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Do not block ‘historic’ Guinness route to Dublin Port with new traffic ban, says Diageo

Stopping usage of the quays would increase costs, emissions and safety risks, brewer says

Guinness brewer Diageo has urged Dublin City Council not to block its “historic” route to Dublin Port by removing its lorries from the north and south quays.

The new Dublin City Centre Transport Plan would force Guinness lorries to take circuitous routes to the port, Diageo said, resulting in increased journey times, up to 927 more tonnes of CO2 emissions, road safety risks and additional costs of up to €2.2 million a year.

Trips from St James’s Gate brewery to the port and transport to licensed premises in the city centre “can arguably be classified as necessary” Diageo argued, due to its “economic and cultural significance to Dublin city.”

The transport plan aims to “remove traffic that has no destination in the city” with two out of every three motorists passing through, rather than stopping in town.


Parts of the plan will be implemented this summer with “bus gates” on Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay restricting access to public transport, cyclists and pedestrians. More than 90 per cent of the five-axle lorries travelling on Bachelors Walk from 7am-7pm “are movements from Diageo” the council said.

These measures would have “major operational and logistical challenges for Diageo’s operations” the company said, severing its “historic direct access to Dublin Port”.

In a 60-page submission to the council, Diageo assessed three potential routes to the port, if the current 7km trip, that it said takes roughly 33 minutes along the quays, was stopped. Two of these would involve lorries travelling through residential areas on the northside of the city, while the third would use the M50 and the port tunnel.

The first northside route would see lorries leave the north quays at Church Street, using Dorset Street and Drumcondra Road Lower. From there vehicles would take Clonliffe Road continuing on to Poplar Row and then East Wall Road into Dublin Port. This 10km route would take an average of 52 minutes.

The second route would use Infirmary Road beside Phoenix Park, then the North Circular Road to East Wall and the port. This 11km route would take roughly 67 minutes.

The final route would use the Chapelizod bypass to reach the M50 and the tunnel a 30km trip taking 55 minutes.

The first two routes run through densely populated areas with constrained junctions and “limited or no cycle infrastructure” the company said, resulting in “serious road safety risk to vulnerable road users” and “are therefore deemed unsuitable”.

The M50 route while safer, would result in considerably higher costs for the company and a 329 per cent increase in emissions by virtue of its additional length, the company said.

The increase in annual operating costs will place “an unnecessary and severe financial burden on the St James’s Gate operations, undermining the site’s competitiveness”, Diageo said and it requested the council allow it retain its heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on the quays.

Brendan O’Brien of the council’s traffic department said the council would engage with Diageo, but he said there was “an inherent issue in having large HGVs going through the busiest pedestrian crossing in the country that is O’Connell Bridge.”

He said none of the measures had been removed or changed in the final plan as a result of submissions from any party.

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Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times