Councillors furious as extra bus lanes decision bypasses them
Councillorshave hit out at a plan which will see private cars forced out of one of the busiest parts of the capital, causing widespread concern over congestion.
Extra bus lanes are planned by Dublin City Council along a section of Dublin's quays in preparation for the Luas Cross City - which will swap two private vehicle lanes and one bus lane for two bus lanes and one for private vehicles. The proposals that will restrict private cars coming into the city will be in place on Ormond Quay and Bachelors Walk.
Private vehicles travelling along these quays will not be allowed to turn right onto O'Connell Bridge or carry on straight to Eden Quay.
If drivers travelling along this part of the city wish to make their way to the southside quays, they must turn at Capel Street Bridge before reaching Bachelors Walk.
The quays on the southside will also have extra bus lanes located along Burgh Quay, Wellington Quay and Aston Quay.
The plans, which are part of the Road Traffic Act, will go to a six-week public consultation from February 27.
However, the city council - which is hoping to have the restrictions in place by August - will not need the full support of city councillors.
A spokesperson told the Irish Independent that it was a managerial decision.
"It's not a reserved function so it's not up to the councillors to vote it in, it's a managerial function," she said. "Under the (Road Traffic) Act, the council can introduce it without the councillors having to vote for it."
City councillors Mannix Flynn and Dermot Lacey have hit out at the plans - particularly the bypassing of a full council vote.
Mr Flynn said that the proposals would drive shoppers out of the city.
"These people are just saying our way or the highway and everybody is inconvenienced.
"It's totally unacceptable. We're elected to represent the people of the city on all aspects, including transport and traffic," he said.
Mr Lacey said that a Dublin-focused transport authority should be put in place.
Meanwhile, Dublin Town's Richard Guiney said there were concerns about city centre access for shoppers.
"Roughly about 20pc of people who are shopping in the city at any one time come in by car and they spend roughly 31pc of total spend in the city.
"They load stuff into the back of their cars.
"Somebody who comes in by car will spend on average €117 compared with somebody on a bus spending roughly €63," he said.