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2004
Plans for the Luas intersection at the Red Cow Roundabout
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4 May 2004

To ask the Minister for Transport his plans for the LUAS intersection at the Red Cow roundabout; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Olivia Mitchell. (Nominated by: Denis Naughten).
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 4th May, 2004.
Ref No:   10994/04

To ask the Minister for Transport the reasons he has chosen to reject the proposal to put the Luas on stilts at the Red Cow roundabout in Dublin; the further reason he has chosen to redevelop the Red Cow roundabout as a three-tier junction; when he expects work on the redevelopment of the roundabout to begin; the projected cost and the projected timeframe for the redevelopment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Pat Rabbitte. (Nominated by: Róisín Shortall).
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 4th May, 2004.
Ref No:   12503/04     Lottery:   72


To ask the Minister for Transport if he will report on the LUAS project including the Red Cow interchange; the extent to which cost overruns are expected; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Bernard J. Durkan.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 4th May, 2004.
Ref No:   12536/04     Lottery:   68     Proof:   66

Answered by Minister for Transport
(Séamus Brennan)

REPLY

I propose to take question nos 103, 105 and 101 together.

The position in regard to the N7/M50 junction (Red Cow Roundabout) is that the National Roads Authority (NRA) and South Dublin County Council are currently preparing plans, including a Motorway Order and Environmental Impact Statement, for the upgrade of the junction as part of the overall upgrade of the M50.  The upgrade works at the Red Cow interchange 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) by more than half.  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.  I understand from the NRA that the estimated cost of the upgrade of the M50 is 590 million euro (2002 prices) including a provision of 37 million euro for the upgrade of the N7/M50 junction. In the circumstances, I am satisfied that such an upgrade represents the best technical solution for the Red Cow interchange.

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 tram drivers yield to other traffic if they are confronted with a red light.

Luas passenger services will commence on the Tallaght Line end of August 2004 and on the Sandyford Line end of June 2004.  The RPA has informed me that the project is within the 691 million euro budget and 84 million euro risk provision as notified to the Government in 2002.