HomeTravelGuinness pensioners voice concern over Dublin traffic plan

Guinness pensioners voice concern over Dublin traffic plan

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Former workers at the company say its fortunes could be adversely affected by restrictions

A group representing former workers at Diageo’s St James’s Gate site complained to Dublin City Council about the plans.

Several city centre businesses and lobby groups voiced concerns about the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan to reduce the number of cars travelling through the capital.

An early version of the plan published last year included 24-hour bus gates on the north and south quays to restrict use to public transport.

Last week local councillors were told these restrictions would now only apply between 7am and 7pm daily with the gates moved so longer sections of the quays are accessible to cars.

Diageo made a submission during a public consultation on the plan saying restrictions for HGVs would present a risk to the company when moving shipments between St James’s Gate and Dublin Port.

It said an alternative route through the north inner city would increase carbon emissions and cost it almost €1.1m more annually.

The value of the company’s exports is quite considerable and beneficial for the country’s economy

In a letter to Dublin City Council chief executive Richard Shakespeare, the Guinness Pensioners Association of Ireland (GPAI) said these concerns worried its members.

“As members of the Guinness community, Guinness pensioners have an interest in the company’s fortunes which it seems will be severely affected by the provision of the plan,” GPAI honorary secretary John Graham told Mr Shakespeare.

“The value of the company’s exports is quite considerable and beneficial for the country’s economy and business or commercial image. Ireland and Guinness are virtually synonymous, need we say?”

Mr Shakespeare told the GPAI that staff from the council’s traffic and transport division have met and will continue to engage with Diageo about the impacts of the draft plan.

Diageo discussed the proposals with the council and the National Transport Authority. It has said the company supports the overall goal of the plan to make Dublin more sustainable and hopes solutions can be agreed soon.

The Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate

Correspondence released under Freedom of Information also shows department stores Arnotts and Brown Thomas, as well as the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance, were worried about the impact of the plan.

Business group Ibec previously called on the plan, due to be implemented in August, to be paused.

Business, Employment and Retail Minister Emer Higgins last week said the plan should be delayed until 2025 to give time for further consultation.

Mr Shakespeare later told councillors he will consider an economic impact plan commissioned by the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance before deciding on when the plan will be rolled out.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said he believes the plan should not be delayed.

Other groups, including the Irish Heart Foundation, An Taisce and the Dublin Commuter Coalition support the plan, saying it should be implemented in full.

These groups have concerns that delaying the plan could hamper the roll-out of BusConnects and prevent road space being reallocated for active travel.

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