Transport Plan Needs ‘Real-Life’ Traffic Analysis

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Transport Plan Needs ‘Real-Life’ Traffic Analysis

Latest press release from Cllr Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Wednesday, October 30th 2019…

Social Democrats Cllr. for Greystones Jennifer Whitmore, has called for Wicklow County Council to develop a Transport Plan for the Greystones Municipal District, saying that a ‘real-life’ representation of the traffic and public transport patterns for residents is urgently required to enable the sustainable development of the area, and to ensure that whatever new housing is being built is met with sufficient transport infrastructure.

Whitmore said “For years now, residents in the Greystones District have had to suffer from public transport and road infrastructure that cannot meet the demand placed on it by residents commuting on a daily basis. As a public representative for the area, I have raised this issue repeatedly with the National Transport Authority (NTA), Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann and Irish Rail. The response has always been the same – that there has been a lack of Government investment in public transport but that investment is planned for the future. However, this funding never seems to materialise, despite the many promises over the years.

“In fact, in the last couple of weeks, the NTA has admitted that even if an order for new carriages was placed today, it would be at least 4 years before they were available to be used because of manufacturing lead-in times. The much-heralded BusConnects proposal won’t be finished until 2023, assuming it all goes according to schedule. And there are still no firm plans or funding available for the significant upgrade to the N11 that has been talked about now for years. So, in a best-case scenario, we are looking at 4 or 5 years before we will start seeing any transport improvements.

“In the meantime, significant housing development is happening in the district, and in areas like Newtownmountkennedy and Wicklow Town, bringing more and more new residents and commuters into the area. Whilst new homes are welcome, they must be matched with the required corresponding infrastructure. A recent submission from Cairns for over 400 hundred units in Farrankelly talked about how the development was close to the N11, a Dublin Bus service and the Dart. However, everyone that uses public transport or the N11 knows that these services are full to capacity and that they could not take any additional demand.

“At last night’s monthly meeting of the Greystones District Council, I raised this as a significant issue. I have called for Wicklow County Council to develop a Transport Plan, that will look at the lands that are zoned for development, and the travel demand that is associated with this land usage. There also needs to be a review of the current public transport and traffic patterns, and recommendations made as to what interventions are required to enable the sustainable development of the area. This information should be used to inform planning decisions and the next round of the local area plans to ensure that we have sustainable development of the district. I got full support from my Councillor colleagues for the motion, and I hope that the proposal is met favourably by the officials in Wicklow County Council.

“I will certainly continue to push for this critical issue.”