Speed limits cut to 30km/h in 10 Dublin suburbs
30km/h could apply throughout city council area from next year
One of the new speed limit signs on St Attracta Road, Cabra. Photograph: Olivia Kelly.
Speed limits have been lowered to 30km/h on residential roads, and near schools and shops, in 10 Dublin suburbs.
The move, which took effect from midnight on Tuesday, is part of ongoing plans to apply the limit to most roads in the Dublin City Council area as far as its borders with Dún Laoghaire, Fingal and South Dublin.
Ten years ago the council lowered speed limits in the shopping and central business area of the city from 50km/h to 30km/h.
From 2011 the zone was extended as far as Bolton Street on the north side to St Stephen’s Green on the south side, and from Church Street in the west to Gardiner Street and Dawson Street to the east.
Following an 18-month review of traffic conditions throughout the city and suburbs, which drew 550 submissions from interest groups and the public, councillors last December approved plans for a radical expansion of the speed limit zone to almost all roads and streets as far as its boundary with the four other Dublin local authorities, excluding “arterial” roads.
The limits are being introduced on a phased basis. In March they were applied to west of the current city centre 30km/h zone to cover most of the streets between the Royal and Grand canals.
Instead of continuing a radial expansion, the limits from Tuesday night/Wednesday morning will apply to particular suburbs, which council engineers, working with councillors, have determined would most benefit from lowers limits.
The next phase, which would extend the limit to the remaining suburbs as far as the city council border, is due to be introduced next year. This phase could also see the speed limits cut on the main arterial roads into the city, the council said.
While most respondents to the public consultation process were in favour of reducing speeds, about 170 opposed to the imposition of 30km/h limits.
AA Ireland had described the widespread application of the 30km/h limit as “absurd” and having the potential to undermine road safety. As part of the bylaw consultation process, the AA sought to increase limits on larger access routes to the city, including parts of the city centre which have had a 30km/h limit since 2011.
Council engineers rejected the submissions to raise speeds and said the lower limits were conducive to better driver behaviour. The council’s head of traffic and transport Dick Brady said the overriding principle in relation to a 30km/h default speed limit was road safety.
“It’s in the interest of road safety we would be recommending these new speed limits. We are talking about setting speed limits adjacent to residential areas and school in order to try to ensure the safety of residents and children.”