Groups supporting Dublin traffic plan call for “emergency meeting” with head of city council

— Planned bus improvements this year are reliant on the plan going again, says the group.
— Engineering-focused Liffey Cycle Route was cancelled based on progress with traffic plan.
— Delay will risk more “serious injury and death” and more emissions and air pollution.

Nine groups focused on sustainable transport are seeking a meeting with Dublin City Council’s chief executive, Richard Shakespeare, after he said that he would only make his mind up about the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan when he receives a report from a lobby group linked heavily with car parks.

The nine signees to a letter to Shakespeare are the Dublin Commuter Coalition, the Dublin Cycling Campaign, An Taisce, Irish Doctors for the Environment, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, the Sustainability Action Research & Innovation Lead at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), the Irish Heart Foundation, I BIKE Dublin and The Bike Hub.

The letter sent this morning said: “The Dublin Commuter Coalition, along with the representatives of the undersigned groups, are calling for an emergency meeting with yourself – DCC CEO Richard Shakespeare, and the Council’s Executive Manager for Traffic Brendan O’Brien, to discuss the last minute changes to the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan.”

Councillors were told at their first monthly meeting last Monday that Shakespeare is awaiting an economic analysis report commissioned by the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance lobby group before making a decision on the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan.

The letter sent by the nine signees said the conclusions of the report commissioned by a lobby group “can not be considered independent or impartial.”

The Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance — which was set up to oppose the College Green Plaza and whose only apparent activity is lobbying against car-free streets, cycle routes, and bus priority measures — is made up of Brown Thomas Arnotts, Jervis Shopping Centre, Retail Excellence Ireland, Restaurants Association of Ireland, Louis Copeland & Sons, Irish Parking Association, Best Car Parks, and Fitzwilliam Real Estate Capital. Five of these have direct links to car parks.

The new council was also told that bus gate locations on the quays would be changed, and their operational times would be reduced from 24 hours to 7am to 7pm. A right turn on the O’Connell Bridge to Eden Quay would also be opened, allowing private traffic on it for the first time since Luas Cross City was opened (see further delays below).

In addition, it was outlined by council officials that an element of the plan to stop private traffic from turning left from Westland Row into Pearse Street will be deferred until 2025 due “to the nature of the civil engineering works requirements, which are more extensive than previously envisaged.”

The letter sent this morning highlighted the council’s own estimate that 60% of all private motor traffic in the core city centre was just driving through it. The letter signees said this “provides no economic value to local businesses” and added that a recent Government Report outlines that “the cost of congestion is estimated to be €336m in 2022 rising to over €1.5bn by 2040”.

The letter also highlighted Dublin Bus’s support for the plan and said: “Crucially, a delay to March 2025, as has been suggested, will have serious consequences for the delivery of BusConnects, as core bus routes with higher frequencies were supposed to leverage these bus gates.”

The signees also said that the “timely delivery” of the transport plan “was the basis for the cancellation of the Liffey Cycle Track project” which included boardwalks as a solution. The transport plan aimed to resolve at least some of the space issues by reducing traffic on the quays.

The letter said: “Without implementing safe infrastructure for walking and cycling, we fail to see how DCC aims to achieve its own goal of increasing the modal shift to active travel, thus reducing carbon emissions and air pollution. We believe that this modal shift will bring much needed life, vibrancy and economic benefit to Dublin City.”

“Reducing the bus gate on Bachelor’s Walk from 24 hours to 12 hours (7am-7pm) will hinder reallocating road space for walking and cycling, thus failing in the goal of promoting active travel. Additionally, we do not believe that this change addresses the concerns of disability groups as intended. Time-bound bus gates, like those previously seen at College Green, lead to poor adherence and ineffectiveness, often requiring constant enforcement. In the end, a 24 hour restriction for private vehicles was established – which should have been the case from the start,” the letter signees said.

The groups also said that the intervention from Emer Higgins, Minister of State with responsibility for business, employment and retail, was “unacceptable interference from political representatives outside of those directly elected to Dublin City Council” while the weight being given to the concerns a small number of businesses “undermines the democratic process of local government and public consultations, and this subversion of democracy needs to be challenged.”

The letter also highlighted how 80% of public submissions to the plan supported it and it was “one of the largest volumes of submissions ever recorded”.

The nine signees added: “In addition, last month’s local elections returned a majority of councillors who had supported the Transport Plan in its current form, further expressing the public’s support. These councillors made their support for the plan clear whilst canvassing, and voters elected them. Furthermore, these councillors’ support is clearly outlined in their ruling group’s document, stating that “agreed transport plans will be safeguarded and implemented”.


  1. The ppn also supported the plan and highlighted the issues facing people with disabilities but are not against the plan


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