Traffic plan submission focused on impact to TDs and Senators “contradicts commitments to reducing emissions”

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission’s submission to the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan, which voiced concerns about delaying TDs and Senators, “contradicts their commitments to reducing emissions,” according to the Dublin Commuter Coalition, a campaign group for better sustainable transport.

The traffic plan is a Pathfinder project which is aimed at accelerating transport emissions reductions. The coverage of the submission was followed yesterday by an EPA warning that Ireland would miss its legally binding emissions targets.'s reader-funded journalism won't survive without your help. With over 762,000 views so-far this year, it's not just "avid cyclists" who read this website, but, if you want it to keep going, more support is needed from readers like you. Now, back to the article...

The Oireachtas Commission looks after the running of the Dáil and the Seanad, the former of which declared a climate emergency in 2019. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission’s submission was published on the consultation page for the project earlier this year and was covered on the Business Post website on Monday.

In the submission, the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission said: “At least 50% of the parliamentary community come each week from outside the capital. Deputies are required to perform dual roles of legislators and constituency representatives, and frequent travel into and out of Dublin city centre is a necessity, not an option. Working hours during sitting days are often unpredictable as there is a need for the Houses of the Oireachtas to respond to urgent developments across the community.”

It raised issues with three of the proposals: The planned bus gates on Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay, the pedestrian area at Lincoln Place and the ban on cars from turning left from Westland Row onto Pearse Street.

The submission said: “These three proposals are likely to adversely impact travel arrangements for Deputies and Senators who travel between Leinster House and areas to the north, northwest and west of Leinster House.”

Jason Cullen, chairperson of the Dublin Commuter Coalition, said: “The Dublin City Centre Transport Plan is an important re-alignment of transport priority within the Core City Centre. Reducing unnecessary through-traffic is essential to ensure people can get in and out of the City Centre in quick, and safe manner.”

“The Dublin Commuter Coalition was deeply frustrated to see the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission publish an objection, which directly contradicts their own commitments to reducing emissions, and promote ‘Smarter Travel’,” said Cullen.

He said TDs and staff will retain access to their free car parking at Leinster House, while those using sustainable transport would see improvements.

“TDs have access to free parking within Leinster House, which will still be accessible for any members of the Oireachtas who must use a car for their journey. The many staff, guests and visitors of Government buildings who take public or active transport however, will have a far less congested, quicker, and safer daily journey thanks to the new Transport plan,” he said.

He added: “Transport policy is formed, debated and agreed within the walls of the Oireachtas, so we would hope the Commission would be a leading voice in implementing that change in Dublin.”

When contacted this week about the submission, a spokesperson for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission said that it “remains committed to its strategic goals including those goals which relate to sustainability.”

“The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission as the Governing body of the national parliament deemed it appropriate to make a submission to the public consultation process. The interests of a national parliament are wide ranging and include multiple stakeholders,” they said.

The Oireachtas spokesperson added: “Primarily, the Commission must ensure that the Houses are accessible to members, many of whom travel long distances and work late hours in order to ensure that legislation is processed. It is for this reason that the Commission commented on proposals to modify traffic flows on streets near Leinster House and on streets leading to national routes which are used by members of both houses. It is essential that consideration is also given to the need to facilitate access by all members and by the public, while also ensuring the safety and security of members.”

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