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Greens say traffic plans are 'too generous to cars' and anti-public transport

There is concern car traffic in Dublin city could slow down the new Luas line.

File photo of a Luas tram
File photo of a Luas tram
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE GREEN PARTY has expressed concern over proposed changes to traffic restrictions in Dublin city.

The proposals are included in a report that will be presented to Dublin City Council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) today.

The plans are due to come into effect in August if approved by the council.

At a meeting of the council’s corporate policy group on Friday, it emerged that proposals to restrict cars from Eden Quay were likely to be revised.

The council had previously proposed to ban cars along Eden Quay from O’Connell Street to Marlborough Street, allowing only public transport, taxis and cyclists.

Councillor Ciarán Cuffe, chair of the Transportation SPC and the Green Party’s transport spokesperson, has criticised the development.

“People need to access the city centre but these measures will delay bus users at the expense of car drivers.

There is a real danger that we’re being too generous to the car driver and in doing so discriminating against those who use public transport. Bus and tram users should not be treated like second-class citizens.

“The report states that it may be necessary in the future that Eden Quay will have to become public transport only. Certainly if buses or trams are delayed due to car traffic then we will have to take cars off Eden Quay and introduce a bus gate, particularly during the morning rush.”

Cuffe said the new Luas trams will be 55 metres (180 feet) long and able to carry 369 people, adding: “If they get delayed by cars carrying one or two people it would make a travesty of our €368 million investment in linking the two Luas lines.”

Bad for business?

The measure to restrict car access to the quays was proposed as it was thought car traffic could slow the movement of the new Luas trams.

A number of local businesses complained about the proposals, saying they would lead to fewer people entering the city centre.

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Speaking to TheJournal.ie last week, Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McAuliffe, who is chair of the council’s enterprise committee, welcomed the news.

“While I absolutely believe that the public transport and cyclists are extremely important, the proposals coming sent the message that cars were not allowed.

“I think the chief executive and the city council have made a pragmatic decision.”

With reporting by Cormac Fitzgerald

Read: Dublin City Council going back on plans to ban all private cars from Eden Quay

Read: Get stressed out sitting in traffic jams? One TD says it’s impacting on people’s quality of life

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Órla Ryan

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