Speed limit in Dublin city centre 'hasn't made a blind bit of difference'

 

THE 30KM/H restrictions introduced in Dublin city centre last January “haven’t made a blind bit of difference” to motorists’ speeds and could bring the law into disrepute, said AA spokesman Conor Faughnan.

Mr Faughnan was referring to a report by Dublin City Council’s traffic department which found that the 30km/h limit introduced to primary roads in the city centre had brought motorists’ speeds down by just over 1km/h during the morning peak.

Motorists were not obeying the new limits, and were continuing to drive at speeds of 40km/h and up to 50km/h in the restricted zones, the report found.

Mr Faughnan, who was among a number of commentators and politicians to oppose the new speed bylaws, said in some locations the limits were disruptive of driver behaviour and represented a “traffic management blooper” for the council.

He said the AA was not opposed to a 30km/h speed limit in general but was opposed to its application on certain roads where it was unsuitable and militated against good driver behaviour.

He said that the limit was particularly inappropriate on Winetavern Street, a three-lane, one-way street that runs downhill from Christ Church to the quays, and on the quays west of Christ Church.

“This report illustrates that they haven’t made a blind bit of difference one way or another, but the worry is that they will undermine the credibility of the speed limit and undermine respect for speed limits generally.”

However, the chairman of the council’s transport committee, Cllr Andrew Montague (Lab), said the fact the council had agreed to a six-month review of the limits meant two months with very different traffic patterns were being compared.

“The report compared the February speeds with August speeds. Normally we would expect an increase of speed from February to August, but as a result of the new speed limits we managed to reverse that traditional trend.”

He said while the morning peak showed a small reduction in driver speeds from 40.9km/h to 39.3km/h, the off-peak speeds had fallen from 38.9km/h to 34km/h on average.

Mr Montague also noted that the limits had worked well on certain streets, with O’Connell Street having dropped from 38km/h to 32km/h in the morning and Bachelors Walk droppingfrom 37km/h to 27km/h.