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However traffic volumes have been falling along the route in recent years partly due to the end of the boom, but also due to the fact that many quarries along the route are nearing the end of their productive lives. Although the Phase 2 route selection proposals just published for public consultation now thankfully avoid the immediate environs of Blessington Lake, they will still be very destructive of existing homes and farms and will remove even more of what is left of the Glen Ding hill and woodland overlooking Blessington.
This is despite the fact that the inner relief road within Blessington was never completed to connect to the N81 at roundabouts north and south of the town and has been grossly under-utilised as a result. It cannot be effectively used as a bypass of the town because there is no right turning lane or roundabout for it travelling south on the N81 at Blessington, and the onward connection back to the N81 south of the town was never built.
There simply is no need for an additional motorway standard road around and beyond Blessington because traffic volumes are falling, and Hollywood, Baltinglass (population 2,000 and distance 30 KM), and Tullow (Population 3,000 and distance 50 KM) are the only towns further along the route and even these are not included in the National Spatial Strategy as population growth centres. Indeed the Tullow area is already served by the M9 motorway for travellers or heavy goods vehicles who want to get to Dublin in a hurry.
All the possible routes proposed for the new motorway are convoluted and much longer than the existing N81 and will thus be of benefit to very few travellers. Most will simply continue to use the existing N81 which, with a few junction improvements and minor upgrades and an extension of the Blessington inner relief road is more than adequate for any realistic projections of future traffic levels.
The motorway proposal is a hangover from the Celtic Tiger era when there were inflated population, economic and traffic growth expectations, oil was plentiful and cheap, and carbon footprints were almost unheard of. It is time our planning systems took account of our changed economic circumstances and we started planning more useful, sustainable and cost effective projects.
If we do want to dramatically improve our public transport infrastructure, an extension of the Luas beyond Saggart to the Naas/Blessington area would be a good start. After all Blessington did have its own tram service until 1932.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger - Mar 16 38 comments
by Oui - Mar 14 23 comments
by ARGeezer - Mar 7 26 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Mar 8 16 comments
by Oui - Mar 9 3 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 28 112 comments
by Bernard - Feb 24 6 comments
by Oui - Mar 3 4 comments
by Oui - Mar 17
by Oui - Mar 171 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Mar 1638 comments
by Oui - Mar 15
by Oui - Mar 1423 comments
by Oui - Mar 93 comments
by Oui - Mar 91 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Mar 816 comments
by ARGeezer - Mar 726 comments
by Oui - Mar 5
by Oui - Mar 34 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 28112 comments
by Bernard - Feb 246 comments
by Oui - Feb 23
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 2171 comments
by Cat - Feb 1830 comments
by Oui - Feb 179 comments
by Oui - Feb 87 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 2816 comments