| 3.5°C Dublin

Crunch talks on 30kph speed storm

DUBLIN Labour councillors will meet tonight to agree a joint strategy in response to criticisms of the city centre's controversial 30kph speed limits.

Cllr Dermot Lacey said today there needs to be a new consensus on dealing with the speed limit issue.

"I'm not in favour of the Fine Gael proposal to get rid of the new limits outright. We must see if a consensus or compromise can be reached. I can't see why a 40kph limit could not be considered," he said.

"I was driving at 30 kph in the city centre and I think it could be more dangerous because I spent so much time looking at the dashboard," he said.

"There's a strong case for removing the new limit from the quays ... although there are concerns about safety around the Ha'penny Bridge and the Millenium Bridge.

"No one would have a problem with the new limits at the back of Temple Bar and in South William Street," said the councillor.

He will propose at the Labour councillors' group meeting tonight that the issue be examined in full by the council's Traffic Committee on February 18 rather than at a full council meeting on March 1.

He found it hard to accept claims by officials that it would take eight months to get bye-laws changed.

Meanwhile, the City Council says it has now adjusted the sequencing of traffic lights inside the new 30kph zone to create a 'Green Wave'.

The statement comes just days after officials told the Herald that such a move would create traffic chaos in other parts of the city.

The new super-low speed limits look set to be in place for at least six months.

Since the restriction came into force last Monday, drivers have been complaining that the limit is unreasonable and will not serve any purpose.

Councillors had originally claimed that the timing of traffic lights was changed to ensure that drivers sticking to 30kph would get a straight run of greens. But, on Friday, a spokesperson for the council denied that such an initiative was possible. Now the council has gone back on that statement, saying that a 'Green Wave' was being created.

"The City Council's Traffic Management Division proposed adjustments to the city's traffic signalling system to support the extension. These included use of a 'Green Wave'," the council said. This is a well known traffic engineering technique which involves setting traffic signals to minimise delays to motorists at set speeds.

The statement appears to be a backtracking another one made to the Herald last week, in which they said it "would be practically impossible" to ensure a constant free flow of traffic on the quays.