With the first of two 48-hour Luas strikes scheduled to begin tomorrow morning which is expected to affect 90,000 commuter, it is inevitable that there will be higher volumes on the road as a result.
We here at LiveDrive have compiled a few tips that will hopefully make your commute over the next couple of days a bit more bearable.
1. For shorter journeys - try walkingWhile the weather over the last several weeks has been very changeable, and we've experienced a rough couple of days with Storm Irene, Met Eireann are currently forecasting a relatively dry day tomorrow, with chilly-but-manageable temperatures of 5-6 degrees. If you don't have to travel a great distance, it might be worth your while wrapping up and making your commute by foot. Aside from avoiding traffic congestion, you'll also get a bit of exercise!
2. Cycle where possibleSee above. If you live a little further out from where you work, cycling can still be a very good way to get to and from where you need to be. If it's been a while since you've dusted off the bike, irishcycle.com have come up with a handy guide of cycling safely and efficiently in the city: http://irishcycle.com/how-to/startingtocycle/
3. If travelling by public transport, know which alternative is best for youFor the duration of the strikes, Luas tickets will not be valid on other forms of public transport, so make sure you have a valid ticket. If you're not sure which public transport operator will serve you best, nationaltransport.ie has a handy journey planner which can help you plan how you'll get to work. Dublin Bus has announced that its full fleet will be in operation for the duration of the strike, but leave extra time, particularly if leaving at peak times, as services will undoubtedly be busier.
4. Plan your route in advance, and leave extra time to anticipate delays.If you're travelling in from the north side of the city, the good news is you probably won't be badly hit as most affected commuters will be coming from the South and West of the city.
The worst affected routes we generally see when there's a problem with the Luas is around Clonskeagh/Ranelagh. This could also have knock-on effect to the surrounding area, with the N11/Beaver Row/Merrion Road also taking on extra volumes as commuters look to find a good access to the south side of the city. We also expect that the North Quays will be a problem, particularly in the morning, as more people drive into the city centre. If you generally travel along one of these routes, think of what other options might take you where you want to go
5. Check the traffic before you leaveThe best chance you have of avoiding unnecessary delays is to check your route before you leave. On LiveDrive, we broadcast live updates between 7-10 AM and again between 4-7 PM, during peak traffic hours every weekday. We also post regular updates on twitter during those times. If you have a question about a route that isn't being covered in our reports, you can contact us via our twitter handle, @LiveDrive, or on our text/WhatsApp number - 087 179 1032 - and we'll be happy to answer it if we can. Remember to check before embarking on your journey to ensure the first you learn about a congested route isn't when you're stuck in it.
There will also be another 48-hour strike beginning next Thursday (18th February) and the same tips will apply then. In short, plan your journey carefully and well in advance, and you should avoid the worst of it.