Media wrong on 30km/h limit says councillor

A car entering Dublin's 30km/h zone

Labour Cllr Andrew Montague said media reports were quite negative about the 30km/h limit in Dublin which, he says, is a success.

“I think its clear from the [council’s] report – even though how it came out in the press was quite negative – if you look at the analyses it is a success,” said Montague.

He said the council’s report showed that speeds dropped in key pedestrian areas after 30km/h was introduced. On O’Connell Street speeds dropped from 38km/h to 32km/h, on Bachelors Walk from 37km/h to 27km/h, and on Dame Street from 37km/h to 27km/h.

He was speaking after Cllr Bill Tormey (FG) put a compromise motion to a meeting of Dublin City Council on Monday night.

Bill Tormey said “The experience has verified the sensible comments that I made at the time.”

He said he was reintroducing a previous motion that Labour Party councillors had voted for with the addition of a ‘pedestrian table’ at the Ha’penny Bridge. Adding that if the motion is not voted for, councillors would be “defying logic”

Montague said. “I’d like to welcome Councillor Tormey’s motion – it’s a step in the right direction.”

He said he can accept increasing the speed further out on the quays but put amendments to Tormey’s motion. He said that 30km/h should be kept along the quays as far as Tara Street due to the boardwalk going that far down; and on Essex Quay before Wood Quay as that section is narrow and ends at a pedestrian crossing.

Montague also queried: “And I just wondered why Kildare Street? Kildare Street seems to me to be a street that is highly used – there’s a lot of protesters there and a lot of people hanging out there. I don’t know why that should revert to 50km/h, it has not being very controversial. That should stay at 30km/h.”

Cllr Paul McAuliffe (FF) questioned the timing of the motion given that a report on the 30km/h limit from the transport committee is due before the next meeting of the council.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Independent) said he lives on the quays and has first hand knowledge of speeding. He said it would be crazy to revert back to the old limit on Ormond Quay, one of the quays in Tormey’s motion.

“If you really want to make the city of Dublin a beautiful place, if you want people to get out of their homes and see the gorgeous city we have, to be able to walk along the Liffey – I think, like London, you have to take the initiative, slow down and have slow zones. These initiatives have worked throughout Europe. They have worked extraordinarily well in London and people have gotten used to them.”

Flynn said: “We think we have a right to speed in this city. That’s the issue here – the issue is speed. People drive inappropriate in this city. When a pedestrian wants to cross the road it’s almost some inconvenience, [drivers] almost feel they have the right to knock a person down.”

He said the 30km/h zone should go out as far as Heuston Station.

Cllr Damian O’Farrell (Independent) said he welcomed Tormey’s motion and asked if it was “an ego thing” that he did not vote with the Labour Party when the same plan was first offered as a compromise motion.

Tormey said he wanted to make it clear that the reasons he did not vote with the motion originally was that it was not discussed properly and the speed limit was bring the law into disrepute. He said that it was a compromise from him as well, adding that he was fundamentally opposed to the limit but was compromising.

A motion by Cllr Paul McAuliffe to defer Tormey’s proposals to the next council meeting was accepted by the council.

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