Bus gates on north and south quays near O’Connell Bridge to be rolled out in August with ongoing consultation with disability groups

Councillors at Dublin City Council’s full monthly council meeting tonight have agreed to note the Dublin City Transport Plan and ask officials to meet with Disabled Persons Organisations.

The move means that the plan — including bus gates on the north and south quays near O’Connell Bridge — should start to be rolled out in August with ongoing consultation with disability groups.

The plan looks to increase space and priority for pedestrians, cycling, and public transport and looks to reduce car use in the city centre, which is in line with targets set by councillors. A senior official said car access would be maintained, and the number of disabled parking spaces would be maintained or increased.

Cllr Declan Meenagh (Labour), who is visually impaired, said that he and most others use public transport or taxis in the city centre. He said he got to the council meeting on a Luas tram and would go home on a bus.

As a motion to defer the plan was to be voted on, instead, Cllr Meenagh suggested that the council agree that officials would meet with Disabled Persons Organisations within a month. Councillors and a senior official agreed to this.

Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) are groups led by people with disabilities, as opposed to some disability groups that are service providers. Under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), DPOs should be given special consideration in policy and other changes.

Cllr Damian O’Farrell (independent) had moved to defer the plan, citing concerns from the Voice of Vision Impairment, which is a DPO.

Cllr O’Farrell aggressively interrupted the meeting a number of times. Lord Mayor, Cllr Daithi De Roiste, tried to stop him from interrupting; he said that he accepted that Cllr O’Farrell is a councillor but that there were 62 other councillors also wanting to speak.

READ MORE: Dublin City Centre Transport Plan: What’s included?

Cllr Michael Pidgeon (Green) said that there should be more respect shown and councillors should be aware that there’s an issue where officials cannot push back against councillors as hard as councillors push officials.

Cllr Catherine Stocker (Social Democrats) said she wanted to support the plan but would be supporting Cllr O’Farrell’s motion because the Voice of Vision Impairment said they haven’t been consulted enough.

Cllr Daithí Doolan (SF) said he did not want to delay the plan but asked questions on the request from the Voice of Vision Impairment. Correction: A part of this paragraph has been cut short, and a correction has been posted separately here.

Cllr de Róiste said he also has concerns about engagement with DPOs and asked the council’s law agent for their view on consultation with DPOs. The law agent said the obligation under the law is to engage; it’s not prescribed. She understands that the officials and councillors have been engaging with DPOs, and it’s ongoing.

Brendan O’Brien, head of traffic and transport at the council, said that disabled parking badges — known as blue badges — are only for parking. He said that there’s no legal mechanism to allow blue badge holders to bypass any other restrictions. This is an issue of national legislation.

O’Brien outlined how the restrictions are in small areas, and the measures are still four months away from any implementation, which allows for more engagement.

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) said that he’s glad officials have caught up with his idea of having the street in front of Customs House traffic-free. O’Brien said it’s down to traffic reduction. The measures in this plan, such as the bus gates on the quays, will allow such traffic-free areas.

O’Brien outlined how the plan was developed based on what councillors agreed in the Development Plan. This was a point echoed by Cllr Claire Byrne (Greens), who said that cllrs have already voted for traffic reduction in the Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan, and Cllr Darragh Moriarty (Labour) repeated this point and highlighted how many times O’Brien said that the plan was based on what councillors wanted.

Regarding concerns about motorists diverting into residential areas, O’Brien said that the idea was that there would be a reduction in traffic, not that it would all be diverted.

The public consultation had nearly 3,600 respondents. O’Brien said that’s compared to the Development Plan — which affects the whole of the Dublin City Council area — which gained just over 4,000 submissions, and the Dublin City Climate Action Plan, which only received 88 submissions.

O’Brien said that officials are trying to work with Gunness and had met them today — the 80 truck movements from Gunness account for about 90% of HGV movements on the quays. Around 1/3 of the trucks are going to Belfast via Dorset Street. Officials will continue to meet with them and try to find a solution.


  1. “80 truck movements from Gunness account for about 90% of HGV movements on the quays. Around 1/3 of the trucks are going to Belfast via Dorset Street. Officials will continue to meet with them and try to find a solution.”

    There’s a very simple solution, for years Guinness had a railway track that carried shunter trains from the brewery directory into the yard in Heuston. The same gate that was used for that can be used to feed HGV traffic directly onto John’s Road from where it can take the Chapelizod bypass onto the M50 from where it can access the rest of the country, which is the whole purpose of the motorway network. There’s no reason HGVs should be using city streets to access Belfast

    • Whilst a great idea it increases fuel use and tyre use by trucks which is anti environmental friendly and adds costs due to tolls which should be free on all motorways for trucks to stop them bypassing tolls using towns and villages.the trucks do use the same gate the train used its a pity the barges are Gone as that would be a better solution

      • If you use Google Maps and check driving directions from the Gate of Guinness brewery to Belfast the driving time is the same whether you go by the M50 or through Drumcondra. The distance via Chapelizod bypass is slightly longer but spending more time moving at a consistent speed is more fuel efficient than having to stop and start through the city so for emissions purposes the journeys are comparable with the big difference being routing vehicles along Chapelizod bypass removes the emissions from the city and make the streets safer. Road haulage is a major polluter in Ireland and the presence of HGVs in the city is detrimental to the city atmosphere, if improving that means some companies are going to have to accept that things cost them more then so be it they need to pay their share.

        Tolls are supposed to be collected as a way to recuperate costs of building or maintaining a road and HGVs are the biggest culprit for wear and tear on roads due to their weight so exempting them from tolls doesn’t make sense. If you want to avoid them going through towns to avoid tolls then either the detour should cost more in time and fuel than just going through the toll or allow towns to impose a HGV ban through them.

        I’m not sure how barges could be reimplemented, there’s not really a good way to load a barge from the Guinness brewery as is unless they were to re-excavate some of the filled in canal network in that area and reintroduce barges to ferry products to the port? Maybe a cargo tram connecting the old railway gate at Guinness to the red line and then a spur off of it at the point?

        • I don’t think the cargo tram makes sense; The cost would be very high, and it’d take multiple years to implement.

          IÉ could stable a cargo train at the old guinness gate at Heuston, and do it in 4-5 trains/day (less if they could increase the length of the max train on the Irish rail network to actually fill the 370m sidings at Dublin port). Would be a weird reversing movement at the Phoenix Park tunnel, so would need to actually move the trains off peak, but doesn’t seem like it should be impossible, and shouldn’t need any new infra.

          • Cargo tram was just a throwaway suggestion. I don’t think it’s realistically a viable solution, for a start any runnings would have to be fit in between Red Line Luases which would be a pain to navigate.

            What you’re suggesting is basically what used to be in place, the problem is how practical would it be today. To do so railway tracks would need to be laid into Johns Road some distance to allow trains to move from the brewery to the entrance to Heuston’s yards which is directly across from Eir HQ, that would be at least 500m and then any train movements along the road would cause traffic mayhem.

            The only benefit of Cargo Tram would be that it’d take maybe 50m of track to connect to the Red Line tracks at Heuston, but it’d need more at the port end and a terminal to unload. Then the question arises, how much of the traffic originating from Guinness is destined for the port and how much is just shipped by road around the country leading us back to the best option just being trucks to the M50

  2. Ah remember that time when Guinness wanted to migrate their brewery and the council stopped them? Chickens Viking hunger to roost there now.
    And isn’t “Voice of Vision Impairment” the same group who stuck their oar in on the New St Malahide project and other pedestrian plans elsewhere?


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