Wednesday 22 May 2019

Jugback Lane in 'purgatory'

Jugback Lane in Swords
Jugback Lane in Swords

John Manning at Balbriggan/Swords area meeting

The council is sticking by its long held position that the ultimate solution to road safety issues on Jugback Lane is to close the lane to vehicular traffic but local councillors have asked the local authority to look at other solutions.

Cllr Duncan Smith asked the council to provide 'hard traffic calming solutions on Jugback Lane' but the council maintained its controversial position that the best way to make the lane safe is to close it to traffic.

In a written report on the issue, the local authority argued: 'The provision of traffic management on Jugback Lane south of Glen Ellen Distributor Road has been the subject of many representations in recent years.

'A previous recommendation of the Traffic Section to prohibit vehicular traffic along the section of Jugback Lane referred to in this question was rejected by the members a number of years ago .

'It remains the position of the Traffic Section that this part of Jugback Lane should be closed to vehicular traffic. Such a measure would ensure the safety and improve accessibility for the large number of pedestrians and cyclists who use this lane and also remove the need for traffic calming to be provided.'

Cllr Smith said he could not accept the report. He said that decision referred to by the council had become a 'purgatorial accommodation that it has never emerged from since'.

He said: 'We have to get our hands around this and resolve this.' The Labour councillor said the lane had a lot of traffic and had speeding issues but closing it was not the solution.

He said: 'If it's closed off at the top as the council wishes, it is not going to stop the traffic that goes to the school there, the school is going to remain there and is only going to get bigger over the next few years.'

Cllr Smith said the school and local residents want traffic calming on the road and it was time to act as the lane was 'unsafe'.

Cllr Philip Lynam (SF) and Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) also oppose closing the lane. Cllr Lynam asked the council look at opportunities to widen the lane in an effort to make it safer while Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said councillors and officials need to sit down together to agree a number of options for the lane and then 'put it to the people' in the form of a plebiscite to determine the future of the lane. Council officials said they could investigate the situation again but there was no guarantee that it would not reach the same conclusion about the lane's future.

Fingal Independent