Fianna Fáil has raised concerns about plans to shut down Dublin’s quays to private cars and close multi-storey car parks in Dublin city centre.
The party’s Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley raised the concerns in his submission to the Dublin City Transport Study.
“While I welcome the overall objective of this plan to ensure that traffic congestion does not return to peak levels, I have serious concerns about how it will be managed. Ensuring that the heart of Dublin remains a thriving and living city centre must involve design proposals that do not make it more difficult for people to access town,” said Deputy Dooley.
“I have very serious concerns about the proposals to ban private cars from large sections of the North and South Quays (Wolfe Tone Quay, Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay). No studies have been carried out on the knock-on effects for traffic on other routes. This will cause major disruption for commuters, shoppers and freight, and will force the traffic to other areas of the city which are more prone to severe congestion and less suitable than the current routes.
“The public transport network is not currently capable of catering for the level of demand as proposed by this transport study. Not only is there a clear capacity issue, all areas within the city centre are not linked by reliable public transport options. As a result for some customers, public transport will not take them to where they need to go in town.
“These proposals need to make a much greater distinction between the impact of off-peak and on-peak travel into the city centre. Private cars travelling into town at off-peak times, especially at the weekends, do not significantly contribute to traffic congestion. Easy access by car to the city centre at weekends is extremely important for the local economy.
“We are particularly concerned about plans to reduce the number of multi-storey car parks in the city centre. These are used mostly by shoppers and visitors, not by commuters. Why is there no detail about this particular proposal and no impact studies on the effect on retailers of curtailing off-peak travel into town?
“The exclusion of taxis from the proposed re-configuration of College Green is also of serious concern and is not necessary or justifiable. The ban on taxis using this gateway will exclude access to this part of the city to many people who cannot travel on foot, or by bus or bicycle.”