Sandymount traffic “remained pretty constant” while Irish Water had Merrion Gates blocked off northbound

A report to Dublin City councillors found that traffic “remained pretty constant” in the Sandymount area when Irish Water had Merrion Gates blocked off northbound for water main works, which would have a similar effect as the cycle route.

Yesterday, as part of the wider Dublin City Council allocation of national walking and cycling funding, the ‘Strand Road Active Travel Trial’ was allocated €100,000. However, as reported recently, nearly a year after the final court hearing, the Court of Appeal has yet to publish its decision on the appeal which Dublin City Council took against the High Court judgment against the project.

The report on the traffic impacts of the Irish Water project was drawn up to provide councillors with an overview of the effect of making the road one-way.

The traffic counts were taken on October 11th in 2022 before the Irish Water works started, and then, in 2023, on January 11th, February 7th, and March 2nd. The counters were located at the Merrion Road, Trintonville Road, Sandymount Road, Strand Road, and Park Avenue.

The report, drawn up by city council officials, said: “This analysis was carried out at the request of councillors as the closure of the northbound traffic at Merrion Gates had some elements that are similar to the proposed Strand Road cycle track trial, namely the reduction in the traffic lane on Strand [Road] to one southbound lane and no right turn at Merrion Gates for northbound traffic. Differences included that no cycle track was provided to encourage modal shift and the water works moved locations with various sections having two way traffic at different times.”

“It did offer an opportunity to examine if there was a significant impact or increase in traffic on other roads in the area, in particular Merrion Road, Tritonville Avenue and Sandymount Road. Merrion Road saw no change at peak hour and only a slight increase over 24 hours. Tritonville Road saw a slight increase whilst Sandymount Road saw a decrease in the peak and a slight increase over 24 hours,” the report said.

The report added: “Overall traffic volumes remained pretty constant in the area, and actually dropped slightly. No area experienced any significant increases in traffic volume (for example Tritonville saw an increase of 1 additional car every two minutes in the peak hour). Strand Road itself saw a very significant decrease in traffic volumes of 40%.”

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) said: “I welcome the factual information and believe it demonstrates even more why the Consultative Forum could have worked if established when and how I first proposed.”

Key graphs from the report:


  1. Of course, because it prevented traffic that would have come from Sean Moore Rd via Eastlink from the northside, intending to travel towards Blackrock. That traffic wouldn’t go via Sandymount, it would instead go via the city and reroute up Merrion Rd via Ballsbridge. A lot of the traffic on that road would be heading towards either Blackrock or Dun Laoghaire. The measure should have instead looked at traffic going via Northumberland Rd — Pembroke Rd as far as Merrion Rd


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