Monday 26 September 2016

Why this will make it a rocky road to Dublin

Published 11/06/2015 | 02:30

We are paying heavy taxes to keep our cars on the road. We should make our voices heard on which of those roads we can use
We are paying heavy taxes to keep our cars on the road. We should make our voices heard on which of those roads we can use

It's going to be a rocky road to Dublin for many a driver by the looks of things.

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The plan to ban, or seriously discourage, cars from around the city centre has the potential to create a nightmare for thousands of drivers.

You would expect me, a driver, to say that. Except I agree with the concept of, and need for, streamlining traffic flow.

It's just I fear that some of the well-intentioned ideas in this plan will translate into ultimately punitive measures.

Take just one example. A family travelling from the western suburbs, or from down the country, would have to get out of their car, park it near Heuston Station then take public transport - and maybe switch to more public transport - rather than drive to where they were going. Great fun that on a wet day with tired children.

That element worries me. So do several others, including the potential for confusion in diverted traffic using the city centre as a through route.

They'd be directed to an alternative route by signage from the M50. Oh dear! Our signage is so poor as it is, I shiver at the impact of more convoluted instructions.

I would urge caution we don't cut off our nose to spite our face. Because there are good, sensible elements in the proposals; such as banning cars and taxis from College Green and making Suffolk Street and St Stephen's Green North pedestrian areas.

But making Bachelor's Walk and another south quays strip no-go car areas is only kicking the problem back down the road.

I think this plan needs more thinking through. And I hope we motorists (not those who purport to represent us) get to have a real say.

We are paying heavy taxes to keep our cars on the road. We should make our voices heard on which of those roads we can use.

Irish Independent

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