Transport infrastructure is the key to delivery of plans
Key to the delivery of the housing and employment generating development at the heart of the masterplans for Swords being put on public display this week, is an effective transport network and while that is mostly predicated on the arrival of Metro, the council has moved to put other measures in place ahead of the Metro's arrival to support the ongoing development of Swords.
The council did that recently with the publication of the South Fingal Transport Study and Paul Carroll, Senior Engineer in the council's Planning ans Strategic Infrastructure Department told the Fingal Independent a little about what is planned.
He said: 'To bring coherent sustainable development to Swords, those developments need to be supported in the medium term in advance of the Metro coming on stream.
'So what we did is we looked at what other transport infrastructure is required in Swords in advance so we are kind of hitting the ground running when Metro comes on stream.'
He added: 'I suppose the big headline items are Metrolink and BusConnects obviously and they will provide very strong connectivity down to the airport and on into the city centre. But one of the other findings of the study which was really useful for us was that there was a large number of people in Swords who are travelling within Swords but are driving when they don't necessarily need to drive given the distances involved. That led us onto a number of key recommendations. One of the key ones would be that we have plans to bring forward a strong cycling network, in particular along the western road corridors in like the Rathbeale Road and Forest Road. The Rathbeale Road upgrade project is actually going to tender at the moment.'
'Other elements that will be brought forward underpinned by that study which will underpin the masterplans as well is the Fosterstown Link Road which will provide a link from the Forest Road to the Pinnock Hill roundabout and it will free up traffic that to a certain extent currently needs to go into Swords town centre and back out again to head towards Dublin Airport or the city centre.'
Mr Carroll said: 'There's a Western Relief Road and a Western Distributor Road on the County Development Plan at the moment. The Western Relief Road didn't come out as a recommended scheme in the time horizon to 2027, however it will remain on the County Development Plan because our study only looked at this finite time period. The Swords Western Distributor Road which is the one which is further in and runs through the Lissenhall LAP lands to the north did come out favourably and it ties in well with the proposed Metrolink 3,000 space park and ride in the Lissenhall lands and will free up traffic from the western part of Swords...'