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Written Answers. - Dublin Traffic Management.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 108. Mr. O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the measures he intends to take to relieve congestion in Dublin city centre during the Christmas period. [23494/02]

 406. Mr. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  his plans to relieve the city's traffic problems in the run up to Christmas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23775/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 and 406 together.

The Government has undertaken substantial investment in public transport, roads infrastructure and traffic management programmes in order to meet the transport needs of the greater Dublin area. One of the objectives of this investment is to ensure the vitality of the city centre. The Dublin Transportation Office's policy document, A Platform for Change, sets out a comprehensive integrated strategy to respond to the transportation needs of the greater Dublin area, GDA, in the period to 2016.

Specific traffic management measures such as those intended to deal with seasonal congestion problems are a matter for the relevant local authorities, the CIE companies and the Dublin Transportation Office, as well as the Garda Síochána. As is now usual, these authorities are working together on the seventh annual Operation Free[179] flow. Operation Freeflow 2002 will start on 1 December 2002 and run until 6 January 2003 in the greater Dublin area. It is aimed at managing and controlling traffic congestion in the Dublin region and at improving public transport services during that period.

The initiative has been planned under the auspices of the Dublin Transportation Office in close co-operation with the Garda Síochána, the office of the director of traffic in Dublin City Council, the other Dublin local authorities, and transport service providers over the past two months. This process has been geared towards December when the increase in car volume and shoppers is traditionally at its peak.

The majority of disruptive Luas works in the greater Dublin area will cease for the duration of the operation. No new road works will commence after 25 November 2002 and, where feasible, existing road works on the main arterial and orbital routes will cease for the duration of the operation. The initiative also involves the provision of late night DART services and Christmas Nitelink services.

An additional 110 Garda probationers will be re-deployed to the Dublin region to boost existing traffic resources and the Garda pedal cycle unit will also be deployed in the city centre to assist with traffic congestion.

A public information campaign spearheaded by the DTO and involving all relevant authorities and transport providers will be complemented by a new information website where up to date public information will be available from 1 December and the availability of a freephone telephone number for people to report urgent traffic matters to allow them to be addressed by the relevant authorities.

Question No. 109 answered with Question No. 77.

Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 60.

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