O’Connor calls for innovative thinking to address commuter misery

04 May 2018

Jack O Connor, who has been selected to contest the next General Election for the Labour Party in Wicklow, has called for an urgent integrated response, entailing innovative thinking, to address the problem of growing rush hour traffic congestion on the N11.

Mr O’Connor said:

“The endlessly increasing misery endured by people travelling to and from work with all its attendant implications for health and welfare and family life as well as added costs can be ignored no longer. It is simply amazing that despite the publication of the comprehensive M11/N11 Corridor Study by Transport Infrastructure Ireland in April 2017 calling for urgent action, only a meagre €100,000 was allocated by that institution in its 2018 budget. This was despite its own Report concluding that any further delay in investment will lead to further increases in congestion.

“It is all the more amazing that the much vaunted and slickly marketed Government ‘Project 2040’ failed to identify the urgent need for major development works to alleviate the bottleneck either

“There is no ‘roads only’ solution to the misery of congestion. It requires a well thought out integrated and innovative plan formulated with the maximum possible degree of public engagement and participation. This must embrace development of the rail infrastructure, optimising the possible use of bus corridors, the potential for decentralisation and proper spatial planning as well as thinking outside the box on tax incentivisation.

“Thankfully, barring a further economic downturn over the next five years, we will have the revenue capacity to make significant progress in addressing issues such as this, which compromise quality of life, and impede the economic development of the whole County while damaging the environment, we can do it without increasing taxation, but we have to abandon ‘pet projects’ like the so called ‘Rainy Day Fund’, which in any event is about addressing the last crisis instead of those looming immediately ahead” he added

“Over the Summer the Wicklow Labour Party will be launching a public dialogue on the issue with a view to maximum democratic public engagement on an integrated solution to the ever increasing misery of commuter congestion as a result of Government inaction. We then intend to follow through with a campaign to press the case for urgent action and we would be glad to work with other civil society and community organisations and even rival political parties to help bring about a solution to this problem which is eminently solvable”

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