Speed Review - Frequently Asked Questions:

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Why is Dublin City Council carrying out this Public Consultation?

Dublin City Council proposes to continue its rollout of 30km/hr speed zones which we initially introduced to Dublin in 2005, with subsequent areas included in 2010. The principle objective of assessing the appropriate speed limits for our roads and streets is to ensure that the set speed limits are as safe and appropriate as possible for vulnerable road users, including children.

This is a public consultation of the proposed DCC Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws 2016 for the Dublin City Council area in accordance with the provisions of Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.

This public consultation is being carried out for two purposes:

The first is to seek public feedback for the introduction of revised Special Speed Limits 2016 which includes the expansion of 30km/hr zones in the Dublin City Council administrative area. This will inform whether the proposed Bye-Laws will be adopted or not by the Elected Members of Dublin City Council.

The second purpose is to seek public feedback in relation to identifying additional areas for the introduction of additional Special Speed Limits for a subsequent Public Consultation in 2017.

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What is the public being asked to do?

Firstly, we are requesting the public to consider the attached information documents which inform the context and objectives of our speed limit review and how calmer traffic speeds in residential and school areas can particularly benefit their communities.

We are requesting the public to then inform this consultation process as to their preference to see the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws being adopted or not.  Should these Bye-Laws be adopted, that will initiate the rollout of additional 30km/hr speed zones shaded in yellow and light blue, as identified on the accompanying drawing.

In addition, we request members of the public, and in particular residents within Dublin City Council’s area, to indicate their comments in relation to the further review of speed limits on all roads and streets in the Dublin City Council area which will inform future proposals for managing speed limits, for example; additional 30km/hr zones.

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What is the benefit of lower speed limits, particularly in residential areas and around schools?

Speed is a major contributory factor to road deaths in the Republic of Ireland. Between 1997 and 2012, excessive speed contributed to 21% of our road deaths. This is equivalent to 1,162 lives (source: RSA). In Dublin City Council’s area, since January 2009 to December 2015, 54% of fatalities due to road traffic accidents were pedestrians. The benefit of lower speed limits is principally to substantially reduce the risk of fatal injury for vulnerable road users in a collision and improve road safety. This overriding principle must inform any decision to change a default speed limit.  In additional there would be environmental benefits to introducing lower speeds within our residential areas and in the proximity of schools, making these areas more people friendly.  Specifically the main benefits of a lower speed limit would be to vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists and especially children.

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What does Phase 1 and 2 include (the Bye-Laws now being proposed)?

Phase 1 and Phase 2 are shaded in yellow and light blue, respectively, on the drawing in Appendix E. Both Phase 1 & 2 are included within the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-laws 2016, which propose that these shaded areas will have a 30km/hr speed limit introduced, should the Bye-Laws be adopted.

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What will Phase 3 include (currently being reviewed only)?

As part of this Public Consultation, we are seeking feedback in relation to identifying additional areas for the introduction of additional Special Speed Limits for a subsequent Public Consultation in 2017. The Phase 3 element of this Public Consultation includes the review of all roads and streets and all available speed limits, including arterial roads and including 40 & 50km/hr speed limits. This feedback will inform the Council’s future considerations for reviewing speed limits in our administrative area.

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Where are the 30km/hr speed limits in Dublin at present?

Currently there is a 30km/hr speed limit in the core city centre, Dublin 1 & 2, in Marino, Dublin 3 and in Irishtown and Ballsbridge in Dublin 4.  Appendix C is a drawing that shows the existing 30km/hr speed limits in Dublin City Council’s area, shaded in pink.

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Do the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws affect the arterial roads in and out of Dublin City Centre?

No. As part of the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws 2016, only the areas, roads & streets shaded in pink, yellow and light blue would be 30km/hr speed zones, should the bye-Laws be adopted (Phase 1&2). The arterial roads through these areas are not shaded and are intended to remain at the current default speed limit of 50km/hr as part of the proposed Bye-Laws.

As part of Phase 3 all roads and streets are subject to review in this Public Consultation and should members of the public wish to submit their feedback in relation to the current speed limits on arterial roads, then this is welcome also. This feedback will inform the outcome of our review of all roads and streets shaded in grey on the drawing in Appendix E.

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What are the perceived negative effects should the Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws be adopted?

If adopted, the Special Speed Limits Bye-laws would require drivers to travel at lower speeds when inside the 30km/hr speed zones.  Dublin City Council has measured the impact this would have on a driver’s journey time travelling from an existing arterial road to the innermost street within a proposed 30km/hr zone and then exiting at the opposite end of the 30km/hr area. The greatest increase to a driver’s journey time would not exceed 1 minute in that situation of greatest inconvenience. However the substantial majority of motorists would see an increase of less than 20 seconds to their journey time when accessing a location within the proposed 30km/hr speed zones.

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If the Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws are adopted, when will the rollout of the expanded 30km/hr happen?

On completion of this Public Consultation, we will present a report on its outcome to the Elected Members for their consideration (expected October 2016). Should the Special Speed Limits be adopted, the Transportation Department of Dublin City Council will begin the installation of the required infrastructure for the erection of the speed signs. The process will include a scheduled rollout to each area identified in yellow and light blue on the drawing in Appendix E. This process would begin in November of this year, beginning with the areas within the city canals (Phase 1) and thereafter the areas identified outside the canals (Phase 2).

Phase 1 will be in place on the 23rd December 2016 should the Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws be adopted

Phase 2 will be in place on the 31st March 2017 should the Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws be adopted.

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Is there any additional Road Safety measures being progressed to compliment the proposed bye-laws?

Dublin City Council is also finalising its Road Safety Strategy 2016 – 2020. This will supersede our current Road Safety Plan and its associated actions.  This will include various initiatives and actions to highlight and further inform the public of the importance of road safety. Also this review of speed limits is being carried out in close consultation with An Garda Siochána to ensure their input into our proposals and their assistance in informing the public of any changes to the speed limits.

Each year the Transportation Department of Dublin City Council implements their Capital Works Contract (engineering solutions). This contract is to introduce various traffic infrastructures to improve the safety of our roads and streets.  These works may include; additional street signage, revised parking layouts, tightening the corners at junctions or installing speed ramps.

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How will we monitor the affects of the proposed bye-laws should they be introduced?

Dublin City Council has carried out speed surveys in all the areas included in the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws 2016.  Should the Bye-Laws be adopted by the Elected Members, Dublin City Council will carry out a "before and after", an evaluation of areas where the speed limits have been changed. The results of our monitoring and evaluation will inform our annual investments in our annual Capital Works Contract.

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How do the proposed Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws become Law?

The Road Traffic Act 2004 (Section 9) provides the legislative basis for speed limits, providing for the application of default speed limits in respect of various road types.  Default speed limits can only be changed by making Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws. The power to do so is vested in the Elected Members of Local Authorities.

On completion of this Public Consultation, the Transportation Department of Dublin City Council will present a report on its outcome to the Elected Members for their consideration and decision to adopt the Bye-Laws or otherwise. We expect to have the report with the Elected Members for their consideration in October of this year.

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Why are submissions from the public important?

This Public Consultation is a statutory process.  Importantly, it provides Dublin City Council with the perspective and experiences of the public.  It is critical and right to engage in a meaningful way with the Public to understand your opinion on the speed limits and associated matters in your area.

If 30km/hr speed limits are to be introduced it is crucial to our decision making process that there is community support for a change in speed limits. The overriding principle that must inform any decision to change a default speed limit should be Road Safety.  In addition, to be effective, a speed limit should be self regulating (self explaining) and regarded as appropriate by road users and should not be imposed on a road unless there is a clear justification for doing so.

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Where can get more information on road safety and the impact of lower speed limits?

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What other countries or cities are introducing 30km/hr speed limits or the equivalent?

The Department of Transport Tourism and Sport issued the Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland in March 2015 (hereafter referred to the ‘Guidelines’). The Guidelines outline a 24 month mandatory process up to April 2017 to which all Local Authorities shall adhere to in delivering their policy and schedule for setting speed limits within their local authority area.  Currently, many Local Authorities across the Republic of Ireland are progress a similar review to that of Dublin City Council, including our neighbouring Local Authorities.

Edinburgh has had a number of 20mph zones across its city for a number of years to date. Currently this city has undertaken to rollout their 20mph zones across the city.

Other cities which are actively progressing to introduce speed limits similar to our 30km/hr proposal include;

  • France - Grenoble, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Nantes, Rennes and Lorient, to name a few.
  • UK – Over 55 towns and cities across the UK have introduced a 20mph speed limit, including; Edinburgh, Glasgow, Warrington, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and many of London’s Boroughs.
  • Also many cities and towns in Switzerland and Spain have progressed to 30km/hr speed limits.

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