Traffic chaos to spread
The National Roads Authority (NRA) was released details of the current state of development of the M50.
Regular users of routes like the 75 or the 49 will already know the hassle that the slow pace of construction has caused, well folks, in the words of John McDaid, senior engineer of the entire project : “The pain is not over yet….it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
“What next,” I hear you ask. Well, the NRA thinks that the best way to alleviate the strain on the current road network is to open the motorway up as far back as they can, to get people onto the motorway as early as possible and to spare the old infrastructure any more torment.
Makes sense, right? Well it would if the road leading onto the mouth of the new section of the M50 was completed. It isn’t.
You see, the plan is to open to M50 into Ballinteer, effectively the Dundrum area. But work on the Dundrum By-Pass has barely begun, meaning that all motorway traffic will be travelling through Ballinteer, a residential area. Sure, some of the local roads have been upgraded slightly, but it’s like trying to stop a flood by reinforcing a fence. Not a good idea.
What does this mean or the average bus user? Well the official NRA publication which has been distributed throughout South Dublin makes no mention of public transport, let alone the effects this plodding construction project will have on real people. Not to worry though, because BUSRAGE is here. From what we can gather from the official line, and if we can believe what we’re told, the following routes will be affected until mid 2002 : 5,11,17,44,44B,44C,48A,86,75,114,115,116. If you use a route not listed here and it is also affected, let us know. Of course, if you use one of the routes which has been badly affected by traffic congestion in the Tallaght area, then take heart, for things along the city centre to Tallaght routes are going to get much, much better.
So, why is BUSRAGE so stroppy about the road building programme? perhaps it’s the fact that in any other European country, this road would have been finished years ago (and we do mean years, folks), and the only reason it hasn’t been is for one simple reason: politics.
The stretch of road north of the Liffey was completed in a jiffy, and from there to Tallaght was not far behind. However, the moment construction reached the leafy suburbs of South Dublin everything slowed to a snails pace. Suddenly talk was of ‘Local Consultation’ and a discussions with interested parties supplementing the formal pubic enquiry (src: NRA). Isn’t it strange that this unprecedented level of local involvement was distinctly absent along previous sections of the M50, and local considerations were brushed aside in favour of progress. Just look at the M50 map for gods sake, a perfectly drawn semi-circular arc, from the Airport to Tallaght. From then on it goes a bit wonky as ‘Local Consultation’ comes into play.
Here at BUSRAGE, we believe that ‘Local Consultation’ should have either been involved in to process from day one, or not at all, and what is really going on here is rich landowners in South County Dublin calling the shots. There’s an election around the corner, and all the politicians are looking after number one, themselves.