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More cars now using city despite go-slow

Car use in Dublin city centre is on the rise, despite the best efforts of the council to discourage motorists.

New data has suggested the number of cars entering the city centre is increasing.

Dublin City Council has been criticised for being anti-car after introducing the 30kph speed limit and banning private vehicles from the College Green area during peak times.

However, the latest information indicates motorists are coming into the city in greater numbers than previous years.

Since 1980, the council has been conducting traffic counts at 33 locations around the cordon formed by the Royal and Grand Canals.

The data is collected in November each year.

The count for last year shows that 64,254 cars passed through the cordon on a single day in November last year.

This was 278 more than the 63,976 figure for the previous year and also exceeded the totals from 2003 to 2007.

In 2002, the council logged 65,657 cars passing the cordon on the day of the count.

However, the local authority will be happy with the figure for cyclists, which was recorded at 6,853.

"Over the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the volume of pedal cyclists crossing the cordon inbound during the morning peak period increased by 27pc, with a 74pc increase in the period 2004 to 2009 and a 12pc increase in the period 2008 to 2009," executive engineer Tony McGee stated in a report.

During the same time, the volume of vehicular traffic decreased by 11pc, with a 4pc increase in the period 2004 to 2009 and a 1pc increase in the period 2008 to 2009, he said.

Of the cars that crossed the cordon between 2004 and 2009, "taxis accounted for 4pc rising to over 8pc in 2009".

"In the same period, the number of taxis crossing the cordon in the morning peak increased by 102pc, with a gradual increase each year apart from 2004. There was a marginal decrease in the number of taxis crossing the cordon in 2009 compared to 2008," Mr McGee stated.

With the opening of the Dublin Port Tunnel, the volume of heavy goods vehicles crossing the cordon has decreased.

"The use of Dublin Port Tunnel and the 5-axle heavy goods vehicles ban continues to have a positive impact in reducing the number of heavy goods vehicles within the cordon area," the council official explained.

While the number of cars has risen, the number of people coming into the city during the morning peak by car has decreased.

It has fallen by 5pc between 2004 and 2009, indicating that the occupancy rate of each vehicle is less.