Dublin needs to go on a ‘car-diet’ to get public transport moving, according to a Trinity Professor.
Brian Caulfield joined Newstalk Breakfast today where he noted that traffic congestion in the capital is estimated to cost €2bn a year from the early 2030s.
Traffic Index company TomTom places Dublin just behind first-placed London in terms of the most congested cities in Europe.
It found travel time increased in Dublin last year, with the average time it took to travel 10km increasing by almost two minutes.
It said Irish people are spending around 277 hours a year driving and €710 on petrol.
Professor Caulfield told the show it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get around the city.
He said the Dublin Metrolink will not be around for another decade, but BusConnects can help with congestion for now.
“There are 12 lines of BusConnects that are with An Bord Pleanála and we need to get construction on those started,” said Professor Caulfield.
“The plan is to stagger the delivery of these to four at a time, but we need to expedite that.
“That’s how we get people moving, through public transport.”
Congestion charges have previously been proposed as a solution to Dublin’s traffic woes.
Professor Caulfield believes they may not be necessary.
“Congestion charges could be a part of the solution [to traffic congestion], but maybe not,” he said.
“Once the BusConnects are put in place, once the streets are given away from cars to people, it may become so difficult to come into the city that we may not need a congestion charge.”
Professor Caulfield adds that “there is no magic solution” to traffic congestion in the capital.
He suggested Dublin City should copy other cities that are successfully dealing with the issue.
“The majority of cities around the world that we try to emulate are just removing the cars, but making public transport better,” said Mr Caulfield.
“We just need to do that, and we need to do it faster.”
This comes as Dublin Bus CEO Billy Han is to meet an Oireachtas Transport Committee later today to discuss inner city traffic congestion.