Sunday 18 February 2018

Row over new traffic restrictions as union claims that jobs will be at risk

A view from above of O'Connell Bridge. Stock picture
A view from above of O'Connell Bridge. Stock picture

Anne-Marie Walsh

Dublin City Council has rejected claims by a union representing 40,000 workers that new traffic plans set to come into force tomorrow will cost jobs.

Council managers hit back after Mandate, whose members work at outlets such as Dunnes Stores, Penneys and Marks and Spencer, condemned it for failing to carry out a study of the impact on city businesses.

Graeme McQueen, of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, also claimed some employers are holding off on recruiting staff and questioned whether the "piecemeal" plans will tempt more people to use public transport. But a council spokesperson insisted the traffic management plan will actually boost business.

The row erupted after the council unveiled plans to impose major restrictions for drivers that include a ban on motorists taking a right hand turn at O'Connell Bridge from Bachelors Walk.

In addition, there will only be one lane for traffic along sections of the quays.

Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said members working in retail outlets depend on consumers coming into the city centre. He said many drive to the city centre in their cars and will turn to online shopping, out of town outlets, or cross Border shopping.

But the council said the changes will help more people to access the city centre and end public transport delays.

A spokesperson emphasised there will still be access for cars at all shops and car parks in the city centre.

Irish Independent

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