Calls for N11 upgrade to be fast-tracked

Social Democrats Candidate for Wicklow Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has called for the proposed N11 project to be fast-tracked, following the National Roads Office (NRO) consultation of the proposed N11/M11 upgrade.

Speaking from the consultation meeting on the upgrade, Cllr. Whitmore said “The proposed start date for this upgrade is 2027 at the very earliest. On top of this, the NRO, who are managing the project, have said that they have no clarity on how long the project will take, as they are uncertain at this stage what the works will entail, or when funding will be provided for it. 

“The people of Wicklow cannot wait another 10-15 years before improvements are made to the N11. The traffic chaos that faces commuters on a daily basis is having a significant impact on the quality of their lives at the moment. And it will get worse and worse over the next few years as additional developments are built. The Government needs to address this issue with a sense of urgency. 

“The project needs to be fast-tracked as a start date of 2027 is not acceptable. It is possible for this to happen under the National Development Plan, which allows for concessions to be given to heavily congested roads. The Government must make that happen for the N11. Otherwise, Wicklow is at risk of coming to a complete standstill.

Whitmore concluded “It is also critical that public transport is central to any proposed upgrade. There is little point in just widening roads and adding more lanes without making them public transport only. It has been demonstrated all over the world that new roads will just fill with new cars. It does not solve the problem. The only sustainable solution is to ensure that bus and car pooling lanes are provided, with park ’n rides at junctions along the route. We cannot take a short-term view of this problem, or we will be back at another consultation in 15 years time, trying to solve the same problem all over again. “

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