Bypass still needed say councillors
Meath County Council is set to address ongoing traffic problems in Julianstown village with a number of traffic calming measures, which will commence before the end of the year.
East Meath councillors received a detailed presentation of the proposed measures at the May meeting in Duleek, and whilst most welcomed the works as necessary and long overdue, there were some concerns at the impact, and also worries that they won’t replace the need for a bypass to the bottleneck.
Some of the improvement works announced are an upgrade to the Bus Stop to allow for disabled passengers to disembark, new ramps, footpaths, pedestrian railings, new raised pedestrian crossing at Whitecross National School.
“After a long campaign I welcome this plan to reduce speeding and improve road safety for all users. Julianstown village has suffered for too long with over 20,000 vehicles a day going through it at peak times,” said Cllr Elaine McGinty.
"While the plan is to spend €2.6m to slow traffic down, a bypass is still needed to reduce the volume of traffic going through the village. East Meath has seen an explosion of housing over the last number of years without the necessary infrastructure being put in place, this needs to change. “
The proposed Traffic Calming Scheme involves traffic calming on the main road through Julianstown through widening of footpaths, narrowing the carriageway, reduction of junction diameters and improving bus stops and pedestrian crossings
"Overall, the project of works will see significantly improved infrastructure and safety measures for both pedestrians and cyclists which is very important,” adds Cllr McGinty.
“I want to acknowledge Meath County Council’s significant work on this project and their contribution of €750,000 towards phase 1, we now need to ensure that the remaining funding is secured from central government to complete the works.”
Drogheda & East Meath Fianna Fáil Councillor Stephen McKee also welcomed the news that work on the Julianstown Traffic Calming Scheme is expected to start before the end of the year.
‘The scheme aims to address traffic and road safety issues through Julianstown and improve the local environment for residents. Traffic volumes are almost back to pre-COVID levels, having a very negative impact on the quality of life in the village and traffic calming is badly needed through the village so the project can't come soon enough,” he said.
“I am disappointed however that traffic lights at both the Duleek and Laytown junctions which I had been calling for on behalf of residents, have not been included. Even so, the scheme presented has many positive aspects and will make life better for the residents of Julianstown. I look forward to the Scheme starting as soon as possible.”
Cllr Paddy Meade added his call for a village bypass to still remain the preferable option.
"It could be argued that at times we don’t need traffic calming as the traffic is going that slowly through the village,” he pointed out. “There is still far too much traffic going through Julianstown, and a bypass is still the dream, but if only for the new school building, the measures should be welcomed.”
Cllr Sharon Tolan expressed concerns at the possibility of a single lane coming from the Duleek road junction out onto the Julianstown Road.
"There will be serious log-jams if someone wanting to turn left towards Drogheda has to sit and wait behind someone turning right towards Dublin, and having to cross two lanes of traffic,” she pointed out. “Perhaps a yellow box would assist as well or traffic lights.”
In response, she was told it probably should be single lane and the traffic would slow down at the ramp.