To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which he has resolved transport difficulties, existing or anticipated, in respect of the operation of the Port Tunnel and the competition between road and rail traffic at the Red Cow Roundabout; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Bernard J. Durkan.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 2nd March, 2004.
Ref No: 6821/04 Lottery: 48 Proof: 155
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Mr Séamus Brennan T.D.)
In parallel with the opening to traffic of the Dublin Port Tunnel in 2005 Dublin City Council will be introducing a heavy goods vehicle traffic management strategy to ensure that maximum traffic benefits are secured from the DPT. The development and implementation of this strategy is primarily a matter for Dublin City Council
I understand that the position relating to the Red Cow Roundabout is that the upgrade works proposed at the roundabout as part of the overall M50 upgrade project are intended to remove as much traffic as possible from the signal controlled environment through the provision of additional structures and free flow slips that are separated from other traffic movements. This will significantly increase the overall capacity of the interchange and reduce the Luas/car interface so that both the road and Luas network will have increased capacity to maintain a satisfactory level of service. The proposed works will reduce the volume of traffic interfacing with Luas (i.e. traffic crossed by Luas) significantly. Subject to satisfactory progress in planning and design and securing An Bord Pleanala approval, it is expected that work on upgrading the Red Cow interchange will commence in Spring 2005 and be completed by Spring 2007.
In the meantime, both the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) and Dublin Transportation Office (DTO) are satisfied that Luas, despite the current unsatisfactory traffic conditions at the Red Cow junction, will be able to operate satisfactorily using existing traffic signal sequences, pending the upgrade of the junction as part of the M50 upgrade project. The trams are driven in much the same way as a car or a bus in that drivers yield to other traffic if they are confronted with a red light