Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (189)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

321 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if there are proposals to reduce the amount of traffic going through the Phoenix Park, reduce traffic speeds in an area of the park or change the flow of traffic to try and create areas which are free of traffic. [25159/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

The principle governing the management of the Phoenix Park is its conservation and presentation as a national historic park. The issue of traffic is a major problem with more than 30,000 cars using the park each day. While recognising that the elimination of all through traffic is not a realisable objective in the short to medium term, measures have been or are about to be put in place to manage traffic in the park.

The safety of all park users has been paramount in the preparation of a plan for the renovation of Chesterfield Avenue. This has been developed in consultation with the Dublin Transportation Office and will involve a variety of traffic calming measures having regard to the special character of the park. The proposed scheme will encompass the construction of a roundabout at Mountjoy Cross and the introduction of traffic calming and a pedestrian priority area in the vicinity of Dublin Zoo. As an interim measure, extensive works have been undertaken this year to improve the surface of Chesterfield Avenue and some minor roads while further works of this nature are expected to commence shortly.

A number of minor roads, including the Khyber Road, Odd Lamp Road, Furze Road, Spa Road and Furry Glen Road, have been closed to through traffic in recent years. Furthermore, policy has been in place to facilitate recreational cyclists in the park and dedicated cycle paths have been provided in recent years to encourage this. Plans have been drawn up to introduce a one-way system between the Ashtown and Cabra gates and the Garda Síochána is being consulted about this proposal.

The responsibility for enforcing the speed limit lies with the Garda Síochána and officials of the Office of Public Works consult closely with gardaí with a view to controlling traffic speeds at certain locations. Arrangements are being made to install 11 speed ramps on the Back Road or North Road in the vicinity of the Phoenix Park School, the rear entrance to Áras an Uachtaráin and near Cabra Gate.