herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Businesses hail 'people power' for U-turn over quay traffic ban

Chief executive of the RAI Adrian Cummins
Chief executive of the RAI Adrian Cummins

A business organisation that led the campaign against a plan to ban traffic from Eden Quay is celebrating victory after a U-turn by Dublin City Council.

The result has been hailed as a "shining example of people power" by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI).

Councillors planned to stop private cars from driving on Eden Quay starting in August, as well as imposing other traffic restrictions on the north and south quays to encourage greater use of public transport.

However, after the council received more than 200 submissions from the public - with fewer than half supporting the move - the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) has decided to scale back the restrictions.

Concerned

It will meet today to discuss the revised proposals, including one that would allow one general traffic lane to remain open from Bachelors Walk towards Dublin Port.

The U-turn came after Brendan O'Brien, the council's head of technical services, fielded numerous objections from local businesses concerned about the closure of Eden Quay and vehicular access to key locations such as the 3Arena, Dublin Port and the National Convention Centre.

Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the RAI, said the proposed scheme - which would have effectively closed down both sides of the Liffey to traffic - was "ludicrous".

"This was an example of the council trying to bully their way through a project without proper consultation," he told the Herald.

Mr Cummins praised local businesses and other opponents for speaking up.

"It was people power through the various business groups across the city that stopped this from going ahead," he said.

"The council is now raising their hands saying, 'We can't do it'. We're delighted to see them do a U-turn on this and to acknowledge this isn't going to work.

"If the council is going to keep putting road blocks up, it is simply going to stop people from driving into the city."

Impact

Green Party councillor and SPC chair Ciaran Cuffe said the revised plans will have a negative impact on those using Dublin Bus and the Luas.

"People need to access the city centre, but these measures will delay bus users at the expense of car drivers," he said.

"There is a danger that we're being too generous to the driver and in doing so discriminating against public transport users. Bus and tram users should not be treated like second-class citizens."

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