Bus lanes on motorways could be the key to easing traffic congestion, according to Kildare Senator Anthony Lawlor.
Mr Lawlor has written to the National Transport Authority (NTA) proposing that the hard shoulders of some motorways could be widened to accommodate buses and coaches. The NTA have confirmed they will conduct a feasibility study on the N4/M4 corridor from Maynooth.
He said: “Our recovering economy has led to increased traffic congestion on the motorways of this country. As a Kildare native I experience it every day on the N7 travelling to Dublin for my Oireachtas work.
“Encouraging the use of buses and coaches is good public policy, as it is both the right thing to do from an environmental perspective and it eases traffic congestion generally for those who have to use cars for whatever reason.
“The M1 motorway approaching Belfast is a great example of the successful use of hard shoulders as bus lanes, and I would like to see the NTA consider replicating this here."
He welcomed the NTA's confirmation that it was undertaking a feasibility study on the N4/M4 Maynooth corridor, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
“Having been constructed many years ago, the hard shoulders on the M1 in Belfast are wider than more recently constructed motorways in this jurisdiction. So road widening may be needed here to allow buses to travel safely. It would be important also that also all future motorway projects should consider road width to ensure the hard shoulder could be used as a bus lane," he added.