Mitchell, Cancellation of N/M11 improvement scheme Major Blow to Wicklow

The recent road funding announcement showed no funding for this much needed scheme. I enquired and found that it was decided in December to ‘Suspend’ it but it wasn’t announced. This scheme is vital to Wicklow residents and industry. When traffic returns to pre Covid levels it will be chaotic as many more houses have been built in the past 2 years and Cherrywood will have many new residents.

Also the bus priority scheme, which is to go as far South as the Glenview Junction on the N11 has been scaled back and will not exist around Bray. The Express Buses which were to provide public transport will get stuck in traffic. Journey times are already far too long.

‘I blame the Green Party Minister of Transport Eamon Ryan for cancelling this project. He is fortunate to live close to Dublin, keeps promoting the ‘15 minute city’ because he is close but forgets about those further out than 15 minutes. This is a major problem as the expansion of the Dublin Region has taken place on the periphery, not in the centre, better transport must be provided for these further out areas’ said Cllr Derek Mitchell (FG).

I met the then Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, with Simon Harris TD in 2013 to press for this work. The study then started in 2014, initially from Fassaroe to Kilmacanoge, later extended from the M50 to Coynes Cross. The studies have cost many millions. The N11 was designed many decades ago with defective, cheap, junctions which cause delays and safety problems. They still urgently need sorting out.

I spent 22 years campaigning to get the DART to Greystones and in 2018 wrote a Transport Plan for East Wicklow. Part of that, the partial double tracking to Greystones to give increased frequency has been included in the DART+ programme, but Irish Rails recent submission confirms that Rosslare passengers will, in the medium term, have to change to DART in Greystones in order to give closer in passengers a better service. My plan was for direct trains. The submission does mention vague details of using battery trains to Kilcoole & Wicklow but few details.

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