PRESS RELEASE - 22 May 2020
“Without the City Council's COVID-19 mobility plan, the city will come to a standstill as more people return to work”
Dublin Commuter Coalition welcomes Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority’s mobility programme titled ‘Enabling the City to Return to Work: Interim Mobility Intervention Programme for Dublin City’. The report clearly identifies the problems we face to keep our city moving as the number of commuters increase and the requirement to maintain physical distancing remains in place.
With the reduction in capacity of our public transport system, it’s clear that we need to rapidly enable people to switch to walking and cycling to prevent complete gridlock as more people start returning to work. The report sets out ambitious targets to double the number of people walking and triple the number of people cycling into the city during the morning peak.
Chairperson of Dublin Commuter Coalition, Kevin Carter, said: “There will undoubtedly be pushback on such drastic proposals to reorganise the city. But it cannot be said often enough, there is simply not enough room for everyone to commute into Dublin by car. We must prioritise what little space we have to move as many people as possible. In normal circumstances that would be fulfilled by public transport, but in this new world that job has to be fulfilled by walking and cycling. Moving as many people as possible will enable people to travel to work, enjoy what recreation they can and shop in our centres again.“
PRO of Dublin Commuter Coalition, Feljin Jose, said: “We’re always talking to people who say they would commute by bike if they felt safer. This goes some way towards making it safer for them and enabling them to switch to cycling. However, these are temporary measures and we must not lose sight of plans such as BusConnects and the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network which would deliver permanent protected bike lanes across the city and improve the public realm for those walking too.“
Ordinary Member of the committee of Dublin Commuter Coalition, Simon Boyne, said: “While the plan proposes much needed infrastructure in the city centre, we also need enforcement all around the city to make it work. A protected bike lane in the city centre is no good if there are cars parked on the bike lane for the rest of your commute. Maybe the councils could hire traffic wardens again instead of relying on Gardaí to enforce illegal parking.”
Dublin Commuter Coalition will further propose its vision for mobility in Dublin in the near term in its Refocused Vision document that aims to make walking and cycling the centre of all sustainable mobility efforts between now and 2022. We will also encourage continued investment in public transport, including protecting the BusConnects, Metrolink and DART Expansion projects that will play an even more integral role in our city after this crisis has passed. The Refocused Vision document will be released later this month.