Friday 19 January 2018

How demand management works...

THE NRA has suggested three ways of controlling the number of motorists using the M50 – traffic controls, multi-point tolling and travel initiatives.

The reason they are needed is because the M50 has already been upgraded at a cost of €1bn, and is in danger of becoming congested. It cannot be upgraded a second time, as there is no land along the route which would allow additional lanes to be installed.

Q Multi-point tolling would involve installing five tolling points along the 45km motorway. When each tolling point is passed, a €1.30 charge is incurred. The maximum charge would be €6.50.

The computer and payment system is already in place to allow this, as barrier-free tolling is in place since 2010. Erecting the tolling points and cameras would take about three years, and would result in 10pc (11,000) of vehicles a day leaving the motorway.

Q Traffic controls are also proposed, which include lower speed limits at some points. These reduce the need for motorists to switch lanes, which can result in collisions.

An accident occurs every 1.6 days, resulting in disruption and delays. The use of traffic lights at key junctions to restrict the number of vehicles allowed enter the motorway at certain times is also proposed.

Q Finally, smarter travel initiatives – more public transport and cycling and walking facilities – across the city would help reduce demand by up to 2pc – or 2,200 vehicles a day.

Irish Independent

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