26 November 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Labour Local Area Representative in Cork, Peter Horgan, has called on the Ministers for Transport and Justice to implement an Operation Freeflow for Cork City.
“I’ve written to my party’s Transport Spokesperson Senator Kevin Humphreys to ask him to request this from the Ministers,” said Mr Horgan.
“Traffic volumes in Cork grind to a halt with one crash or any hint of rain and wind. With increasing traffic volumes on our roads, and the busy Christmas period to come over the next month, the Government should now move to instate Operation Freeflow in Cork.”
Traffic volumes between the Jack Lynch tunnel and the Mahon junction on the South Ring Road have increased by more than 4,000 cars per day since 2015 to 67,183.
The Dunkettle Interchange between the N25 and N28 and Little Island has seen daily volumes rise from 51,480 cars per day to 55,150.
The South Ring Road between Ballinora and Curraheen at Bishopstown has seen a rise of almost 4,000 cars per day to 41,465.
Traffic levels in and out of the city at the N20 have risen from 20,916 to 21,778, while increases have also been recorded at the N22 at Poulavone and between Ballincollig and Ovens.
Operation Freeflow was first introduced by then Minister for Environment Brendan Howlin in December 1996 and the key objective was to ensure that traffic laws were enforced such as keeping junctions, bus lanes and yellow boxes clear.
“In th e past, probationary Gardaí from Templemore were drafted into Dublin to ensure that junctions and bus lanes in and around Dublin city centre were policed along with other focused measures.
“Also central to efforts to combat traffic jams was a ban on non-essential road maintenance and repair. In recent years we have all seen the last minute road works that are undertaken by Cork City & County Councils to ensure allocated monies are spent by the end of year.”
“Efforts to increase the use of public transport into town are essential if we are to reduce the number of cars.
“In recent years the closure of Templemore and non-availability of trainee Gardaí meant there hasn’t been an Operation Freeflow as we knew it since 2011, but now that the college is up and running again the events of this morning show that it’s time to bring this successful Operation to Cork for the seasonal rush.”