30km/h limit could be expanded under Dublin plans

An expansion of the 30km/h speed limit is part of a wide-ranging transport strategy for Dublin which was released yesterday.

In the draft strategy, the National Transport Authority says “The authority will seek reductions in traffic speeds in town centres, and the application of a 30km/h speed limit in the commercial and retail core of Dublin city centre and other town and village centres.”

The authority also wants 30km/h limits on residential roads, and in the vicinity of schools.

It says that lower speed limits in town centres will be introduced with an aim to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, reduce noise and create a more pleasant environment.

The 30km/h speed limit zone has been controversial but such limits are supported by researchers, public health professionals, and those promoting walking and cycling. Limits of 30km/h are increasingly being used in urban areas across Europe and, in recent years, local authorities in the UK have increased the number and size of 20mph zones. Spain’s roads authority last month said it is looking at introducing 30km/h on all single-lane, two-way streets in urban areas.

The Dublin transport strategy also includes plans to consider shared use streets where people, not vehicles, have “unambiguous” priority on certain residential streets or in whole neighbourhoods. It notes that there is currently no legal bases for such streets, but this will be addressed in the forthcoming Manual for Streets which is to be released by the departments of transport and environment.

Other measures in the plan include the redesign of junctions to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and reduce the speed of turning traffic, more direct walking and cycling links, provision of additional pedestrian crossing points at and away from junctions, and use of better quality footpath materials.

The NTA says it will seek the enforcement of the law where motorists, cyclists and other obstructions block footpaths and pedestrian crossings. It says it will also support greater enforcement of laws regarding traffic lights, speeding, overtaking, parking or driving in cycle lanes, and cycling in an unsafe manner.

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