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Dublin 'nowhere near the size of London' amid talk of congestion charge

There are reports the Green Party is preparing a raft of congestion charges as part of its climate-change agenda.
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.56 19 Oct 2021


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Dublin 'nowhere near the size...

Dublin 'nowhere near the size of London' amid talk of congestion charge

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.56 19 Oct 2021


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A haulage group say a congestion charge for Dublin will not work, as the capital doesn't have the 'level or quality' of public transport seen in London.

There are reports within Government that the Green Party is preparing a raft of congestion charges as part of its climate-change agenda.

Green Party MEP for Dublin Ciarán Cuffe has previously said the capital should look to the UK to bring in a charge for polluting cars.

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Cars, motorcycles, vans and minibuses in London city either need to meet emissions standards or pay almost €15 (stg£12.50) a day when driving within the zone - which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But Eugene Drennan, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, told Newstalk Breakfast 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".

Environmental journalist John Gibbons says he believes a charge would be a good thing.

"I suppose it should be music to anybody's ears who is concerned particularly about the chronic congestion in our capital city.

"What we know for certain is that right now, it doesn't work to simply have an unregulated flood of private cars, vans, everything into our city centre.

"I think it's important as well to remember that city centres, like Dublin, these were medieval and pre-medieval.

"Cars are now entering neighbourhoods that were designed for horses and for walking".

Responding to Mr Drennan, he says: "I would have imagined as a road haulier that you'd be delighted if regular traffic was actually constrained from the city centres, which means that trucks that need to do essential deliveries would be able to get in and out without having to run the gauntlet of thousands and thousands of cars sitting stuck in traffic.

"I've certainly never heard of traffic lights being the cause of congestion in Dublin, and the traffic consultants - the experts who looked at this - said nothing about traffic lights.

"I wonder how Eugene expects pedestrians to cross the streets of Dublin, or should we just turn it into a motorway altogether?"

A 2019 report showed commuters spent 246 hours stuck in cars in Dublin the previous year.

That was 4% less than people spent in their cars in 2017.

In international comparisons, the Colombian capital Bogotá was the city with the highest losses in terms of traffic - with drivers stuck in their cars for a total of 272 hours a year.

This was followed by Rome, Dublin and Paris - while London, Mexico City and Moscow also have less congestion than the Irish capital.

Dublin 'nowhere near the size of London' amid talk of congestion charge

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Main image: Traffic jams in Dublin city centre in February 2018. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Congestion Charge Dublin Eugene Drennan Green Party Irish Road Haulage Association John Gibbons London Ublic Transport

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