Council may finally U-turn on 30kph limit
THE CONTROVERSIAL 30kph speed limit in Dublin city centre could be lifted after it was investigated by a council committee.
The limit was reduced from 50kph in January in an attempt to reduce accidents in a zone stretching from Bolton Street to Kevin Street and including St Stephen's Green, Gardiner Street, Dame Street, Dawson Street and the quays.
However, Dublin City Council's traffic policy committee has now recommended that the 30kph limit be reconsidered in relation to Winetavern Street and the north and south quays west of Capel Street.
Councillor Larry O'Toole said motorists on these streets were finding it "very difficult" to keep within the limit.
Mr O'Toole said there was also a proposal to raise the 30kph restriction on a part of Kildare Street, but this was not agreed by all members of the committee.
The recommendation will now go before the full council for a vote at the start of next month.
The committee's findings came as it was revealed that Dublin City Council are expected to earn more than €30m this year in car parking fees, the highest in the country.
The council's total expenditure on car parking for this year will be less than half that figure at €13,711,693.
Overall, Ireland's major cities expect to earn in excess of €51m in parking fees alone.
It's estimated that Cork City Council will earn more than €10.8m from drivers who park in the city.
Galway City Council could take in €4.6m and Limerick and Waterford city councils will total €2.7m and €3m respectively.
Chief executive of the Consumers' Association of Ireland Dermott Jewell said that some people did not have an option but to drive to work and into the city centre.
He called on the Government to investigate the price of car parking.
"Clearly, there are insufficient parking spaces in our main cities," he said.
"The Government are encouraging people to leave their cars at home, but the frustration is that this is not an option for everyone -- yet car parking fees escalate."
"The figures show there is plenty of room for a reduction in car-parking fees and an improvement in terms of the cost of the service."
Some of the larger towns including Dundalk, Naas, Navan and Tralee all expect to earn in excess of €1m in car-parking fees for 2010, while Clonmel, Sligo and Kilkenny predict revenues of over €2m.
Meanwhile, Cobh town council rakes in the least amount in parking fees, totalling €160,000 for the year while its expenditure budget will top €64,000.