Dublin Port Tunnel speeds a growing problem, NRA tells Garda

Vehicles breaking limit by more than 20km/h

Photograph: Alan Betson

Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The National Roads Authority has contacted the Garda Síochána to express its concern at a rise in speeding incidents in Dublin Port Tunnel.

The issue was addressed by the NRA board in June and discussed with senior gardaí over the summer.

The NRA said monitoring cameras inside the tunnel were showing an increase in speeding and there had also been a rise in complaints to the authority from users of the route who said they felt intimidated by other drivers’ behaviour.

The fact that drivers are speeding in the tunnel is well known by gardaí, and for the second year running the route has been identified as one of the capital’s speeding black spots.

Last week, while unveiling a plan to tackle speeding in the capital, gardaí said vehicles were travelling in the tunnel at an average of 23km/h over the limit.

While the issue is well understood, enforcement of speed limits in the tunnel is more difficult than on most other routes.

One of the challenges facing gardaí is that nowhere along the immediate approaches or exits from the tunnel is appropriate for a standard speed-enforcement checkpoint using a laser speed detector.

There is also nowhere to safely pull in a vehicle found speeding along the approaches or inside the tunnel.

The tunnel has 32 monitoring cameras that both provide real-time images of traffic using the route and read number plates, for the purpose of charging tolls, but these cannot be used to enforce speed limits.

Speed cameras

This report estimated the cost of such a system at more than €2 million. To date there has been no decision on whether speed cameras should be installed in the tunnel or which agency should foot the bill.

Traffic volumes in the tunnel are on the rise, and there has also been a change in the type of vehicles using the route; an NRA spokesman says cars now account for half of all traffic. This is thought to be one of the factors behind the rise in speeding.