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'It's a car park by 4.30pm': Vital upgrades and a third lane needed on N11, report finds

Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly says congestion on the road is only going to get worse if improvements aren’t made now.

INVESTMENT AND UPGRADES to the N11/M11 roadway are needed to tackle increased traffic congestion, according to preliminary findings of a report by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

The N11 is a major national road, connecting from Wexford to Dublin, and is one of the main routes used by commuters to the capital each day.

TII is due to publish the findings of their traffic survey of the N11 shortly.

The report’s preliminary findings include a recommendation that short-term measures to address the bottleneck areas are found.

It also recommends that longer term, more permanent solutions are also invested in, referencing the need for a third lane at key choke points on the roadway, as well as other measures to improve capacity.

“In addition to public transport improvements or investments along the corridor, additional road infrastructure or capacity is required,” states the TII in a letter to Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly seen by TheJournal.ie.

Widening to three lanes 

To cater for additional traffic on the road, upgrades to some junctions along the M11 junctions are also needed, including the widening of the road to three lanes at particular areas.

The report finds that congestion is worst at the Bray South and Fassaroe Junctions, which are used by commuters travelling from Wicklow.

“The N11 has been coming under increasing pressure in recent years, with gridlock now beginning to appear by 7am northbound. Southbound, it can be a car park by 4.30pm. One factor is more people returning to work, which is the good news,” said Donnelly.

site16Camera101 Live cam of the N11 yesterday evening. Source: TII

The independent TD said the “network simply isn’t capable of dealing with the additional journeys” adding that the public transport network just isn’t an option for many.

Despite vital upgrades being identified, TII notes that the government’s Building on Recovery Infrastructure and Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021 does not make any provisions for investment in the M11/N11 corridor at present.

‘Congestion likely to get worse’

“Without intervention, congestion is likely to get worse, which is not an acceptable situation,” explained Donnelly.

At this time, the government’s infrastructure plan, up to 2021, doesn’t include any works for alleviating the current problems. In fact, it doesn’t even mention the blockages that the TII report has now verified. I have contacted the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, to ask that the infrastructure plan be updated, in light of these new findings from TII.

The TII said that once its report is finalised a development strategy will be developed with Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councils and the National Transport Authority.

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