Operation ‘Open City’ launched in Dublin

Gardaí and key transport bodies facilitate traffic movements in Dublin – until December 24th 2014

The aim of Dublin’s seasonal traffic management campaign, Operation Open City, is to help people get about their day’s business, and enjoy the seasonal festivities, by facilitating the movement of public transport in Dublin and minimising traffic disruption to the general public through high visibility and enforcement activity.

Operation Open City, co-ordinated by An Garda Siochána and involving the National Transport Authority, the National Roads Authority, the Dublin local authorities, transport providers and the business community, went live yesterday, December 7 and will remain in force on the streets of Dublin until it is stood down on Christmas Eve, December 24. Full details are available on the Operation Open City section of www.transportforireland.ie

Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe TD said: ‘The surge in the number of people coming into the city centre in the run-up to Christmas often means that congestion is at its worst. In a bid to deal with increased traffic volumes on our roads, An Garda Siochána will, again this year, work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that traffic flows freely and that people can go about their business with minimal disruption. We have made numerous advances in recent years in making public transport a more attractive option. The introduction of Real Time Passenger Information, as well as the broad use of social media, means that commuters are better able to plan the journey ahead than ever before. If people are coming to town over the coming weeks to see the lights, to visit the Christmas markets or to pay a visit to Father Christmas, I would strongly urge them to consider leaving the car at home and to hop on a Luas, DART or bus for a more hassle-free and stress-free day out’.

Key activities in 2014 include:

• Highly visible Garda traffic patrols on the city’s arterial routes, car parks and main shopping areas during peak commuting and shopping times and at key venues and arenas for major concerts and events scheduled for December (incl. Andre Rieu, Elton John, Madness);
• Monitoring of clearways, Quality Bus Corridors and Luas tracks to minimise vehicular obstruction;
• Additional night-time public transport services on bus and Luas;
• Provision of a rapid-response towing services to quickly clear breakdown incidents – provided by Dublin Bus for commercial vehicles and Dublin City Parking Services for general traffic;
• Provision of 2 Garda Quick Response Teams to respond to critical incidents, one north city and one south city, daily.
• Daily teleconferencing between the key players – Gardaí, National Transport Authority, local authorities, etc to ensure rapid responses and immediate shared information throughout the crucial pre-Christmas period
• Use of social and other media to share information quickly with the public (@gardatraffic)

People are strongly encouraged to leave their cars at home whenever possible over December, and to use the National Transport Authority’s Apps to help them get about on public transport:

• The National Journey Planner which plots public transport trip options – in real time – between any two addresses in Ireland; and
• Real Time Ireland which gives up-to-the-minute arrival time information for buses, Luas, trains; etc

All road users should note that recent analyses by the Garda Síochána Analysis Service has found that of the 24 fatal collisions this year in the Dublin region, the two most common periods for Fatal Collisions were the peak rush hour periods of 8am-10am and 4pm-6pm daily, where 10 fatal collisions have occurred to date.

For many businesses in Dublin, the 6-7 weeks before Christmas can represent between 30% and 35% of their annual turnover. City centre footfall numbers from 2013 show that from the week beginning 4th November through to Christmas Eve, almost 23 million consumers visited the city – or 460,000 people per day. Already this year in 2014, the first big week of Christmas shopping has showed an increase of 20% on the busy retail streets.