Friday 26 May 2017

Expert slams 'orbital route' proposal that promises to solve M50 traffic chaos

Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Ryan Nugent

A major public transport infrastructure is needed in west Dublin to improve “the most congested part of Ireland”, according to an industry expert.

A report by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is predicting significant infrastructure congestion increases on three major west Dublin Roads by 2023 – the M50, N4 and N7.

The report explains that the National Road Network will experience increases in travel times and delays by 2023, with the M50 set to be the worst affected, followed by the N4 and N7.

A proposal to build an orbital route that links the N4 and N7 is being discussed.

However, while this will lead to improvements, it won’t solve the problem, argues Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch.

Mr Faughnan said that congestion will continue even with new infrastructure.

He explained that the increase in cars on the road was a result of an improving economy.

Mr Faughnan suggested improved public transport links and cycling routes.

“This is a good-quality problem to have, the issue being suffered by west Dublin generally is a side-effect of economic growth in the Dublin region,” Mr Faughnan said.

“That little pocket of the island, if you take the N7, the N4 and the M50, that is actually the most congested part of the entire island, so it’s always going to be a busy area.

“We need to be a bit more strategic than simply building new roads to fix the problem, because they inevitably tend to fill up.

“If you look at the M50 for example. Do you want to put two decks on it? Three decks? Long-term it doesn’t add up.”

Mr Faughnan said that commuters have no alternative but to drive in the capital if they want to get from one side of the city to the other.

“There has to be an investment more broadly in public transport. That area is only served reasonably well – quite good links into the city centre. If you’re trying to get from Tallaght to Finglas it becomes impracticable,” he said.

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