News Opinion

Tuesday 25 October 2016

These anti-car fanatics are enough to drive us mad

Published 14/06/2015 | 02:30

It is a victory for suburban malls like Dundrum...

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For what it's worth, I don't drive. In fact, I've never even turned the ignition key in a car. I've always lived within easy access to Dublin's city centre and, frankly, I've just never felt the need or desire to drive.

I'm glad I made that decision, for many reasons, but all of them pale into insignificance when I imagine the frustration motorists must feel whenever the anti-car fanatics launch another broadside against them.

The latest plans to eliminate private cars from much of Dublin's city centre have been hailed by the usual anti-motorist zealots as a victory, although a victory for what exactly remains unclear.

Is it a victory for the thousands of drivers who will be forced to park their car at Heuston station before getting the LUAS for the rest of their journey into town? Is it a victory for the city's business owners, who have already complained that they will lose out on vital passing trade if people can't bring their car into town? Is it a victory for shoppers, who will have to lug all their shopping on to public transport?

Nope, it ain't.

It is, however, a victory for suburban malls like Dundrum and Liffey Valley, which will become even more attractive to consumers. It's a victory for the hardcore cyclists who think they have more rights to the road than tax-paying motorists. It's a victory for ideologues who want to create the capital in their own image, and to hell with everyone else.

Not for the first time, AA's Conor Faughnan hit the nail on the head when he said: "It feels as if one of the purposes is simply to prevent people using private cars."

That's exactly what it is and the modern motorist could be forgiven for thinking that they have become both scapegoat and cash cow for the hippies who hate them.

Which is why, this morning, I'm extra happy I don't drive.

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