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Satnav giant plans to get Dublin jams on the move

DUBLIN'S motorists could cut the amount of time they spend in traffic by almost eight hours a year, according to a leading manufacturer of navigation systems.

Satnav company TomTom has claimed that drivers in the capital spend an average of 52 hours -- more than two days -- stuck on the country's congested roads every year.

They believe that a new live traffic system could reduce the average journey by as much as 15pc, by allowing drivers to avoid the most gridlocked streets in Ireland, many of which are in Dublin.

They also think that the new service would allow individual drivers to save €384 in fuel every year.

TomTom launched the live services in Ireland last November which have allowed them to measure traffic congestion. Now they hope to direct people around it with their new HD Traffic service, which is available on portable navigation systems, and later this year, on iPhones.



Wasting

"We hope that we will get 10pc of driving population in Dublin to use the system or have a look at the free planner online," spokeswoman for TomTom Helene Raad told the Herald.

"The personal benefit of that is that you can save up to 15pc on average on your journey time, but most importantly, if we get just a small proportion of drivers to use it, then, at the higher level, you get a collective effect which is that traffic congestion in the city reduced by 5pc.

"It would have a major impact for the economy because these people won't be sitting in cars not doing anything but will be actually in the office and not wasting their time in their cars

"We looked at the cost of Irish congestion and it comes to €2.5bn, so in this austere time for all countries this can be avoided."

Two thirds of people interviewed by TomTom said that they could and would take an alternative route if they encountered traffic on their journey.

"We also found that 40pc of drivers would spend between €21 and €40 on fuel a week and with prices higher than before, this is only going to rise," Ms Raad said.

"They estimated that getting live traffic updates could save them €384 on fuel costs."

Previous TomTom research showed that Dublin had many of the most congested streets in Ireland, although Galway was the most gridlocked city.

Templeogue Road, approaching Terenure and Ballyboden in South Dublin is the capital's most congested thoroughfare.

TomTom hope to partner with radio stations and websites for HD Traffic Live here, as only half of Irish motorists currently own a satnav.

hnews@herald.ie