Saturday 10 December 2016

Traffic plan is a 'cop-out' that will choke up the capital, warns motor industry

Published 17/08/2015 | 02:30

Many families who moved to provincial towns for more affordable housing in the boom still have to drive to work in Dublin
Many families who moved to provincial towns for more affordable housing in the boom still have to drive to work in Dublin

Dublin's controversial traffic plan is a 'cop-out' that will choke the life out of the city, impose fresh misery on commuters and drive people to shop elsewhere, according to a scathing new report.

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The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) is highly critical of proposals to ban cars from parts of the city in an effort to make it more friendly for pedestrians. The society says that not enough time, energy or funding has been invested in finding alternatives.

It claims that the aim is simply to "paint lines on roads, narrow down spaces, remove car parks and make life difficult for car-based commuters in the hope that they will be forced to choose a 'more appropriate' commuting mode".

The report claims that the proposals are seriously flawed because they:

  • Were drawn up by too many 'like-minded' people;
  • Show no real-life grasp of what commuters have to endure each day;
  • Take the easy way out, rather than tackling the underlying problems;
  • Assume that commuters can easily change;
  • Fail to find better travelling options for commuters except those within city-centre cycling distance or living close to good public transport.

The SIMI submission, which has been seen by the Irish Independent, is part of a general response to the traffic plan that was unveiled earlier this year.

It says the SIMI supports a comprehensive reappraisal of transport, both private and public, for the city, suburbs and commuter belts.

It favours greater integration of car, bus, Luas, Dart and bicycle transport modes and points out that many who drive cars to work often use bicycles, or Luas/Dart to circulate in the course of their business.

Calling for the plan to be shelved and for more research, the report highlights the impact of the proposals on those travelling from outside Dublin.

Many families who moved to provincial towns for more affordable housing in the boom still have to drive to work in Dublin, it says.

But they don't have public transport and must rely on their cars. Such real-life problems are overlooked or ignored, SIMI claims.

In an uncharacteristically scathing criticism, it says: "The hard decisions are not in any way hard for the decision-makers, but they are potentially oppressively hard on many commuters who have no alternative choices under a bureaucratically uncaring policy style."

Irish Independent

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