I appreciate the opportunity to raise this matter. It is predominantly a local authority roads matter, but it transcends various local authorities and has a serious impact on south Lucan and east Lucan. I ask the Minister to take an overview of the concerns of the people I represent in this House. The outer ring road was probably put on County Dublin development plan maps back in 1972. It is to link the Galway road with the Naas road and further afield. It was also on drawings to transcend the Liffey valley as an outer crossing parallel to the existing M50 motorway.
In the last review of its development plan, Fingal County Council, in its wisdom, deleted this road. South Dublin County Council engineering and design personnel are beavering away with environmental impact statements, studies and designs, while the neighbouring local authority has decided that the road should come to a grinding halt at the Galway road junction. The likely scenario that emerges is a colossal build up of traffic on already over congested roads. The population in north Kildare and the eastern region generally sees tailbacks on the Galway road dual carriageway every morning. It now appears that it is intended that this outer ring road would terminate at a grade separated junction over the dual carriageway on the Galway road and add thousands more cars to an already congested situation.
There seems to be no logic, cohesion or Department of Environment and Local Government overview to try to bring together neighbouring local authorities to do what is practical and realistic. Will the Minister ask a senior roads engineer in the Department of the Environment and Local Government to see what the alternative and more suitable solutions to this problem are?
The outer ring road will see substantial commercial traffic going through a very large new residential area. It is also proposed and recommended in the recent Bacon report that a further 6,000 to 8,000 new homes be built in the adjoining area. It makes no commercial sense to proceed with what is proposed. It is now intended to make a dual carriageway of the outer ring road from the current Balgaddy roundabout to the Kingswood junction on the Naas dual carriageway. It will, effectively, become an attempted by-pass of a toll bridge on the Westlink, yet terminating nowhere other than pushing traffic back down through the old village of Lucan, back down to the Strawberry Beds and back on to the main dual carriage going into and coming out of town.
It appears that the outer ring road being attempted by South Dublin Council has no logic, reason or practical use because of the decision of Fingal County Council. I urge that we move towards realism as to how traffic in that west side of Dublin can move. There have been many discussions about the rail service to Heuston station, the connection under the Phoenix park and the provision of a decent commuter rail service which has been talked about, planned and proposed. This infrastructural project makes no sense in the way it is being put together in a piecemeal manner by South Dublin County Council without consultation with neighbouring authorities. It appears, therefore, that it will create chaos at the Lucan end of the outer ring road.