HomeBussinessDublin traffic restrictions will block Guinness trucks’ route to port

Dublin traffic restrictions will block Guinness trucks’ route to port

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The iconic St James’s Gate brewery is one of several city-centre businesses that has concerns about the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan, which aims to reduce the number of private cars in the capital.

Fine Gael junior minister Emer Higgins has called for it to be postponed.

The first measure will be the insertion of “bus gates” on Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay between 7am and 7pm, restricting use to public transport. This will have a direct impact on Diageo’s operations at the St James’s Gate Brewery, which has an annual capacity of 1.2 billion pints, 75pc of which is exported.

In a submission to the public consultation phase, Diageo pointed out that it is a “key Irish-based exporter”, whose shipments transit through Dublin Port and whose HGVs use the north and south quays.

“Any restrictions to HGV traffic on this route would therefore represent a commercial and operational risk to Diageo, as well as having negative externalities in terms of road safety and carbon emissions,” it said.

A route through the north inner city, via Church Street and Drumcondra Road, would add up to €1.09m in costs, and 121 tonnes of CO2, the brewery said.

Talks between the two sides have been continuing for months, including about alternative routes. It seems unlikely that council officials will agree to 40 round-trips by Guinness trucks each day through the narrow streets of the north inner city.

While their original plan proposed shutting the quays permanently to private traffic, the 7am-7pm concession does not solve Diageo’s problem. Dublin Port closes at 5.30pm, and it does not have extensive over-night storage for freight.

Noise restrictions at St James’s Gate, imposed by the council itself, mean Diageo cannot operate there all night.

A Diageo spokesperson said: “We take our responsibilities as a major employer and civic stakeholder in Dublin City very seriously and support the overall goal of the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan of making Dublin a more sustainable, dynamic and inclusive city.

“We have engaged with Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority on a number of issues regarding the plan – these engagements are continuing, and we hope that solutions can soon be agreed upon.”

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