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DublinTown’s Response to Dublin City Council’s Recommendation To Ban Cars After 11am

  • Fri 08 May, 2020

DublinTown, the collective voice of businesses in Dublin city centre, has today criticised a report from Dublin City Council which recommends that access to motorised vehicles post 11am be denied in several locations in Dublin city.

On review of the report, DublinTown stated that it agrees that parts of Dublin city centre should now be pedestrianised, in response to the COVID 19 pandemic to ensure the safety of commuters and pedestrians in the city centre, and also as increased pedestrianisation potentially brings increased footfall to the city for shopping and socializing.

However, DublinTown argues that the report published by Dublin City Council neglects the key issues at hand and does not address the intrinsic wastefulness of single occupancy vehicles or the cost of congestion which is primarily an issue before 11.00 a.m. A higher proportion of people use their cars during the peak morning period than do post 11.00 a.m. when shoppers tend to come into the city.

Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown, said: “DublinTown supports the greater pedestrianisation of Dublin; surveys of businesses show that support for pedestrianisation of locations like South William and Drury Streets is high, with 70% of DublinTown members endorsing the pedestrianisation of South William Street and 61% also calling for it also to be implemented on Drury Street. There is support from the public, with research conducted by Red C showing that 61% are in favour of similar proposals. The results of pedestrianisation are self-evident, with businesses on Suffolk Street reporting increases averaging 15% when their street was pedestrianised in 2018.”

“However, the recommendation from Dublin City Council to ban cars from certain locations in the city after 11am addresses the wrong issue and shows no consideration to the economic impact on the city, particularly as we focus on a safe resumption of business activity over the coming weeks and months. Most vehicles entering the city every day are single occupancy driven into town before 11am by those with free car parking space in the city. The city Corden Count notes that 28% use their car to access to the city during the morning peak, while customer research commissioned by Dublin Town and the NTA confirm that 20% of shoppers use their car post 11.00 am. So a higher proportion of a larger number use their car to access the city during the morning peak. The proposals put forward by Dublin City Council neglect to address this point.

“These measures target the minority of cars which are typically families driving into town at off peak times, and these are vital for the survival and recovery of business in the city. This report was released with no consultation with the Dublin’s business community or even Dublin City Council’s own Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, and, if implemented, is likely to further threaten jobs in a city already reeling for the effects of Covid-19.

“Instead, we need to reimagine and reinvent public transport in the city, not only so it meets our needs today, but so that it is futureproofed for the decades ahead. In a move to further ease congestion around peak times and encourage healthier lifestyle choices, DublinTown’s members are calling on Dublin City Council to make Dublin a more cyclist friendly city and reallocate road space for use as segregated cycle lanes.

In addition to segregated cycling lanes, DublinTown believes that the widths of the city centre paving should be increased to improve accessibility both during and after the Covid crisis, particularly for wheelchair and buggy users.”