Dublin traffic needs a brake

by Ian Begley

DUBLIN comes in as one of the world’s top 10 cities with the worst traffic congestion problems, according to a report from SatNav maker TomTom. And businesses in the capital identify the issue as a threat to national recovery.
The TomTom’s annual traffic index puts Dublin as 10th most congested city in the world, and the sixth in Europe.
The report claims shortcuts to avoid traffic snarl-ups usually add about 50% to travel time, and commuters spend about eight working days a year stuck in traffic.
It found Dublin had a congestion level of 35%, meaning travel times in the city are 35% longer than in free-flowing road conditions.
During rush-hour travel times the index reported travelling in Dublin took 74% longer than free-flow traffic while in the evenings it takes commuters 71% longer.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce chief executive Gina Quinn told The Gazette that heavy traffic was preventing businesses from growing and threatened national recovery.
She said: “Dublin businesses say traffic congestion is preventing them from growing and creating jobs. A recent poll of our member companies found 80% of firms believe congestion is a competitiveness issue for Dublin.
“Dublin’s traffic congestion is a threat to the recovery of the whole country. If the national recovery is to move up through the gears, then Dublin, as the engine of the national economy, must be supported and allowed to grow.”
A spokesperson from the National Transport Authority told The Gazette it promoted public transport, walking and cycling to address Dublin’s car congestion.
He said: “Obviously, it is a matter of personal choice when a person opts to drive into the city rather than take public transport, walk or cycle, but we continue to work towards incentivising the choice to leave the car at home.”

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