It rained, it lashed, it poured,
We marched through the downpour. It seems crazy that in 2006 a Local Authority believes that throwing more roads at the traffic will solve our transport problems. The amazing think is that that it's not a road like the new road between the Glenageary Roundabout at Sallynoggin and Church Road in Killiney. This thing is a monster. It will bring tens of thousands of cars past people's driveways every day. It will exceed the noise levels for National roads. It'll have the same amount of traffic as the Arklow Bypass, but it'll bring them on to what is currently a series of cul-de-sacs.
Well, the inspector said in his report that:
"...the proposed road development would represent an inappropriate form of development which would encourage increased car usage and would conflict with national, regional and local policies for the sustainable development of transport."
He also stated that:
"I am satisfied that the proposed road would be likely to lead to a modal shift away from walking towards short-hop use of cars, on grounds of safety. This would, in my judgment, be particularly likely in relation to school children, who currently have safe routes to walk to the local schools within a 300m - 500m distance, being driven to school in the future. This is totally contrary to the emphasis and policy direction of the Platform for Change Strategy (and indeed other Government policies in relation to health and children generally."
The solution is for Government to provide more buses, and better routes in Dublin, instead of endless wrangling between Government partners; improve DART frequency; and extend the Luas to Bray, as well as providing Safe Routes to School at a local level.
After spending days at the Oral Hearing held by An Bord Pleanála in the Gresham Hotel last spring I was delighted with the Inspector's Report but bitterly disappointed that the Board itself over-ruled his decision. Matters will come to a head on Monday week 2nd October in the Council Chamber of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and it could turn nasty. The Green Party councillors led by ward councillor Nessa Childers will be voting not to proceed with the works under section 139 of the Local Government Act, and it's up to the other groups on the Council to decide what to do.
There's a lot of lobbying going on, as there'll clearly be winners and losers in all this. I've been receiving lots of texts and emails, and I do my best to win them over to my way of seeing things. Text lobbying seems to have emerged over the last few months. It's invasive, but effective. I just don't see the logic in spending €20 million plus on saving 30 seconds on a journey and reducing congestion by 1%, but as I said in my own evidence at the Inquiry even those figures are suspect. If more kids are going to be driven to school, it simply doesn't make sense.
Well done to Sean Mulvihill (shaking hands with Nessa and myself in the pic) and Barry Troy of the Rowenbyrn and District Residents Association for the time and effort that they've put into all of this. We'll see how it all pans out in the Council chamber on Monday week.