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Congestion charge 'unlikely to happen' until public transport is better

A study for the Department of Transport has recommended congestion charges by 2025
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.52 25 Nov 2021


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Congestion charge 'unlikely to...

Congestion charge 'unlikely to happen' until public transport is better

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.52 25 Nov 2021


Share this article


It has been suggested drivers should have to pay up to €10 to drive into Dublin and Cork city centres at peak times.

A new report from the Department of Transport has recommended congestion charges for the cities by 2025.

The study says it would help cut down on traffic and address air pollution.

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It suggests a €10 charge at peak times, and €5 in off-peak hours.

Other recommendations include expanding slow zones in residential areas, and staggering start and finish times for schools and workplaces.

Brian Caulfield is associate professor of transport at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

He told The Hard Shoulder he cannot see it working like in other cities - and it could hurt those who can least afford it.

"There has been equity impacts in London and any other city that have done this.

"It's hard to work those out - and even in the report itself, the word 'equity' is in there very little.

"So there's not an awful lot of thought, I think, went into that side of it.

"These taxes are regressive, and people can get around it by buying different cars - or they can just afford to pay these congestion charges.

"And the roads are clearer for them, so you're giving them an extra benefit.

"Until the public transport offering is there, that meets everybody's demands, realistically a congestion charge isn't something that's likely to happen.

"There needs to be a magnitude of an increase in public transport offering in the cities - in Cork and in Dublin - in order for any policy like this to be enacted".

'Nowhere near the size of London'

Last month, a haulage group suggested a congestion charge for the capital would not work, as Dublin doesn't have the 'level or quality' of public transport seen in London.

Eugene Drennan, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, told Newstalk the comparisons are unfair.

"We've changed a lot in how we bring goods into the city centre.

"The size of our cities are nowhere near the size of London - and if we stop people going into the city centre, you're going to ruin the retail in the city centre - it's already pushed out.

"Unlike London, none of our cities have the level or the standard or the quality of the public transport in London.

"And secondly, one of the main reasons for congestion in Dublin is the proliferation of traffic lights.

"If you look at the Quays everyday, in between certain sections of traffic lights there are no cars - we're blocking ourselves up.

"And the most pollution comes from a car that's ticking over and running".

Congestion charge 'unlikely to happen' until public transport is better

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Additional reporting: Stephen Murphy


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Air Pollution Brian Caulfield Congestion Charge Cork Department Of Transport Dublin Traffic

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