The Irish Independent has reported that motorists
in the Greater Dublin area are still facing bumper-to-bumper
traffic during rush-hour, according to AA Roadwatch - despite
new figures which show a dramatic drop in the number of cars
entering the city centre.
New figures from Dublin City Council (DCC) show that between
1997 and 2007, the number of cars entering the city between
the Royal and Grand canals during morning rush-hour dropped
by over 10,000 to 63,269 - a drop of 14pc.
However, Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch says that, despite
this 'hidden success', thousands of commuters in the
capital's suburbs are facing heavy traffic. "It sounds strange
when you hear people calling Dublin city traffic a disaster"
- Mr Faughnan told The Irish Independent. "But it really
depends where you are. However, in the city centre, traffic
has improved. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly,
there has been an increase in traffic volumes away from the
city caused by more jobs outside the city centre.
"The other is the improvement in the provision of public
transport - the Luas now carries 29 million people and there
are improvements like Quality Bus Corridors."
However, Mr Faughnan pointed out that traffic volumes along
other routes linking the city to areas like Swords, Blanchardstown,
Lucan and the N11, continued to suffer heavy traffic. Figures
show an increase of 300 buses entering the city over the last
10 years - up 18pc.
Dublin Bus accounted for 80pc of the bus traffic in and out
of the city between 2002 and 2007. However, the number of
private buses operating in the city centre is steadily increasing
- with a 30pc jump in the same five-year period.
The effect of the Dublin Port Tunnel, which opened last January,
can also be seen, with the volume of goods vehicles dropping
to just under 1,500 in 2007 - from 2,291 in 2006 and 2,711
A small increase of 1,000 cars entering the city since 2006
may also be due to the opening of the Port Tunnel, as more
motorists opt to travel on city streets since the introduction
of the five axle ban.
The number of commuters choosing to ride a motorcycle to
work in order to get around more quickly has jumped by a third
since 1997 - to 2,429. The number of cyclists entering the
city increased by 48.
The DCC survey was based on traffic counts at 33 locations
on the cordon at the Royal and Grand Canals.