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Why I'm happy to peddle my message for the 30kph limit

What kind of city do we want? That's the question I ask myself each day as I head out with my children to school.

Sometimes we cycle, some days I drive. I'd like to think that in a few years, I can let them cycle to school by themselves, or that we can head into town for a match in Croke Park on our bikes.

The new 30kph speed limit will make this easier and safer. One of the biggest fears that parents have is the fear that their children will be run over. I know that slowing down traffic in the centre of our towns and cities will improve safety for children and their parents.

I want to be able to let go of my child's hand and not be petrified if they are out of sight for a split-second.

In Dublin city centre, over 15,000 people live within the 30kph zone, as well as thousands of children. Many are hostages in their homes due to speeding traffic. There are six schools in the 30kph zone, as well as many colleges.

Lower speed limits will make it easier to walk or cycle, rather than be driven to school. Why shouldn't children be able to walk to the shops, cycle to school or explore their neighbourhood without parents having to keep a watchful eye for speeding cars? These days they need the exercise.

If the new 30kph limit is enforced, it should be possible for a seven-year-old to cycle to school by themselves.

When I cycle with my children, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I hear the noise of a speeding car behind me.

Older people will also benefit from lower speed limits, and won't have to run across roads when the pedestrian light turns green.

I'm sick and tired of having to shout when I'm having a conversation on Dame Street or the Quays. Even in the past few days you can notice the change. You can rediscover the art of conversation on a city street. That can only be a good thing.

People will also get a decent night's sleep again if cars aren't speeding through town in the middle of the night.

In Dun Laoghaire, a 30kph speed limit was introduced at the start of the year without controversy. It now means that you can cross George's Street without some boy racer coming out of nowhere when you're halfway across the road.

The new speed limit doesn't mean that traffic is banned, it just has to slow down a little.

In town, the new Dublin Bikes scheme has been a great success. The new speed limits build on that success and will improve the city for residents and tourists alike.

I'm pleased that we're following the good example of cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

The new speed limits are already calming the traffic and make our city more civilised.

Long may it continue.

Ciaran Cuffe is the Green Party's Transport Spokesperson and TD for Dun Laoghaire


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