Key measures in new congestion-busting strategy will be responsibility of next Government

A new transport strategy focused on reducing congestion, called Moving Together, has been published on the Department of Transport’s website with public consultation to start next month, but most of the central measures within it will fall to the next Government to implement.

The Government accepts that cars will remain a “vital” for many people, “particularly in rural or isolated areas, they will continue to be critical” according to transport and environment Minister Eamon Ryan as he launched a draft policy which includes the option of congestion charges in cities.

...I'm sorry to disrupt you while you're reading this article, but without messages like this,'s reader-funded journalism won't survive. With nearly 1/2 million views and 300k readers so-far this year, it's not just people who are dedicated to cycling that this website reaches. However, the number of subscribers is around 0.6% of readers. While having a large gap between readers/subscribers is standard for non-paywall reader-supported journalism, IrishCycle's journalism needs more support. Don't delay, support monthly or yearly today. Now, back to the article...

It includes demand management measures which were already included in the Five Cities study report, but the new strategy mainly makes commitments for further reviews and most of the implementation is likely to be outside the lifetime of this Government.

The next General Election has to take place in March 2025 at the latest.

The wide-ranging strategy includes developing the legal mechanisms for councils to implement “congestion charging/urban road-user charging/ Low Emissions Zones/Clean Air Zones” — such measures would be up to councils to implement and councillors to approve.

The strategy envisions legislative proposals for these measures are to be brought to Government by Q2 2025 and for the piloting of a Low Emissions Zone in the same quarter.

Despite the legal provisions being in place for a parking levy, the draft document only includes another commitment to “Review and examine options for implementation of parking levy”.

The action proposed is to “Review the provisions in the Finance Act, provide an update in context of objectives of this Strategy and bring forward recommendations as part of the budgetary process.” This is dated Q1 2025, which would mean it would fall to the next Government’s first budget.

It also includes a review “including considering removing the BIK exemption or requiring a cash alternative”.

The strategy also includes reviewing vehicle taxes, communications and working with sporting organisations.

Minister Ryan said: “Ireland, like many countries, embraced the car, particularly over the past four decades, as our main way to get around our country. The number of licenced vehicles in the country increased by 215% from 1985 to 2021, with a massive increase of over 1.5 million private cars over that time frame. To accommodate this, we systematically re-allocated space to the car through our urban planning and road-building programmes.”

“But, instead of giving us freedom and saving us time, too many cars on the road has brought about the very opposite effect. Instead of giving us reliability and getting to our destinations quickly, we are wasting hours sitting in traffic,” said Minister Ryan. “Congestion is not working for anyone. It’s not working for car users. It’s not working for people reliant on public transport. It’s not working for people who want to walk or cycle. It’s not working for the environment.”

Minister Ryan added: “This strategy is a critical piece in the decarbonising jigsaw for transport, but its benefits are much wider than climate. It is about re-imagining and re-allocating our use of space, and about putting people, rather than cars, at the centre of our urban and transport planning, ensuring better and more liveable towns and cities. This does not mean that cars will not continue to be a vital part of our transport mix – for many people, particularly in rural or isolated areas, they will continue to be critical. However, what this strategy is about is finding new approaches to making travel, by whatever means, more efficient and pleasant for everybody.”

MORE: Draft strategy on

...That's the end of the article. Keep scrolling if you want to the comments, but *NEEDS* readers like you to keep it that way. It only requires a small percentage of readers to give a bit each month or every year to keep's journalism open to all. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.