Cutting Dublin speed limits to 30km/h ‘will save lives’
Cycling group urges lowering of limits but AA says blanket reduction would be blunder
New bylaws due to be presented to councillors this week, will see the 30km/h speed limit extended to almost all roads and streets as far as the city council’s boundary with the four other Dublin local authorities. FIle photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins
Cutting speed limits to 30km/h throughout Dublin city and suburbs will save lives according to cycling advocacy group the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
However AA Ireland spokesman Conor Faughnan said a blanket application of new lower limits would be a “conspicuous blunder” set in stone.
Ten years ago Dublin City Council lowered speed limits in the shopping and central business area of the city from 50km/h to 30km/h. New bylaws due to be presented to councillors this week, will see the lower limit extended to almost all roads and streets as far as its boundary with the four other Dublin local authorities.
Secretary of the Dublin Cycling Campaign Colm Ryder said the organisation had been pushing for an expansion of the 30km/h limit for many years.
“The likelihood of a fatality for a pedestrian or a cyclist hit by a car is significantly less at the lower speed. You are six times more likely to be killed if struck by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h than at 30km/h.”
Mr Faughnan said a 30km speed could be “very appropriate” in certain circumstances, but cautioned against its widespread application.
“Applying a blanket restriction is almost never wise and I don’t think it is wise in this situation.”
Limits can work where they were essentially “self-enforcing” he said, but if motorists felt the limits did not make sense for the particular road, they would not respect them.
“Posting limits that are out of sympathy with the traffic and the road engineering and setting these in bylaws would be to bake in stone a conspicuous blunder.”
The council’s traffic department said it determined the speed limits following consultation with the Garda and analysis of crash data and speed surveys, and an 18-month review of traffic conditions throughout the city and suburbs.
The lower limit is expected to be imposed in phases from the end of this year. Under the first phases the limit will be extended west of the current city centre 30km/h zone to cover most of the streets between the Royal and Grand canals.