30km/h limit will 'infuriate motorists'

Fri, Jan 29, 2010, 00:00

A DUBLIN City Council proposal to expand a maximum speed limit of 30km/h across the city centre from this weekend will pointlessly frustrate traffic and infuriate motorists, according to the AA.

Plans to implement the reduced limit, approved by councillors last October, from Sunday were announced yesterday by Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello.

The limit will apply from Bolton Street on the north side to Kevin Street Lower and St Stephen’s Green on the south side. It covers roads from Church Street and Bridge Street in the west city to Gardiner Street, Tara Street and Dawson Street on the east.

The 30km/h zone also includes national roads such as O’Connell Street, Dame Street and the north and south quays between Church Street and Tara Street.

Dublin City Council said the move would result in smoother traffic flow and promote a shift to cycling or walking that would ease traffic congestion. It said it did not believe the limit would have a detrimental impact on travel times for motorists.

A council spokesman said the move was prompted by a review of accident statistics in the Dublin city area between 1998 and 2007, which indicated that 47 per cent of fatalities and 24 per cent of those injured were pedestrians.

He said 5 per cent of pedestrians are killed when hit by a vehicle travelling at 30km/h compared to 45 per cent at 50km/h.

In 2006, Dublin City Council lowered speed limits around most retail and central business areas from 50km/h to 30km/h.

AA director of policy Conor Faughnan said the proposal was a significant mistake that made no sense. “This appears to the AA to be more about ideology than reason,” Mr Faughnan said.

“In road safety terms Dublin city is one of the safest places in the country. The road safety justification does not exist . . . nor is there any reason to believe an assertion that a 24/7 30km/h limit will improve traffic flow.”