Dubliners don’t need more delays with traffic plan – Greens

Green city councillors slam Minister Emer Higgins’ “bizarre intervention” on behalf of car park owners

Dublin City Council should push ahead with their traffic plans for the city centre, the eight Green councillors have said.

They rejected calls by Minister Emer Higgins for the scheme to be delayed, criticising her intervention as “bizarre”.The initial stages of the plan would see two new short bus lanes on Aston Quay and Bachelor’s Walk, plus a new junction layout at Pearse Street. Research found that 60% of car traffic in the city centre is passing through – without stopping to shop. The plan aims to reduce this through traffic and make Dublin city centre a more attractive destination.An extensive consultation process on the plan was completed in 2023, with over 3,500 submissions made by business, residents and charities across the city. The city councillors have debated and voted on the plan several times in the past year, each time recommending its implementation.

The city council has aimed to start work in August of this year, but has faced objections from the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance, a small lobby group mostly composed of car park owners.Green Party group leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr. Michael Pidgeon said:“Dubliners are sick of waiting. Waiting in traffic, waiting for buses, and now a minister wants them to wait for plans to fix up our city centre.“This last-ditch intervention by Minister Emer Higgins is utterly bizarre. She is doing the work of vested interests – car park owners who fear any progress that would undermine their bottom line.“Dublin city’s design cannot be dictated by car park owners. City council management should stick to their guns. It’s time to implement this plan, improve the bus, and make the core city centre a better place to be.”

Local Green councillor Claire Byrne said:“By talking this traffic out of the city centre, Dublin will be a much better place to work, shop and live. It will improve the air quality and make our streets safer to walk or cycle along. We need to get past the idea that all customers in a city drive.“In short, this plan is about giving the city back to people, making it a living city again rather than one that is dominated by cars racing through it. This is exactly the sort of measure we need to achieve our climate targets.”

Green councillor Ray Cunningham said:“The Dublin City Traffic Plan is aimed at limiting through traffic only – the cars that will never stop and shop in the city centre. It is precisely this traffic that is bad for business. “It means that those who do genuinely want to come into the city, to shop, to eat or for entertainment are getting caught up in horrendous traffic jams. This type of car-jam system doesn’t work for anyone.”

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Donna Cooney, said:“Retail and tourism thrive in low-traffic areas. We’ve seen this evidence in cities around the world.“When you create space for people to linger and enjoy, it is better for Dubliners and visitors.”

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