20 Novemeber 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr Donnchadh Ó Loaghaire has hit out at proposals to put tolls on the South Link Road in Cork, saying that it would lead to “suburban chaos”.
He was responding to reports in yesterdays Evening Echo, which indicated that tolls on the N40 was one of the options being considered by the NRA as means of addressing future traffic congestion.
Cllr Ó Laoghaire felt that areas such as Grange, Douglas and Togher would suffer as a consequence of such a move.
“This is not a workable option. Even aside from the obvious injustice of charging users for use of a Road the taxpayer has already paid for, it will not deal with the broader traffic issues.”
“One wonders whether they are looking at the examples such as the m50, regularly dubbed ‘Ireland’s biggest Car Park’. I don’t believe tolls will resolve the issues here. We have yet to see how the link will function when adjacent improvements at Dunkettle and the N28 upgrade take place”
“If they are talking about tolls, they are anticipating that cars would take alternative routes. What this would mean is more traffic in already heavily congested areas such as the Grange Road, such as Douglas Village, Sarsfield Road, or Togher. Who in their right mind thinks that Douglas Village could cope with even the slightest bit more traffic.
“It would lead to suburban chaos.
“Ultimately, the only real solution for traffic volumes on the South Link, and on our roads generally, is to get less cars on the road.
“We need serious investment in public transport. We have a totally underfunded system compared to the rest of Europe. We should be aiming for far better and more regular services to give a real option to motorists, who currently feel that public transport does not meet their needs.”
“Tolls, that push even more traffic into suburban residential areas, are not the answer.”