I have never had the privilege of addressing such a full Chamber but it is fading away quickly. I addressed my previous comments to general aspects of the Bill and now want to refer to more specific aspects.
Section 9 deals with speed limits. One change I propose concerns the duty to consult other bodies. There is a duty to consult the Garda and the town council, if there is one. I suggest that an amendment be proposed to ensure there is a duty to consult neighbouring county councils or local authorities generally. We have had a problem in my county council area, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, with roads contiguous to Dublin City Council areas where speed limits change at the local authority border. This makes no sense. The problem would be obviated if local authorities were obliged to consult neighbouring authorities when setting speed limits.
Section 9(6) deals with different speed limits on the same road and carriageway at different times. This has something to do with quality bus corridors. The local authorities in my area, in which there are many quality bus corridors, want to be able to create a lower speed limit in the bus corridor to the one that applies on the main part of the carriageway. For example, on the N11 this would mean that cars could drive at the normal 60 kph on the carriageway while traffic in the quality bus corridor would observe a 50 kph limit. This would make sense because the bus corridor is generally adjacent to a cycle lane or pathway used by pedestrians. It would be of benefit to drive at a slower speed. This subsection is, therefore, welcome.
On the issue of speed limits, I do not want to sound like a flat-earther, but we licence cars that can travel faster than 120 km per hour. If it will always be illegal to travel faster than 120 km per hour when this Bill becomes law, is it right to licence vehicles that can go faster? Perhaps this is a matter that could be dealt with in the future. It cannot be dealt with in this Bill. However, some cars being sold today are capable of travelling at enormous speeds. It is incredible, pointless and will always be illegal to travel at such speeds. Perhaps the introduction of some kind of damper could be considered at a later stage. That being said, those speeds are not always the most dangerous. A speed limit of 50 miles per hour in a built-up area can be equally lethal.
Section 10 deals with roadworks. I am pleased with this section because there is a problem on the N11 where there is a 30 miles per hour speed limit. The N11 is a dual carriageway running from Dublin to Wexford. There is a 30 miles per hour speed limit because the NRA and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council cannot agree on a speed limit. Therefore, the 30 miles per hour speed limit remains for no good reason. I have it on anecdotal authority only that residents are worried that gardaí are sitting in ambush and giving motorists penalty points for going faster than 30 miles per hour on a dual carriageway. That is not sensible. Section 10 allows the local authority to revoke the speed limit. I am glad this is being done because it is not right that it should take so long or that it should have to go through a public consultation process or anything of that order.
There are other problems that need to be dealt with. One relates to road maintenance. Again, I refer to a local problem. Seapoint Road, which becomes Crofton Road, and Monkstown Road are parallel roads that feed into Dún Laoghaire. There are roadworks on both roads. It is not rocket science to work out this should not happen. As a result, the roadworks at Crofton Road are being carried out at night and the residents are very annoyed about it. Surely some legislative provision could be introduced to ensure road closures do not occur at the same on roads that feed into the same area. It does not make sense. When there is so little space and so much traffic it seems a very bad decision. I am aware it is a management decision and not affected by the proposals we are discussing.