Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

National Transport Authority

3:30 pm

Photo of Paul McAuliffePaul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing me to raise this issue. Having had the pleasure of sitting through the earlier Topical Issue debates, I often think this portion of the week better reflects the work I do in my clinic every week and probably the work every other Deputy in this House does.

We are all committed to active travel. The Government has invested more in this area than any other Government. We are doing so to deal with climate change. Across Dublin, I see examples of how that investment is being turned into more cycle lanes and better access for people with disabilities and pedestrians. However, in one location, the interchange at the M1-R104, better known as the Oscar Traynor roundabout, we are not seeing those improvements. It is a classic tale of two local authorities and a transport authority not coming together to service the needs of a community that is divided as a result of an outdated form of roads engineering project that did not take account of cycling and walking.

Children living in Oak Park, Royal Oak, Santry Villas or any other part of Santry who attend Gaelscoil Cholmcille must effectively cross a motorway interchange to get to school. One traffic survey in 2017 found there were more than 3,000 traffic movements between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. at that junction. As Members can imagine, this makes it impossible for a child on a bike. We can imagine a young mother or father taking young children to school and trying to negotiate what is effectively a motorway interchange.

I would not normally bring an issue such as this to the House but in this case, the north side of the roundabout is dealt with by Fingal County Council, the south side is dealt with by Dublin City Council, and the National Transport Authority, through Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, manages the roundabout. Nobody seems to be availing of the considerable resources the Government has put in place to ensure there is proper cycling and pedestrian facilities at this interchange. I ask the Department of Transport to take an active interest in this issue to ensure that one of the local authorities takes the lead on it and that it is supported by the TII. In all of that, we must ensure there are better facilities on the ground for the people who need them.


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