Private cars continue to drive through College Green in Dublin’s city centre, despite the 24-hour ban on cars introduced in May.
The Dublin Inquirer reported in 20 minutes, “at least a dozen drivers zipped through College Green who shouldn’t have”.
Former Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Niall Ring told The Pat Kenny Show this is because “the ban makes no sense”.
“[Before] people in town after midnight, after 7pm, were allowed to use the bus corridor, but now there’s a complete ban,” he said.
“[Then] we have the next step in this which is the really scary bit – the pedestrianisation of College Green.
“If that comes in you might as well shut down the city.”
Cllr Ring questioned where the two million people who pass through College Green on buses each week will go.
'Reimagining our city centre'
Councillor Claire Byrne said people should stop framing plans for College Green as a ban on cars and “see it for what it is”.
“[It] is a reimagining of the city centre, reducing congestion, improving air quality and a world-class plaza that Dublin deserves,” she said.
“It's about creating this city centre plaza and transforming the city centre and having the city space that other European cities have.”
Cllr Byrne said Ireland is “wedded to private cars” and the initial ban on cars in College Green can start a journey implementing “our climate commitments”.
She said the Luas, buses and taxis will continue to run at the bottom of College Green next to Trinity College Dublin.
'You're taking away bus lanes'
Cllr Ring said the pedestrianisation of College Green will only reduce necessary public transport in the city.
“We'll take away the public transport and put it somewhere else so people can't get from A to B,” he said.
He said in his own Clontarf area, two bus stops have been removed to build a new “bizarre” cycle way.
“We’re taking away bus lanes to facilitate cycle lanes,” he said. “If you believe in that, then you don't believe in climate change.”
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