Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (36, 37, 38)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

140 Ms O. Mitchell asked 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. [2297/04]

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Pat Rabbitte

Question:

187 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport the position with regard to the various proposals submitted to him for dealing with problems at the Red Cow roundabout, both in regard to Luas and road traffic generally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2124/04]

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Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

277 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport the position in relation to the development of the Red Cow roundabout with particular reference to the converging road and rail traffic thereat; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2460/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 140, 187 and 277 together.

The position regarding the upgrading of the M50 is that the NRA and South Dublin County Council are currently preparing plans, including a motorway order and environmental impact statement for the upgrade including,inter alia, the N7/M50, Red Cow, junction. 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, that is, traffic crossed by Luas, significantly. Subject to satisfactory progress in planning and design and securing An Bord Pleanála approval, it is expected that work on upgrading the Red Cow interchange will commence in spring 2005 and be completed by spring 2007.

In the meantime, the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, and the 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.