— Councillor questions arrogance of business groups implying 500 cars are more important than 7,000 people in busses as newspaper labels traffic plan “arrogant”.
Dublin City Council rowed back first on a full car ban on Bachelor’s Walk and later on a full car ban on Eden Quay because of lobbying mainly from businesses, but one group is still claiming there was a lack of consultation.
The watered-down proposals in effect since yesterday allow cars on both Bachelor’s Walk and Eden Quay in single traffic lanes, down from two lanes before the changes.
The measures aim to give priority to buses which already carry over 7,000 per hour at peak, as well as giving priority to trams crossing the quays around O’Connell Bridge which will have a likely have a higher capacity. This is compared to just around 600 people in about 500 cars.
But despite the watering down of the priority for public transport users, the Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins told the Irish Independent that: “Businesses are outraged with the arrogance of Dublin City Council, who are rolling out these new projects without consulting them.”
The consultation for the project gained high-profile media coverage and major u-turns were made to provide greater motorised access to/from car parks and other businesses.
The city council has outlined how the project is to allow for more people to be carried in the limited space city centre while still allowing access to car parks, but Cummins added: “This is a total anti-business project in my opinion.”
In echos of past claims that pedestrianisation and bus priority measures would kill businesses, the Independent also reports that the Dublin Chamber of Commerce has “hit out at a new traffic plan for the city centre” saying it would have a “devastating effect” on businesses. This is a move away from the Dublin Chamber’s main line that there is just a lack of clarity around the changes.
Reacting to the Irish Independent article, which has the headline “Chaos hits capital as ‘arrogant’ new traffic plans begin”, Cllr Patrick Costello (Greens) said on Twitter: “What’s arrogant is saying 500 mostly single occupancy cars have more right to the road than 7000 people in busses.”
Bus users this morning are reporting that buses are free from the normal congestion along the central section of the quays.
One bus user, Eddie Duffy, said on Twitter: “New layout on the quays just improved my commute time by 15mins @dublinbusnews @Dublinbususers @rtenews @DubCityCouncil #dublintraffic 👏👍🚌.”
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Another, Dermot O’Mahony, said: “Kudos to @DubCityCouncil on improving North Quays/O’Connell Bridge bus bottleneck, much smoother and faster bus ride on 145 this morning…”
Last week the testing of Luas trams on the new green line extension, which runs from St Stephen’s Green to the north side city centre retail areas and on to Broombridge, started to become more active. Tram services will be open to the public in December.
IMAGE: By Ciaran Cuffe, via Twitter.