Urgent action needed to avoid imminent M50 gridlock

Hundreds of Offaly commuters affected every day

Offaly Express Reporter

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Urgent action needed to avoid imminent M50 gridlock

Offaly commutes face bigger delays on M50

The Green Party has called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD to take urgent action to prevent further traffic chaos on Dublin's M50 orbital motorway.

Hundreds of Offaly commuters are caught in the worsening gridlock each day.

Ciarán Cuffe, Green Party Councillor and chair of Dublin City Council's Transport Committee, accused Minister Ross of taking his eyes off the road on the issue.

“The M50 is grinding to a halt," he commented. "Traffic volumes have risen by 6% last year and are up by the same amount again this year. Decisive action is long overdue. Two years ago the M50 Demand Management Report was published by the four Dublin local authorities and the National Roads Authority which laid bare the gridlock the city is facing. Not enough has been done to date, and Minister Ross continues to drag his feet on its implementation. He must now act decisively.

Among the measures suggested by the Green Party are.

-provision of new orbital bus routes adjacent to and on the M50,

-lower bus fares to encourage people to leave their car at home

-variable speed limits on the M50 to reduce accidents that cause delays,

-an increase in commuter rail services from towns such as Naas into Dublin City,

-a tolling system that reflects distance travelled on the motorway,

-encouragement of car-pooling,

-Smarter Travel funding to improve cycling facilities for shorter journeys

“In opposition Minister Ross roared like a lion about traffic at every opportunity. These days he's not even squeaking like a mouse,” he concluded.