New information obtained by Fianna Fáil this week reveals that there has been a major decrease in the number of dedicated traffic corps members since 2008 – Dublin alone is down 86 while there’s a 42% decrease nationwide.
Senator Ardagh commented, “The Garda Traffic Corp is directly responsible for the full enforcement of road traffic legislation and to assisting the free flow of traffic in and around the Capital.
“Despite there being a greater demand on our city’s road network and more road users including cyclists and motorists, the number of dedicated Gardaí policing our roads has fallen.
“It is near fact that greater Garda visibility and stricter enforcement act as a real deterrent against law breaking on the roads.
“There are many well established communities and busy neighbourhoods in the Dublin South Central area including the Liberties, Inchicore, Chapelizod, Drimnagh and Crumlin. Our quadrant of Dublin City which is south of the Liffey remains heavily affected by congestion and other traffic related issues.
"As construction of the new Children's Hospital gets underway locally, it is inevitable that there the level of traffic on our roads will only continue to rise. The robust traffic management plan that was promised by Dublin City Council in tandem with the building, surely requires the co-operation of a well resourced Garda Traffic Corps.
“With these issues in mind, it is astonishing to learn that the Traffic Corp in Dublin South Central has suffered a dramatic reduction and now operates with less than a third of personnel than it did in 2008.
“The Road Safety Authority has been consistently vocal in their call to increase the allocation of staff to the road traffic division, but instead this Government has continued to preside over substantial cuts.
“Last year’s Policing Plan clearly commits to increasing the number of personnel dedicated to traffic duties by 10%. Based on the information our party has received, it is categorically clear that this has not transpired.
"The Government certainly appear more focussed on promotional events and photo opportunities than on ensuring the full delivery of effective road safety and measures aimed at improving traffic flow in the Capital,” concluded Senator Ardagh.