Dublin City transport committee expanded to allow AA on-board

Dublin City councillors voted last night to expand the city’s transport committee by three members to allow the AA to take a seat on the committee.

The vote last night was passed by 35 to 9, with one abstention. The move required two extra councillors to also be added to the committee to balance the ratio between councilors and non-councillor members on the committee.

The AA — a private insurance company which also offers traffic updates — was previously on the committee but attendance of its rep was not regular.

The company objects to the way the city council expanded its 30km/h speed limit zones and, in its submission, asked that speed limits be increased on to 60km/h on Dame Street and to 80km/h on the Ballymun Road.

It has also questioned if everything from bus priority to cycle routes to bicycle hangers, which aim to provide secure bicycle parking to residents of inner city Dublin, could just be “an excuse to sabotage car use”.

The AA rep will join reps from the NCBI sight loss charity, the Public Participation Network, Irish Parking Association, Irish Road Haulage, Dublin Cycling Campaign, and Dublin Town.

The two councillors added to the committee are Beaumont-Donaghmede councillor Tom Brabazon (Fianna Fáil) and Rathgar-Rathmines councillor Ruairi McGinley (independent)

In a debate on the planned Clontarf cycle route, Cllr Brabazon, said: “I just think that this is another example of the council acting the bully boy against the private motorist. Here were are again, the people who pay the most to use the roads are getting the least.”

Cllr McGinley opposed the recent roll-out of 30km/h limits, but he supports other measures. In a debate on the development plan policy on transport, he said: “The reality is that we are setting out to support a modal shift [to sustainable transport] and that does mean less cars in the city. The reason for that is congestion, increasing population and also to improve the liveability of the city.” He added that his view are “notwithstanding that I’m a motorist.”

6 Comments

  1. I don’t know whether Brabazon actually is a moron or he is just playing one to appeal to the car uber alles voters but trotting out this “people who pay the most to use the roads are getting the least” line means it must be one of the other.

    Look around the city with an objective eye. See the network of roads that goes everywhere? See pedestrians queuing up, cap in hand, waiting for permission to step out in to the road? See people storing their private property on valuable public land, often blocking pedestrians and cyclists? See how efforts to improve things for the majority at the expense of the most inefficient users of the public roads are voted down time and again? Any objective person with even a modicum of intellect could tell you that motorists are the most pampered section of society.

    I realise everyone here already knows this but the roads are paid for from general taxation. I pay more for the roads than the average motorist.

    I guess there was some concern that votes might go the wrong way (towards a city for people instead of cars) so add in some ‘impartial’ voters like the AA (how did they manage to get themselves considered an authority on transport issues?) and idiots like Brabazon.

  2. I sometimes wonder if the Councillors who regularly oppose motions to promote active travel and public transport measures are part-funded by the motor business (car park operators, car sales garages, etc.) for their political activity. Are the sources of their political funding declared on some public platform? [SIPO?]

  3. Why 3 pro-motoring lobby groups on this committee? The AA, Dublin Town and the Irish Parking Association have shown themselves to be entirely biased pro-motoring lobby groups who have no interest in the wider problems of transport and are only interested in maintaining the status quo. Surely one of these groups is sufficient? The Road Haulage association at least represent truckers. And why nobody from Dublin Bus, Luas and Irish Rail, or am I missing something?

    Ironic that the AA couldn’t be bothered to attend when things were going entirely their way and are now muscling back in at the faintest whiff of a suggestion of a movement away from the utter dominance of cars on roads in the city. Be prepared for more abandonment of any hard won gains as the usual suspects conspire to turn back the clock.

  4. It is more likely a combination of two things.

    First of all they know that there are a good number of votes in promoting private cars. So long as they only go on about the plight of the poor oppressed motorist and don’t actually state the implicit flip side of their promotion (pedestrians, public transport users and cyclists are second class citizens and they should shut up and keep out of the way of their betters) they reckon this is a vote earner gaining votes from people who stupidly think they are being victimised and not losing any from the actual victims of car centric city planning.

    Secondly, they are the sort of person who wants to drive their own comfortable car right from their house to their destination and park it there with no impediment. They don’t want to have to mix with the masses on public transport and they don’t want to walk or cycle like a peasant. They consider this their god given right and stick their heads in the sand when the obvious is pointed out, that this is inefficient. They think the main transport problem in the city is not enough parking (preferably free), not enough roads (never too many cars) and speed limits. In other words, not only are they appealing to self centred fools, they are one too.

    If you want to look for people with financial incentives to keep the city from progressing there is the AA, the truckers lobby group and the car park owners.

  5. Eric wrote “If you want to look for people with financial incentives to keep the city from progressing there is the AA, the truckers lobby group and the car park owners.”. It is worth noting that in Ireland the largest collective group of car park operators are the local authorities themselves – who remove public road capacity from cyclists and pedestrians so that they can rent it for cash.

  6. How about if the government came out and said that Motor Tax revenue is used to directly fund the health service in the treatment of people who get ill off the back of vehicle pollution, road traffic collisions, and so on. Then it might remove this idea that some people have that they somehow own the roads.

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