Saturday 19 October 2019

Anger at closure of roads for Ironman

Myles Buchanan

Roundwood residents have hit out at the lack of consultation that took place in advance of a decision to close local roads to facilitate an Ironman competition.

The first locals knew of any closures was when signs were placed around the village stating that roads would be closed on Sunday, August 19, to facilitate the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon 2018. The event starts off in Dun Laoghaire but the cycle section will travel through Enniskerry toward Roundwood, turning west to the Sally Gap.

The main stretch of road from Roundwood to Enniskerry will be closed, as will the road leading from Roundwood to Lough Dan. The closure also continues from the Wicklow Way heading north to the R759 and the Sally Gap.

Roundwood resident Brendan Molloy estimates that up to 500 houses in the area will be affected.

'People are annoyed and asking questions, like why didn't any public consultation take place? It would have taken only one public meeting in Roundwood to let everyone know. We live here, while the organisers are only visiting, you would think the very least they would have done is engage with the local community,' said Mr Molloy.

'The Wicklow 100 and 200 Cycling Challenge pass right by my house and there must be 2,000 to 3,000 participants involved. It's never an issue and it doesn't require the closure of the road,' he said.

'Sunday morning is a time when people are always going somewhere - whether that be to Mass or to visit family or friends. Plus, through Roundwood is the main route towards Glendalough. If the weather is good this Sunday, there will be queues of cars heading to Glendalough and there could be complete chaos,' Brendan said.

Cllr Shay Cullen is also seeking answers over the lack of consultation. Usually, an application for a road closure has to be advertised locally, which doesn't appear to have happened.

Notice of the proposed road closures were advertised by Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council with last Friday the closing date for submissions. A similar notice was posted on the Wicklow County Council website last Tuesday, August 7.

'These signs suddenly appearing in the village to tell people roads would be closed has caused a great deal of frustration. It should have been advertised a lot better and the local community should have been involved. There is no doubt that a lot of people are annoyed,' he said.

Cllr Cullen has met with the gardaí, Wicklow County Council officials and the triathlon organisers and has received reassurances that local access will be permitted.

'I have been informed that anyone who wants to enter or leave their property between the hours of 7.30 a.m. and 12 noon will be accommodated by the race organisers. They can be contacted by telephoning 01 5313311 or by email at Ideally, they would like prior notice so they can have a marshal to escort you in or out safely,' said Cllr Cullen.

'I have also asked for a stop and go system in place for entering and leaving the village rather then the complete closure and re-routing of traffic, they have agreed to this request.

'I am still far from happy with the way this whole situation has been dealt with, but I think these concessions will help on the day,' said Cllr Cullen.

The roads set for closure are the R117 Enniskerry Road from the Dublin boundary to Monastery Road from 715 a.m. to 10.15 a.m.; the R117 Enniskerry Road from Monastery Road to Forge Road, Forge Road and the R760 from Forge Road to Deerpark Road from 7.15 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.; The Deerpark Road from the R70 to L1036, the L1036 and the R755 from the L1036 to Togher Pairc from 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Togher Pairc from the R755 to Ashtown Lane and Ashtown Lane from Togher Pairc to the Wicklow Way from 7.30 a.m. to 11.15 a.m.; the Wicklow Way from Ashtown Lane to the R759 and from the Wicklow Way to the Sally Gap/R115 Old Military Road from 7.30 a.m. to 11.45 a.m.; R115 Old Military Road from the Sally Gap and R759 to Dublin County boundary.

All junctions will be manned by marshals and flagmen. Traffic shall only be stopped immediately prior to and after the cyclists pass. The crossing of the route shall be allowed during the race once it has been deemed safe by the Gardai.

Bray People