Dublin city lorry ban lifted due to Brexit traffic only as ‘last resort’
Ban would be lifted only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ if tunnel closed, council says
HGVs with five axles or more are prohibited from Dublin city centre between 7am and 7pm seven days a week. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill
The ban on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) passing through Dublin city centre would be lifted due to Brexit-related delays at Dublin Port only “in exceptional circumstances,” Dublin City Council has said.
The council, Dublin Port Company and tunnel manager Transport Infrastructure Ireland have had talks about contingency planning to manage traffic out of the country’s busiest port in the event of tailbacks as a result of new border checks on UK-bound traffic after Brexit.
The contingency plans include looking at whether the HGV ban in Dublin city centre might have to be lifted should traffic jams out of the port result in the closure of the tunnel, less than a kilometre from the port.
A spokeswoman for the council said there had been discussions with various parties “regarding any issues which may affect traffic in the tunnel”.
“Lifting the HGV ban is only considered as a last resort and only when the port tunnel itself is closed and time to reopen is greater than an hour,” she said.
“This is a protocol between An Garda Síochána and Dublin City Council and is strictly adhered to. It is not envisaged that this option will be invoked except in exceptional circumstances.”
The Department of Transport said it was finalising details of traffic flows within the port in the scenario that there is no deal on Brexit by the time the UK leaves the European Union at 11pm on March 29th.
Asked about the possibility of the HGV ban being lifted due to potential closure of the tunnel arising from Brexit-related tailbacks out of the port, a spokeswoman for the department said: “As we are in an unprecedented situation, all possible scenarios are being considered.”
Dublin Port Company has said it is confident commercial and operational measures can prevent traffic congestion inside or outside the port.
The council prohibits HGVs with five axles or more from the city between 7am and 7pm seven days a week and operates a limited permit scheme for deliveries in the city-centre area, issuing about 80 permits on average a day.
About 6,050 HGVs of five axles or more use the tunnel every day.