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M50 traffic could decrease

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Deputy Stephen Donnelly

Deputy Stephen Donnelly

Deputy Stephen Donnelly

The Covid-19 crisis could lead to a permanent reduction of traffic on the M50 and M11/N11, according to Deputy Stephen Donnelly.

New figures show that recent traffic on the motorway has dropped by 75 per cent, compared to the same time period last year.

On average, the daily volumes of traffic for the period March 13 to 31 2019 saw 147,391 cars using the M50.

For the same period this year there was only 81,455 cars on the M50 representing a 45 per cent reduction.

In April 2019, 151,487 cars travelled on the road, reducing to 42,709 during April this year.

'We have seen a significant drop-off in traffic over the past two months and this has been a direct result of the collective effort to stay at home during the Covid-19 restrictions,' said Deputy Donnelly.

Traffic on the M11/N11 road has risen dramatically since Glen O' the Downs was widened to a dual carriageway, going from 25,600 vehicles a day in 1999 to 53,000 in 2018.

Traffic volume grows to 78,000 when it is counted north of Bray on the M11 just inside the County Dublin border.

Some 20,000 of these vehicles are from County Wexford, about 14,000 of them recorded north of Gorey.

Deputy Donnelly said the issue of traffic congestion in Wicklow was of major concern with plans in place to look at introducing bus lanes on the N11 as a way of easing the tailbacks.

'More and more people are now working at home and not travelling on the M50 and what would normally be a daily commute for many,' he said.

'When the restrictions begin to be eased, we need to look at ways where this traffic could be reduced each week and one way would be allowing for flexibility when it comes to working from home.

'If we can get that to work it would help to ease a massive headache for Wicklow commuters who have seen their quality of life drop because of the growing amount of time they are being forced getting to and from work.'

He said that costly plans for a bypass in Delgany or additional lanes on the N11 could potentially be shelved.

'I'll continue to work with the various State agencies to pursue my proposal for a dedicated bus lane, more park and rides as well as higher frequency buses and Darts,' said Deputy Donnelly.

'It is clear the future is integrated public transport, coupled with smart measures like home working,' he said.

'However, the ultimate answer is for more Wicklow-based jobs.'

Bray People