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Should motorists be charged more for using the M50 to help ease traffic?

Here’s what the government plans to do to combat Dublin traffic – and some advice from the Green Party.

1/5/2013. Traffic Congestions Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE GREEN PARTY has called on the government to prioritise public transport investment, ahead of the coalition’s upcoming capital investment plan announcement.

The party’s spokesperson on transport Tom Kivlehan has said that gridlock on the M50 will only get worse if the government doesn’t commit to investing in public transport.

The National Roads Authority Demand Management study has shown how gridlock on the M50 is inevitable if we stick with the business as usual transport model. With our economy once again growing at 5% per annum the gridlock forecast for the next decade is now going to arrive within the next five years.”

Kivlehan noted that sections of the M50 are now carrying over 130,000 vehicles per day.

He said the infrastructure investment plan, due to be published by the government next week, is “the last chance to avoid that gridlock and set our transport system in a more sustainable direction”.

Kivlehan said that in order to alleviate the the increased traffic on the M50, further charges on using the road should be applied or else a public transport alternative needs to be found.

“We need a new meshed Bus Rapid Transit system which includes orbital bus services and new rail lines that attract development away from the motorway,” he said.

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe told TheJournal.ie: “The growth that we are seeing, and the corresponding increase in the number of cars that are now on our roads, is a direct result of the determined efforts of this government to restore our economy and secure our recovery.”

Metro line

The spokesperson stated that investment in projects such as Luas Cross City and the Phoenix Park Tunnel “will increase the numbers using public transport, and alleviate traffic congestion across Dublin in the years ahead”.

Yesterday it was announced that plans for an underground Dart line were shelved while a “lower cost technical solution” is found.

The projected cost of the underground line was €3 billion, €40 million of which was already spent.

paschal Donohoe speaking in the Dáil today. Source: Screengrab/Oireachtas.ie

Today the Irish Times reports that the coalition is considering a revised metro system to run between Dublin city centre and the airport and Swords. Donohoe would not confirm this in the Dáil today.

The department spokesperson noted:

An announcement will be made next week on the preferred transport option to serve north Dublin, from the city centre to the airport and on to Swords. This government is committed to getting the country back to work and to ensuring that we have a transport system in place to support that.

Read: Does Dublin ‘urgently’ need Dart Underground?

Read: People had to be stopped jumping off a bridge on the M50 today

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