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By Chamber Press Office, 16 March 2018
Almost three quarters of companies in Dublin have seen the negative effects of congestion on their business increase over the past 3 months, according to a survey by Dublin Chamber.
The Chamber said that 73% of its members are reporting that traffic problems in Dublin have had an increasingly negative impact on their business since the start of December 2017, which co-incided with the launch of the new Luas Cross City green line extension.
Around 1 in 3 firms (29%) said that the negative effect of traffic congestion had increased 'a lot', while 44% said the impact had worsened 'a little'.
The Chamber has called on the Government to fast-track many of the transport projects earmarked for Dublin in the recently-launched Ireland 2040 plan. Less than 1 in 5 businesses (18%) polled by Dublin Chamber said that they think the Government is doing enough to improve Dublin's transport infrastructure. More than two-thirds (68%) said they do not believe the Government is doing enough on the infrastructure front in Dublin.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen: "As the economy continues to grow, congestion is becoming a bigger issue for businesses in Dublin. Our findings highlight the pressing need for Government to invest more ambitiously in Dublin's infrastructure and to speed-up the delivery of much-needed improvements to our public transport network. This includes big projects such as Metro North and the DART expansion programme, but also the BusConnects initiative and improvements to Dublin's cycling network and park-and-ride facilities."
The Chamber said that regardless of the outcome of the current College Green impasse, more joined-up planning and increased investment is required in the transport network across the entire Dublin region.
Mr McQueen said: "The number of people travelling in and out of Dublin city centre is now almost back at peak levels. But while numbers are growing, investment levels remain stagnant. This needs to be addressed urgently. With the publication of Ireland 2040, the Government has recognised the need to invest more. But plans on the page are no longer enough: now is time to activate those plans by making the necessary funding available and by getting spades in the ground. Until they do, congestion will continue to cost businesses money and the quality of life of Dubliners will continue to be eroded."
Dublin Chamber has warned that Dublin's public transport infrastructure is at saturation point on a daily basis – at a time when a significant number of growth opportunities are opening up for the city as a result of Brexit and wider economic impetus.
Mr McQueen added: "We welcome the ambition of reducing the number of cars coming into Dublin city centre and of getting more people to use public transport. But this won't happen without an ambitous and concerted investment plan. Too many people in Dublin still don't have access to an attractive and reliable public transport option. Increasing congestion is one of the competitiveness factors that will put off companies and staff from coming to Dublin. This will ultimately result in jobs and growth being lost to rival cities abroad. Commute times and ease of getting around are key factors that any company considering bringing jobs to Dublin will look at. Now is the time for the Government to pull the trigger on both short and long-term projects that will keep Dublin moving."