A THIRD LANE is badly needed on the N11/M11 roadway to tackle increased traffic congestion, according to a report by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
The long-awaited report on how to improve the N11/M50, published yesterday, finds that any delay in road network improvements will “constrain growth” and hinder productivity in Wicklow and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown areas.
It recommends a number of key improvements to the road network, which TII states is of vital importance nationally.
“It is imperative that it begins to operate more efficiently,” states the report.
At present, road users are currently experiencing “significant queuing and delays during the peak periods” at the approach to Bray, finds the report.
Therefore it recommends the dual carriageway be expanded to three lanes from the M50 to Kilmacanoge Junction 9.
The study states that investment in this section of the M11/N11 would address urban congestion, adding:
Any further delay in investment in this section of the M11/N11 will lead to further increases in congestion along the corridor and indeed within the wider area; and will further constrain growth in the north and east of Wicklow and the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown area, as a result of reduced competitiveness and productivity.
It is understood the National Infrastructure Plan does not contain money for these improvements, however, it is currently being reviewed.
Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly previously voiced his concerns about the ever-increasing traffic volumes on the carriageway, which has been in operation since 1991.
‘N11 is a a car park by 4.30pm’
“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.
The Wicklow 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.
TII states that over the last two decades, there has been significant development in the towns served by the M11/N11 corridor, most notably in Bray, Greystones, southeast Wicklow and north Wexford.
The report finds that traffic volumes have increased to these areas due to the lack of public transport improvements.
“The corresponding improvement to public transport has been limited, with only minor enhancements of rail services, and the sporadic introduction of bus routes which have relied mostly on the response of private operators to a partially regulated market,” finds the report.
Traffic data collated for this stretch of the M11/N11 since 1998 shows traffic has more than doubled.
In 1998, the annual average daily traffic on M11/N11 at Fassaroe was 33,000, whereas in 2016 it was recorded at approximately 69,000.
In addition, the report also recognised a need for an additional bridge across the River Dargle so as to provide further connectivity between the M11/N11 and Bray.
The location for an additional bridge crossing will require further consideration.
Wicklow County Councillor, Fine Gael’s Derek Mitchell said there have been nine previous reports on the N11, none of which have produced action.
“It is essential that a number of phases are implemented from now otherwise East Wicklow will seize up.”