot more accident prone than regular roads and those accidents are a lot harder to resolve when they do happen. The more traffic in the tunnel, the more likely there is to be an accident. If the tunnel is closed because some twit crashed their car while trying to tune their radio to Q102, there'll quickly be a line of trucks stuck in the middle lane of the M50 J1-J2. What do the boats that are waiting for them do? What happens the perishable goods sitting in the port waiting to be delivered.

    Then there's a limit on the amount of fumes that can be extracted from the tunnel. Letting more cars into it could reduce the volume of heavier, freight carrying traffic that it could accommodate or require the operators to monitor and rate-limit the volume and profile of traffic in the tunnel.

    And lastly, as has already been pointed out, the south end of the tunnel is a local road, not a motorway. Encouraging lots of cars into the tunnel means those cars are dumped into the city centre on a road network that was not built for it.

    And since you're worried about the cost (a cost you've rounded by €240m to make look worse), remember that the tunnel will hopefully be around for a very long time. Over the course of that time, countless pedestrians and cyclists won't have been killed by HGVs. Millions of people in the city centre will benefit from cleaner air. Road surfaces will need to be rebuilt less frequently because there won't be heavy vehicles destroying them and there'll be more space on the city road network for public transport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    markpb wrote: »
    Under utilised only by _your_ definition, not everyones. A road doesn't have to be clogged with traffic to be properly utilitised. There are lots of reasons why a quiet road means it's being used properly.
    I'd be happy to accept any objective comparison with other tunnels. But, literally, I use it a couple of times a week, and it is notable how quiet it is compared to other tunnels, I;ve used in other countries.
    Freight carrying vehicles are almost guaranteed the six minute travel time which is important for making shipping connections, sticking to driving time limits, reducing the cost of transport, etc.

    Tunnels are a lot more accident prone than regular roads and those accidents are a lot harder to resolve when they do happen. The more traffic in the tunnel, the more likely there is to be an accident. If the tunnel is closed because some twit crashed their car while trying to tune their radio to Q102, there'll quickly be a line of trucks stuck in the middle lane of the M50 J1-J2. What do the boats that are waiting for them do? What happens the perishable goods sitting in the port waiting to be delivered.

    Then there's a limit on the amount of fumes that can be extracted from the tunnel. Letting more cars into it could reduce the volume of heavier, freight carrying traffic that it could accommodate or require the operators to monitor and rate-limit the volume and profile of traffic in the tunnel.

    And lastly, as has already been pointed out, the south end of the tunnel is a local road, not a motorway. Encouraging lots of cars into the tunnel means those cars are dumped into the city centre on a road network that was not built for it.

    And since you're worried about the cost (a cost you've rounded by €240m to make look worse), remember that the tunnel will hopefully be around for a very long time.
    I just repeated the figure quoted by a previous poster. But, if that was wrong I'm happy to be corrected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    because after the "upgrade" it is still at a standstill for a large stretches, Ill be stuck in traffic and avoiding the toll before I will pay it to sit in stop / start traffic on a motorway...
    Lad makes journey on a motorway route by non motorway roads, complains about traffic.
    Lad asks why motorway that goes 1/3rd the way to his destination and leads through city centre is not available to said lad. even though he will be "stuck in traffic" and sitting in "stop / start traffic" from East Wall to Dundrum if said lad travelled the tunnel for free....

    Lad would have take public transport, but freak weather scuppered his plans.
    Lad thinks city should be re-arranged to suit the off chance of snow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    In relation to the above post, I find rain effectively shutting down the city in 2015 fairly shocking... How many people pay E10 to get into the city centre? very few given thousands of others were doing exactly what I was doing... In relation to why I didnt use M50, I said, this "there is a motorway alternative" as if you cant sit in traffic on it, exactly why I dont use it based on experience of taking the M50 at that time...


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground in Walkinstown at 6pm that Thursday evening


Advertisement