Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is increasing the speed limit on outer ring road necessary?

A debate on increasing the speed limit on the outer ring road took place at this months City Council meeting. A motion was tabled by Fine Gael Councillor John Cummins to increase the limit from 60KPH to 80 KPH. This blogger approached the issue with an open mind and listened intently to the arguments in favour - the speed limit was simply to low, the road is an effective carriageway and limit should reflect this and secondary roads off the ring road had 80KMP limits. And then bang the killer punch arrived. The proposer confessed that the Gardai are opposed to increasing the limit and the city council Director of Services pointed to the need for costly engineering improvements if the limit was increased.

And it got me thinking. What material difference would the limit increase have on the motorist and how much time would you save if you travelled the full length of the road. The answer is seconds. I am sorry but increasing the speed limit on a road with adjoining footpaths to save a few seconds is not something that can be justified. An argument was made that the increase was needed because motorists were travelling 80KMP anyway. I do not believe motorist habits should determine speed limits and regard has to be given to the advice of the experts. For the record I drove the road today and was happy to stick to the 60KMP limit. A report is being prepared for all councillors and I understand that it will advise that we stick with the current limit. I will find it difficult to go against such advice but I look forward to the issue coming back to council again for final consideration. To readers of this blog, if you have an opinion on the subject matters drop me a line.

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