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HGV ban leads to intensified traffic on M50 – Crowe

19 February, 2007

Speaking today as the ban on heavy good vehicles (HGVs) with five or more axles came into operation in Dublin, Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe expressed concern at this morning's intensified traffic chaos on the M50 and said this new measure is simply moving a traffic problem from one place to another.

The Dublin South-West TD said, "I obviously support the objective behind this measure to remove HGVs from the city centre. However, Sinn Féin most recently expressed our huge concerns last December in a meeting with the Dublin City County Manager that with the opening of the Port Tunnel and this subsequent HGV measure there would be chaos on the M50 and the surrounding feeder routes. Sinn Féin activists across the city have been monitoring the situation today and, judging by their reports, our fears have been realised. Our activists have reported serious chaos on the M50, even worse than usual if one can imagine. One driver reported that it took 25 minutes to move just 200 metres in the direction of the airport.

"It beggars belief that the upgrade of the M50 was not completed before HGVs were forced to use Dublin's main motorway. An estimated 6,300 HGVs will now be made use the M50, a motorway already in chaos. In this context Sinn Féin are calling for the fast-tracking of the M50 upgrade in conjunction with the lifting of toll barriers. There is a general feeling among motorists out there that the M50 will now come to a complete standstill, ensuring that the analogy of Europe's biggest car park seems more real.

"With this measure to move HGVs away from the city centre, there must be better management of goods deliveries in the Dublin area to compliment the move. While the Government are restricting HGV movements around the city which is welcome, they are also sitting idly by while CIE are running down freight.

"The traffic chaos has occurred this morning due to a myopic transport policy approach by the Government which failed to listen to the concerns of the National Roads Authority and indeed drivers themselves. There seems a distinct lack of a joined up approach regarding traffic management in this city. While this HGV ban is progressive in that it will remove HGVs from the City Centre's already congested roads, it needs to be facilitated by an already upgraded M50 and positive goods management policy."


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