Ban on garda recruits hits operation freeflow
THE gardai's 'Operation Freeflow' has been scrapped for the first time in 15 years because of the ban on new garda recruits.
Normally, more than 150 probationary gardai are drafted in from Templemore garda training college in Tipperary to help keep the capital's traffic moving during the busy pre-Christmas period.
However, these personnel are not available this year, as no new recruits have been taken on at the college due to the recruitment ban.
Gardai say their resources will be concentrated on maintaining traffic flow outside car parks.
Also, all non-emergency road works are being suspended for the next three weeks.
Traffic flow in the city has fallen in recent years due to the recession, the freeflow interchanges on the M50 and the ban on all heavy trucks passing through the city centre.
The garda operation has been scaled back over the last few years with little evidence of large numbers of gardai manning key traffic pinch-points around the city.
But one of the main bugbears for shoppers driving into the city has been the long delays in leaving car parks, especially over the remaining weekends before Christmas Eve.
Gardai will, however, mount Operation Artery until January 9 -- aimed at keeping the main city arteries open.
AA spokesman Conor Faughnan described this as 'Freeflow Lite' as it would be mounted with fewer gardai and without the probationary gardai from Templemore.