Responding to Dublin’s twin crises of housing supply and traffic congestion

September 9, 2016  

The following is a summary of William’s presentation to the Annual Conference of the Regional Studies Association Ireland 2016. The conference theme is ‘Planning for Regional Development: The National Planning Framework as a Roadmap for Ireland’s Future?


Dublin is facingm50 the twin crises of housing supply and traffic congestion

We need to build more houses in Dublin.

But there are already warnings that the road network will struggle to handle new development.

The 2016 TomTom Traffic Index ranks as joint 2nd most congested city of ALL cities globally – irrespective of size – when it comes to morning peak congestion, with a congestion level score of 85%. Only Mexico City ranks worst.

Yet, in the absence of adequate public transport, Dublin’s roads will be expected to accommodate a disproportion share of trips from new development in places such as Adamstown and Clonburris.

We need a more coordinated response to match housing supply with transport capacity.

Disappointingly, some of the proposed transport infrastructure projects identified in the NTA Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy 2016-2035, which would service lands earmarked for plan-led housing supply, were not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021. For example, the DART underground tunnel which would facilitate the extension of high frequency commuter rail services from Lucan, Clondalkin, Adamstown and Clonburris.

However, with the new National Planning Framework due to be finalised in early 2017 and the mid-term review of the Capital Programme now also due in 2017, there is a now a timely and exciting opportunity to begin aligning capital investment with regional development and spatial planning objectives; and in turn to support realisation of local and regional plans such as the GDA Transport Strategy.