Dublin City Council Extension of 30km/h Zones

Dublin City Council (DCC) wants to introduce 30km/h speed zones on the Long Mile Road, Sliabh Bloom Park and Chapelizod Road when children are entering and leaving schools. At all other times the limit will remain at 50km/h. Members of the public are being asked for their say and all of the proposals will be put before the councils transport committee according to Shane Hickey of Independent.ie.

According to Aoife Anderson of the Independent.ie , City Councillor Andrew Montague (Lab) was the architect of the 30km/h zones. The current limit applies to all roads within the area extending from Bolton Street on the north side to Kevin Street on the south side, and from Church Street and Bridge Street on the west of the city centre to Gardiner Street and Dawson Street in the east. Aoife drove the route after there was mixed views as to whether a “green wave” was created allowing those travelling at 30km/h to be given green light priority. It didn’t work for her. Is it working for you?

DCC claims 45% of pedestrians are killed when hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h, but this reduces to 5% when the vehicle is moving at 30km/h. The RSA claim that at 30km/h one in ten pedestrians will die and at 50km/h one five will die. Therefore the motive to change the limit seems valid.

However, I do have concerns. In the UK the British Medical Journal published a paper about the effectiveness of 20 mph traffic zones in London.

Results: The introduction of 20 mph zones was associated with a 41.9% (95% confidence interval 36.0% to 47.8%) reduction in road casualties, after adjustment for underlying time trends. The percentage reduction was greatest in younger children and greater for the category of killed or seriously injured casualties than for minor injuries. There was no evidence of casualty migration to areas adjacent to 20 mph zones, where casualties also fell slightly by an average of 8.0% (4.4% to 11.5%).

Conclusions: 20 mph zones are effective measures for reducing road injuries and deaths.

Where is our study for Dublin? Surely we should measure the effectiveness of the 30 km/h from its implementation to date before extending it to more areas. Can we see any changes? Were the locations chosen correct? Why introduce the new limit for just the Longmile Road, Sliabh Bloom Park and Chapelozid? There are more schools in other areas.

I have a three year old daughter and they do run out in front of cars (stupidly). We certainly have a need to protect them. I have a real concern over variable speed limits though. Legally can they be enforced?

Dublin City Council is revising the Dublin City Council Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws 2009 which were made pursuant to the provisions of Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.  It is proposed to make new Bye-Laws to provide for variable speed limits at Long Mile Road, Slievebloom Park and Chapelizod Road at selected restricted times.

Dynamic speed limits might be something we need to look at into the future. Perhaps they could change with weather conditions? It opens up a new can of worms.

Copies of the proposed Bye-Laws are available free of charge at the above office, tel: 01 222 2251, and may also be viewed below

Dublin City Council will consider submissions made in relation to the proposed Bye-Laws.  Such submissions must be made in writing to the Executive Manager, Roads and Traffic Department, at the above address and received before 4.30 p.m. on 5th July, 2010