Wednesday 23 October 2019

Banning cars from cities will cause 'death of High Street'

Shoppers on Grafton Street, Dublin. (Stock Image)
Shoppers on Grafton Street, Dublin. (Stock Image)
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Plans to ban diesel and petrol vehicles from city centres face a backlash.

Retail Excellence head of public affairs Bryan Rankin said: "Banning cars won't work. We don't live in Copenhagen. Evidence shows retail suffers if you ban private transport into the city."

Mr Rankin said while the local election voters may have recently caused a so-called 'green wave' across Dublin, "when the bill comes at the end of the meal, I think the voters will change their mind."

He added that the Government is "picking on the wrong target".

"Our shops aren't big polluters but if you push people out of city centres to shop and push them off the High Street, they will go online fully," he added.

Richard Guiney, CEO of retailers' group Dublin Town, said the State was paying "lots of money for free parking for civil servants" in Dublin city.

"If we restrict that and the higher proportion of people coming in to the city at peak periods, rather than off-peak, that is a better plan," he said.

Independent councillor for the north inner city Christy Burke said many families were struggling on lower incomes and juggling childcare costs.

He said electric cars were just "too expensive" and that major Government grants would have to be introduced.

Irish Independent

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