Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
179. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the degree to which it is expected to grant access for motor commuters to Dublin city in the future given the future indicative parking charges; if this is likely to impact on productivity given the necessity to compete with the modern pace of activity and life; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2569/23]
Future traffic management measures, including parking charges, for Dublin City will be considered within the context of a new Demand Management Scheme for the Greater Dublin Area, in line with Action 40 of the National Sustainable Mobility Policy. The development of this Scheme is being led by the National Transport Authority in conjunction with relevant local authorities, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and my Department. In addition to this Scheme, my department will also be developing a new National Demand Management Strategy for the transport sector in line with a commitment under the most recent Climate Action Plan (CAP23), published in December 2022.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021sets out Ireland’s legally binding emissions reduction targets, along with a carbon budget programme and sectoral ceilings that are consistent with achieving a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030 and a net-zero position by 2050. For the transport sector, this means a 50% in transport emissions (relative to 2018 levels) by 2030. To achieve this target, Government is supporting a large-scale transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and higher levels of biofuels in the fuel mix. However, these measures - on their own - will not deliver the emissions reduction required. Neither will they address congestion issues.
The CAP23 identifies additional action that must be taken to bridge this gap, and places a particular focus on reducing the use of private cars in favour of sustainable transport modes – walking, cycling, public and shared transport . In this context, CAP23 sets out to achieve a 20% reduction in total vehicle kilometres and a reduction in fuel usage of 50%.
Demand management measures to support these targets, including parking measures, will be developed alongside significant investment and delivery of viable and sustainable alternatives to the private car, providing the necessary supports for people to transition to cleaner, more efficient journeys.
As well as reducing emissions, demand management measures can deliver significant benefits for urban centres - improving air quality, permeability, accessibility and their overall attractiveness as places to live, work and visit. They can also make a substantial contribution to tackling congestion, which is a growing problem in Dublin City. In a recently published global traffic index for 2022, Dublin was ranked 12th most congested city in the world, with drivers losing an estimated 114 hours in traffic annually. This is not sustainable from a productivity perspective, and demand management measures can play an important role in returning time lost to commuters and residents alike.
Taking account of the above, all future measures for Dublin City will be considered as part of the development of the aforementioned Demand Management Scheme for the GDA, which is being led by the National Transport Authority. Both the GDA Scheme, and the new national strategy, will be developed over the course of this year and will be the subject of substantial public consultation and engagement.