Wednesday 18 October 2017

'I'll make no apologies' - Council boss defends city centre chaos as 'works are necessary'

Owen Keegan says new traffic plans will come into force by the end of 2017 Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Owen Keegan says new traffic plans will come into force by the end of 2017 Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The disruption caused to Dublin city centre by Luas works is necessary and will be worthwhile in the long run, according to Dublin City Council's Chief Executive Owen Keegan.

Mr Keegan was responding to criticism that the Luas works are "causing chaos" and could be carried out in a manner that is less disruptive to pedestrians and motorists.

The city council boss has also been accused of trying to remove all cars from the city centre.

While he accepted the original proposal  to ban all cars from Eden Quay was "probably a step too far," he said it still may happen in the future.

Mr Keegan said that the works "overall, had been a very well managed project" and will make Dublin a more accessible place to live in.

"I think most people accept it has been painful and it will be painful for another few months but it will be of enormous benefit," he told Today with Sean O'Rourke.

Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council. Photo: Mark Condren
Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council. Photo: Mark Condren

"I appreciate these are very major works and by their nature they are very disruptive. It is particularly disruptive at this end phase where we are trying to finish off the paving and resurface the roads, but the works are necessary and I'll make no apologies."

He said overall the key objective is for there to be a "lot less traffic travelling through the city that doesn't need to travel through the city."

"We will facilitate cars and car access but we hope those cars that don’t have to travel through the core city routes will divert onto other routes or better still, use public transport."

When asked about the plans to make College Green a pedestrian area and whether those works could have been carried out simultaneously with Luas works, he said: "Those works will be contained within that area and since the traffic is going to be banned...it won’t be disruptive in terms of a traffic flow point of view."

More cycling lanes are also set to be introduced in the city centre.

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