Saturday 16 December 2017

Traffic control centre braced for exodus out of the city for Christmas

Today when independent.ie met the good folks at the Dublin Traffic Control Centre, they were bracing themselves for a mass exodus out of the city before Christmas Day.

Andrew Harris, supervisor at the centre, told independent.ie that there are 240 cameras feeding images of movements on the city’s roads into the control room.

Staff liaise closely with the gardai and the public for news on traffic jams, accidents, and obstructions.

"Yesterday was the busiest so far - there was a lot of inbound traffic," he said.

"We haven't had the [Christmas] traffic level that we had in the boom. But we were busy with the floods on Wednesday."

"We work closely with the gardai and pay attention to people making deliveries in the mornings to make sure clearways and bus lanes are clear."

Over the next few days, as people start to depart the city to visit their families all over the country for Christmas, the staff inside the traffic centre will be busy monitoring the festive traffic flow.

"We're encouraging people to come into the city centre to do their shopping, and we're asking them to take public transport," Mr Harris said.

Dublin City Council is projecting safety messages on screens across the city, warning drivers not to drink and drive.

Mr Harris added: “There’s a lot of rain on the way and we’ve been getting weather alerts so we keep an eye on that as well.”

While the traffic light system operates automatically, the control centre can intervene and give a longer green light to certain directions if a jam occurs.

“The traffic light system is the tool we use to relieve the traffic…and gardai watch the cameras over at Harcourt Square as well so we liaise with them.”

Dublin City Council is currently offering a parking promotion to shoppers. Motorists who pay for a minimum of one hour’s on-street parking in any zone, at any time during the month of December will get an additional hour free.

See ww.payzone.ie

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