The price of car dependency

James Wickham08/03/2016

James Wickham: Three almost random stories about Dublin’s transport disaster. The first two show what happens if there is little investment in public transport; the third shows one consequence of stop-go investment, governed by short-term expediencies…

1. Noise – why Dubliners sleep badly

Dublin’s population is more exposed to noise at night than all Western European cities included in the study. This is apparently probably because of traffic noise.

This is from a European Commission report ‘The costs of not implementing the environmental acquis’.

2. Congestion – why Dubliners take so long to get to work

Compared to many other cities around the world, Dublin now has one of the highest levels of congestion in the peak morning and evening hours. Ok we’re not so bad as Istanbul but we’re trying. The chart shows the top 20 cities from a total of 200 included in the TomTom congestion index.
This is taken from the recent European Commission Ireland country report that Paul Sweeney’s been discussing. It states: ‘The shortage of mass transit facilities around Dublin has led to increasing road congestion and high associated economic and environmental costs’.

3. Another reason why stop-go planning costs more

You won’t believe this but it’s apparently true. Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council have now started to give back €19.9m to developers…
These are the development levies which they collected from developers along the line of the original Metro North route. Planned to open in 2012 (!) ‘the new line isn’t expected until in [sic] 2026 or 2027’ (Irish Times 7 March 2016). And since the new line will be different from what was originally planned, the National Transport Authority has told the councils to hand back the money…

Professor James Wickham

James Wickham

James Wickham was Jean Monnet Professor of European Labour Market Studies and Professor in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. He has published widely on employment, transport and migration in Ireland and Europe; he is the author of Gridlock: Dublin’s Transport Crisis and the Future of the City and co-author of New Mobilities in Europe: Polish Migration to Ireland post-2004.  His book Unequal Europe: Social divisions and social cohesion in an old continent analysed the collapse of the European Social Model; his new text book European Societies (Routledge 2020) examines the structures of inequality in contemporary Europe.  He is a former director of TASC. 



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