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AA’s higher speed limits call is “ridiculous”, “foolish” says Dublin councillors as they vote to expand 30km/h zone

— 80% of councillors vote for 30km/h in residential areas.

— High number of Fianna Fáil councillors vote against 30km/h plan.

Nearly 80% of councillors in the Dublin City Council area supported expanded use of 30km/h speed limits in residential areas in a vote on Monday. Two new phases of expansion will include most of the city centre and clusters outside of it, it will exclude arterial roads except for very central areas.

Out of the 47 councillors present for the vote, 37 voted for the plan for 30km/h in residential areas, eight voted against the proposals and two abstained.

The councillors who voted against the proposals were: Vincent Jackson (independent), Dermot Lacey (Labour), Ruairi McGinley (independent), Sean Paul Mahon (Fianna Fáil), Nial Ring (independent), Daithi De Roiste (Fianna Fáil), Claire O’Connor (Fianna Fáil), and David Costello (Fianna Fáil). A list of how each councillor voted is below.

Four of the total of nine Fianna Fáil councillors on the city council voted against the measure, but just one is listed as supporting it. The others were not present or did not vote.

The Road Safety Authority and the Love 30 campaign group separatedly welcomed the expansion of the lower speed limit.

IMAGE: The public consultation map showing the phase 1 area shaded in yellow, phase 2 areas in light blue / aqua, and the existing 30km/h areas in pink. CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN PDF.
30km/h is now expected to be rolled out to areas within the canals by the end of March 2017, while 30km/h zones will cover much of Crumlin, Drimnagh, Sandymount, Phibsborough, Raheny, and parts of Cabra, Glasnevin North and Coolock, and a very small section of Drumcondra.

At the monthly council meeting on Monday, Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) said there was a lack of maps showing where 30km/h was to be rolled out and he asked for deferral of a month. However, Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party) said there was a map available to councillors. Councillors voted against deferring the issue.

“I’m not voting for this because [the proposals are] not clear and traffic law should be clear,” said Cllr Lacey.

Cllr Andrew Keegan (People Before Profit) raised the issue of measuring extra pollution due to cars been driven slower, but council officials said that lower limits reduce the amount of breaking and stop-start driving, which are link with higher emissions.

Cllr Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael) said it was not about 30km/h right across the city, but just in some areas. He said: “Basically we’re coming into line with other European cities — if you look at Edinburgh, Milan, Paris, these cities have 30km/h limits. The perception that Dublin is different [in what it is planned] is not correct.”

“The proposals by the AA that in some areas that the speed limits be doubled are just not sustainable,” said Cllr McCartan.

Cllr Janice Boylan (Sinn Fein) said there should have been a greater focus on 20km/h on some streets as campaigned for by Jake’s Legacy, the campaign set up by Roseann Brennan after her son was knocked down in a housing estate over two years ago.

Cllr Ruairi McGinley (independent) said “motorists feel like they are being shot like fish in a barrel” on the Ballymun Road, but this is not part of the council’s proposals and was only referred to by the AA, which suggested it as a road which should increase from 50km/h to 80km/h. The council said it should stay at 50km/h.

IMAGE: Mourne Road — a residential street with a school on it — has speed ramps along its full length.
Referring to 30km/h planned for Mourne Road in Drimnagh, Cllr McGinley said: “If you want to bring the traffic bylaws into disrepute and if you want to bring the professional traffic engineers into disrepute, you’re going about the right lines. You won’t find too many people in the vicinity of Mourne Road who think that is a sensible proposition.”

But Cllr Pat Dunne (United Left) said the AA’s suggestion of increasing Mourne Road to 70km/h was “absolutely ridiculous” and he said, at a policing form meeting, residents of the area expressed support for the proposed 30km/h limit.

He said: “I’d question every recommendation which comes from them based on that particular case. Similarly for Cork Street to increase that to 60km/h. I’m glad that the recommendations by our own officials rejected those proposals.”

“I chaired a local police forum in the Drimnagh and Walkinstown areas and where we raised this issue at well attended meetings, the view of almost all the residents was that they welcomed the reduction in the speed limits in the residential areas,” said Cllr Dunne.

He also called for enforcement of 30km/h when it is introduced, saying that residents told him 30km/h needs to be enforced.

Cllr Larry O’Toole (Sinn Fein) also said that the AA’s proposals for increased speed limits were “ridiculous”.

Cllr Daithí de Roiste (Fianna Fáil) said that the AA’s proposal for 70km/h on Mourne Road was “foolish” but added that “30 is slow” and said that on the quays “you spend more time looking at your speedometer than anything else.”

Dick Brady, the council’s assistant chief executive with responsibility for transport, thanked Roseann Brennan for launching the consultation for the new speed limits.

Brendan O’Brien, head of technical services of the transport section of the council, said that that the roads included were surveyed before and will be surveyed again after the changes. He said the plan has the support of the Gardai, who had been consulted.

RESULTS OF VOTE ON 30KM/H EXPANSION: is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty


  1. Interesting outcome. Common sense appears to have prevailed. For Fianna Fail to have only had one Councillor vote in favor out of nine, and to have made up 7 of the nine naysayers clearly indicates that they are operating under an agreed position, possibly having received direction from elsewhere in the party and that they are still very much in cahoots with the AA and other motoring lobbyists. The resurgence of FF on the wider political scene is not good news for the cause of reducing car use, not to mention their many other failings and sins of the past.

  2. I have lived in Drimnagh for 40 of my 46 years. If your driving at at 50kph on Mourne Road, you are driving too fast for the activity on the street.

  3. The AA is becoming the Nigel Farage of transport planning in Ireland. The day they succeed with their ideas it may sound great at first, but wait and see for yourself…


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