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Why this will make it a rocky road to Dublin

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Traffic at a stand- still on Dawson street during the water charge  protest  to the Dail yesterday..Pic Tom Burke 10/12/2014

Traffic at a stand- still on Dawson street during the water charge protest to the Dail yesterday..Pic Tom Burke 10/12/2014

Traffic at a stand- still on Dawson street during the water charge protest to the Dail yesterday..Pic Tom Burke 10/12/2014

It's going to be a rocky road to Dublin for many a driver by the looks of things.

The plan to ban, or seriously discourage, cars from around the city centre has the potential to create a nightmare for thousands of drivers.

You would expect me, a driver, to say that. Except I agree with the concept of, and need for, streamlining traffic flow.

It's just I fear that some of the well-intentioned ideas in this plan will translate into ultimately punitive measures.

Take just one example. A family travelling from the western suburbs, or from down the country, would have to get out of their car, park it near Heuston Station then take public transport - and maybe switch to more public transport - rather than drive to where they were going. Great fun that on a wet day with tired children.

That element worries me. So do several others, including the potential for confusion in diverted traffic using the city centre as a through route.

They'd be directed to an alternative route by signage from the M50. Oh dear! Our signage is so poor as it is, I shiver at the impact of more convoluted instructions.

I would urge caution we don't cut off our nose to spite our face. Because there are good, sensible elements in the proposals; such as banning cars and taxis from College Green and making Suffolk Street and St Stephen's Green North pedestrian areas.

But making Bachelor's Walk and another south quays strip no-go car areas is only kicking the problem back down the road.

I think this plan needs more thinking through. And I hope we motorists (not those who purport to represent us) get to have a real say.

We are paying heavy taxes to keep our cars on the road. We should make our voices heard on which of those roads we can use.

Irish Independent