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Three sections of Dublin City Council wash their hands of traffic issues on Richmond Road

Three sections of Dublin City Council’s transport departments have washed their hands on tackling action on the level of traffic on Richmond Road and motorists mounting footpaths to squeeze past traffic in the other direction — with one branch of the council transport section saying motorists mounting footpaths was a Garda enforcement issue and the other saying it doesn’t have the staffing resources to take the lead role on the issue.

Dublin City Council — which is famed for working in silos — now has several different transport and traffic sections and project offices, including active travel, traffic and transport, road maintenance, and road planning.

The transport sections of the council that have so far washed their hands of the Richmond Road issues include the Traffic Advisory Group who say that it’s an enforcement issue for Gardai, and both the Active Travel office and bus priority office who have said today that they do not have the staffing resources to take on the issue.

At a meeting of the North Central Area Committee this afternoon, Gerry McEntagart, an engineer with Dublin City Council’s Traffic Advisory Group (TAG), said: “That’s an enforcement issue for the Gardai and the Gardai alone and it’s not an engineering issue.”

He also repeated that he had no funding for pedestrian crossings and needs councillors to allocate more funding for such — something which he said at the recent Central Area Committee meeting, covered by this website last week.

McEntagart said that the council has put in a parking scheme on Richmond Road, which has formalised parking arrangments on the street, and, as far as he was aware, it was working well.

But residents have said that motorists keep mounting footpaths, and a majority of residents want further action, including the trialling of filtered permeability or a one-way system.

As reported yesterday, Andrew Cahill, a local resident who took the footage of motorists still mounting the footpath, said: “The stop-go system certainly makes it better than what was there beforehand but as you say, it just takes one driver to get impatient and the knock-on effect is a nightmare.”

Speaking to IrishCycle.com today, Cllr Donna Cooney, said that it has been suggested by Gardai at a Joint Policing Committee that 999 should be called when people are being put in danger, but she that such isn’t a practical solution.

She said: “It’s completely frustrating, clearly action is needed. Why can’t they make a request to NTA to fund a neighbourhood transport plan? It’s unsafe to walk and dialing 999 is not a remedy.”

Cllr Cooney said: “Yes, clearly the road design is enabling this dangerous behaviour. It is illegal to drive on the pavement and the Gardai can enforce this. But we need to use road engineering to discourage motor vehicles from driving onto this narrow road which is unsuitable for two-way traffic. The pavements need protection, this is a secondary route on the active transport network, it should be prioritised.”


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She said she is worried that the Swords BusConnects plan is likely to bring even more traffic onto Richmond Road if the current issues are not addressed.

Cllr Cooney also submitted a motion to the local area committee, which said: “That this North Central area committee requests that we and the active transport office write to the NTA to support funding measures to prevent more motor traffic entering Richmond Road from the Drumcondra road as part of the Swords bus connects route, that works takes place including, filtered permeability, greening planting, active transport route with residents participating in a liveable neighbourhood plan for Richmond Road.”

At the local area meeting, Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí (FG) said that he wanted to second the motion, which he fully supported it.

Cllr Karl Stanley (SocDems) said that parents cannot let their children without feeling that they are at risk of injury or death. He said: “And if you call 999 and say somebody is driving on the footpath, they are hardly going to call a squad car to get them.”

Cllr Deirdre Heney (FF) said she also wanted to support the motion and writing to the NTA for more resources does not seem unreasonable.

Cllr Tom Brabazon (FF) said that a simple solution would be to make part of the road one-way.

At the meeting this afternoon, Christopher Manzira, deputy director for Active Travel said that the main issue for his section is not funding but staffing resources. In a written reply, the Active Travel office said it was “not in a position to take a lead role in addressing the matters raised”.

In the written reply Manzira said: “Richmond Road is indicated as a secondary routes in the 2021 GDA Cycle Network Plan. However, Richmond Road does not form part of the core Dublin City Active Travel Network that has been prioritised for delivery over the next eight years.”

“The Active Travel Programme Office is currently very constrained with regards to staff resources. It does not have the capacity to design and implement additional schemes outside of the prioritised network. On this basis, it is not considered appropriate to request additional funding for works on Richmond Road,” he said

He added: “Further works will be considered for inclusion in the review of the Dublin City Active Travel Network which is expected to be undertaken in two to three years. Inclusion of additional roads and streets is dependent on substantial progress of the current network of 310km. In the meantime, The Active Travel Programme Office will work with other departments as required but is not in a position to take a lead role in addressing the matters raised.”

3 comments

  1. Has anyone talked to the local Garda station? Sending one or two officers down there at the right time, a few mornings in a row, would break that habit pretty sharpish. I know AGS are not generally interested in enforceing the law on the pavement, but if a residents association were to talk to someone senior in the local station, you might get something done.

    It is actually their job, however they may feel about it.

    Reply

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