Dubliners may get phone app to check truck legitimacy

App would enable monitoring of whether vehicles have permits to be in a city area

North quays in Dublin: heavy goods vehicles with five or more axles have been barred since 2007 from entering Dublin city centre between 7am and 7pm unless they have a permit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónail

North quays in Dublin: heavy goods vehicles with five or more axles have been barred since 2007 from entering Dublin city centre between 7am and 7pm unless they have a permit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónail

 

Dublin residents will be able to check whether large trucks in their neighbourhood are authorised to be there, with the help of a new phone app being developed by Dublin City Council.

Heavy goods vehicles with five or more axles have been barred since 2007 from entering Dublin city centre between 7am and 7pm unless they have a permit.

The electronic permit allows limited access to the city for vehicles which would otherwise be barred from using the port tunnel (such as trucks hauling chemicals) or for trucks that need to load and unload in the city.

Dublin City Council head of technical services Brendan O’Brien said there had been a noticeable increase in demand for permits in 2016 as the economy picks up and more construction projects get under way.

Councillor Paddy McCartan said the ban on five axle trucks in the city centre had been very positive especially in “areas like Ringsend where you used to have these vehicles trundling around the narrow streets”.

If a driver is found in breach of the terms of the permit scheme, they are liable for fines for breaching the cordon. These are: up to €800 for a first offence; €1,500 for the second offence within 12 months; and €1,500 and possible imprisonment for the third offence.

Mr O’Brien said an app to allow residents check whether trucks are authorised to be in their area should be ready next year. “We are currently looking at HGV enforcement and we hope as part of an EU project we’re working on to actually make available to citizens a mobile phone app for checking whether vehicles have permits for within their area or not. Hopefully that will be available probably in the next year or so,” he said.

With the ban now approaching its 10th anniversary, Mr O’Brien said it would be appropriate to review its effectiveness and bring a comprehensive report on that to the city council.