Dubliners don’t need more delays with traffic plan – Greens

Green city councillors slam Minister Emer Higgins’ “bizarre intervention” on behalf of car park owners

Dublin City Council should push ahead with their traffic plans for the city centre, the eight Green councillors have said.

They rejected calls by Minister Emer Higgins for the scheme to be delayed, criticising her intervention as “bizarre”.

The initial stages of the plan would see two new short bus lanes on Aston Quay and Bachelor’s Walk, plus a new junction layout at Pearse Street. 

Research found that 60% of car traffic in the city centre is passing through – without stopping to shop. The plan aims to reduce this through traffic and make Dublin city centre a more attractive destination.

An extensive consultation process on the plan was completed in 2023, with over 3,500 submissions made by business, residents and charities across the city. The city councillors have debated and voted on the plan several times in the past year, each time recommending its implementation.

The city council has aimed to start work in August of this year, but has faced objections from the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance, a small lobby group mostly composed of car park owners.

Green Party group leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr. Michael Pidgeon said:

“Dubliners are sick of waiting. Waiting in traffic, waiting for buses, and now a minister wants them to wait for plans to fix up our city centre.

“This last-ditch intervention by Minister Emer Higgins is utterly bizarre. She is doing the work of vested interests – car park owners who fear any progress that would undermine their bottom line.

“Dublin city’s design cannot be dictated by car park owners. City council management should stick to their guns. It’s time to implement this plan, improve the bus, and make the core city centre a better place to be.”

Local Green councillor Claire Byrne said:

“By talking this traffic out of the city centre, Dublin will be a much better place to work, shop and live. It will improve the air quality and make our streets safer to walk or cycle along. We need to get past the idea that all customers in a city drive.

“In short, this plan is about giving the city back to people, making it a living city again rather than one that is dominated by cars racing through it. This is exactly the sort of measure we need to achieve our climate targets.”

Green councillor Ray Cunningham said:

“The Dublin City Traffic Plan is aimed at limiting through traffic only – the cars that will never stop and shop in the city centre. It is precisely this traffic that is bad for business. 

“It means that those who do genuinely want to come into the city, to shop, to eat or for entertainment are getting caught up in horrendous traffic jams. This type of car-jam system doesn’t work for anyone.”

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Donna Cooney, said:

“Retail and tourism thrive in low-traffic areas. We’ve seen this evidence in cities around the world.

“When you create space for people to linger and enjoy, it is better for Dubliners and visitors.”

Delivering for Dublin: a political agreement for the City Council

Below is a political agreement reached in June 2024 between Dublin City Councillors from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and the Labour Party. It aims to run from 2024 until 2029.

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Camac flood risk: what is being done?

The River Camac is one of the main tributaries to the Liffey, but carries a risk of flooding. In 2011, there was a particularly bad flood which submerged homes, caused huge damage, and leaves many residents in the area understandably concerned and often unable to access insurance.

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15 new trees for Rialto: the plans

Dublin City Council is working to plant more street trees and bring more nature into the city. The Greens are strongly supportive and we are pushing the council to do more, along with budgeting for more parks, pocket forests, and greenery.

Some planting has already been done in the Rialto area along Reuben Street, with more to come on the north end of Reuben Street, Haroldville Avenue, and St. Anthony’s Road.

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Liffey Vale Biodiversity centre in Chapelizod & Islandbridge: latest

There’s a brilliant plan to build a biodiversity centre along the north bank of the Liffey, between Chapelizod and Islandbridge, just south of the Phoenix Park. The full project name is the “Cois Abhann Liffey Vale Biodiversity Centre”, which will restore and expand the historic Liffey Vale House, a beautiful Georgian building that has fallen into dereliction.

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What’s the deal with Bike Bunkers in Dublin?

Bike bunkers had a really successful trial in Dublin, starting in 2015. But there are still very few – despite huge demand. What gives?

I often get asked about the delay in rolling out the scheme. It’s one of the most frustrating delays I’ve seen on the council, but hopefully we’re beginning to make progress. This is a long saga, but hopefully gives you some insight into the delay behind this great idea.

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Magazine Fort in Phoenix park renovation: latest news

There’s a plan to renovate the brilliant Magazine Fort, a bastion fort in the Phoenix Park. Built in 1785 (and added to over the years), it’s a brilliant building, but is in terrible condition.

In October 2021, the Office of Public Works announced plans to renovate, restore, and protect the building. You can see some of those plans covered in the Irish Times here (the video is worth a look). The official OPW press release on the project is here.

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The Future of Kilmainham Mill: my submission

Kilmainham Mill has been saved. Dublin City Council has bought the site and recently finished stabilising the structure. A public consultation ran until 3rd November, asking for short feedback on what should the future use be.

The length of submissions was limited, so here is the short submission I put in:

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