Where is local democracy in road plans?

 

Sir, – Further to the article “Sand-hued cyclepaths changing the face of south Dublin coast” (News, August 8th) on the Dublin Coastal Cycling Route, in addition to the new one-way systems and cycleways on the coast, Blackrock, and Dundrum, there are additional cycle-paths and routes being implemented, with roads being narrowed, traffic-light sequences shortened, and turning-lanes reduced throughout the council area.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council officials acknowledge this will reduce vehicle road traffic capacity. However, no traffic forecasts have been done, and no traffic-flow modelling undertaken. The councillors are told the traffic will “disappear”. Perhaps.

But there is evidence of diversions into residential areas, compounding the commuter rat-running and parking in the county. No initiatives or budget is planned to deal with this.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County is a commuter county, and traffic planning has also omitted consultation with Wicklow County Council and Dublin City Council. In fact, there has been no standard public consultation or debate at council level for these major infrastructure changes led by unelected officials. Public communications are limited and late. Yet major changes in resident and commuter behaviours are required so they can continue their journeys.

The key point I am making here is not one in favour or opposition to cycle routes or road changes, but the lack of real local democracy and real local consultation before these effectively permanent changes are made.

Perhaps in September, as parents grapple with staggered school drop-offs, and anxious returning commuters avoid public transport, traffic chaos is not inevitable. However, at the moment the council appears to be just hoping for the best. And hope is not the basis for an effective transport strategy. – Yours, etc,

Cllr MAEVE O’CONNELL,

Dún Laoghaire

Rathdown County Council,

Kilmacud,

Co Dublin.