Operation Freeflow gets the green light


OPERATION Freeflow, which aimed to prevent traffic congestion in Dublin, is to continue, according to the Garda.

Additional funds have been committed to extend the traffic management operation which began on December 2nd and had been due to finish this weekend.

City centre parking and traffic movement is restricted under the plan which is operated by the Garda, Dublin Corporation, Dublin Bus and the Dublin Transportation Office (DTO).

Representatives from these organisations met the assistant Garda Commissioner, Mr Tom King, yesterday and agreed to continue the scheme.

Dublin Corporation will also maintain increased traffic control measures, but not to the same extent as before Christmas, according to a spokesman.

Increased staff levels at the corporation's traffic control centre will continue, according to Mr Ciaran de Burca, the engineer in charge of the traffic and road planning division.

A Garda sergeant has also been posted to the centre to speed up reaction by traffic police to problems which cause traffic congestion, such as illegal parking.

More than 5,000 motorists received on the spot fines and 4,300 were cautioned during the first two weeks of the operation.

A total of 417 vehicles were towed away in Dublin city centre. Some 740 motorists were caught for yellow box violations, 676 for bus lane violations and 520 for breaking a red light.

Traffic violations dropped by an average of 35 per cent in the second week, according to the DTO. Dublin Bus garages reported much easier conditions within the canals and improved morning journey times. The company also reported a 2 per cent growth in revenue from bus fares.

According to the DTO, access to the city was greatly improved for shoppers through measures such as roadworks control and rescheduling of refuse collections. TWIN brothers from Killiney, Co Dublin, were among 21 young people with exceptional talent in music, song, dance and the visual arts, presented with cash prizes by the Fitzwilton Trust at a ceremony in Dublin yesterday.

Derek Cummins (17), specialises in painting, drawing and ceramics and has already received a commission for a ceramic sculpture.

His brother, Ian, works in sculpture, painting and ceramics and has received commissions for his portrait work and scuplture.

The other winners were Clarissa Beattie (visual artist) Youghal, Co Cork; Michael Rutherford (illustrator) Killiney, Co Dublin; John Killian Ryan (french horn) Rathfarnham, Dublin; Anita Wilkinson (clarinet) Belfast; Sarah Power (singer) Bray, Co Wicklow; Aine Flood (dancer) Co Longford; Emma O'Kane (dancer) Blackrock Dublin; Niamh McGowan (flautist) Rathfarnham, Dublin; Vourneen Ryan (flautist) Dundalk, Co Louth; Gareth John Knox (pianist) Enniskillen; Maria McGarry (pianist) Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo; Emma Jane Bowles (cellist) Tralee, Co Kerry; Anna Cashell (violinist) north county Dublin; Jonathan Coffey (violinist) Antrim; Ronan Dunne (double bass) Raheny, Dublin; Cian O Duill (viola) Cork; Gerald Peregine (cellist) Blackrock, Dublin; Patricia Treacy (violinist) Dundalk, Co Louth; Elaine Canning (soprano) Sligo.

The trust, along with the Fitzwilton Charitable Foundation, was formed in 1975 when the shareholders of Fitzwilton Ltd voted to issue 125,000 shares to each of them to support worthwhile cultural and charitable projects. Since the scheme was inaugurated in 1978, more than £100,000 has been distributed.