— Pedestrian/cycle bridges over M50 should be prioritised over more links to congested M50, says Cllr.
Despite growing evidence that adding road capacity in urban congested areas does not work, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is planning to build a new link road at Sandyford industrial estate without footpaths or cycle paths.
It’s part of the council’s strategy for the area which is focused a priority of building more link roads, some of which are built and others approved but not yet built.
The Part 8 planning details on the council’s website for the latest link road states: “The land take for the Bracken Road Extension will be sufficient to allow for the future provision of footpaths and a two-way cycle track. The provision of the footpaths and cycle track is contingent on similar facilities being provided on Drummartin Link Road.”
The council states that the development of the Sandyford area over the last two decades has resulted in the generation of significant volumes of traffic with resultant long traffic queuing on all roads leading into and out of Sandyford Business Park at peak times.
The council’s main solution for Sandyford is a number of new link roads, mostly providing more direct access to an already heavily congested M50.
The planning report states: “The Council has prioritised the construction of Bracken Link Road as an objective in the Sandyford Urban Framework Plan (SUFP), which forms Appendix 15 of the County Development Plan 2016-2022, to facilitate future development within the Sandyford Business District.”
However, Cllr Ossian Smyth (Green Party) said: “The planned Bracken Link Road on this scheme is meant to carry 4,000 vehicles per day and would be an additional exit for cars from the Sandyford industrial estate. This is being done in the hope that an extra road will reduce car traffic congestion. However, Transport Infrastructure Ireland recently admitted that adding road capacity in urban congested areas does not work — it simply creates wider traffic jams with more cars and makes other modes of transport slower and more dangerous.”
He added: “Right now it it’s very difficult to safely travel on foot or by bike, from the housing estates outside the M50 over the motorway to the office blocks on the Dublin side of the M50. Two pedestrian/cycle bridges are planned, and these are the pieces of infrastructure that need to be prioritised rather than adding extra room for more cars.”
Cllr Smyth thinks that part of the reluctance to provide for cycling could be that the Drummartin Link Road — a road between the new link road and the M50 — is part of the planned Eastern Bypass motorway reservation to connect the M50 with the Port Tunnel through Booterstown and a tunnel under Dublin bay. This will create a “huge motorway junction” around the planned link road and the nearby M50.
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The cross-sections and the drawings mark the cycle paths and footpaths as “future” additions: