Social Democrats Candidate for Wicklow, Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed the news this week that Wicklow County Council have signed contracts with ARUP consultants to carry out designs for M11/N11 road improvements, which will see the road upgraded to three lanes. 

Speaking after the announcement, Cllr Whitmore said “It’s very good news to see progress on this much-needed project. For anyone that travels on the N11, they know all too well the logjam that occurs at peak times every day, so news of a third lane is to be welcomed.’ 

“However, I believe that any third lane should focus on sustainable transport solutions and be assigned as a bus and car-pooling lane. This would enable a much-improved bus service into Dublin City, which in itself would mean less cars on the road. For example, the double-decker buses that Dublin Bus currently use have a capacity of at least 75 passengers – that would mean 75 less cars on the N11.” 

“Another sustainable transport idea that we haven’t embraced yet in Ireland is that of a car-pooling lane. That is a lane that can be used by cars that have 3 or more passengers. Again, this would represent a much more efficient use of transport to get into work, which would reduce the overall traffic on the road. This concept is used in most major cities around the world and it’s time we looked to see what works in other cities and replicate their solutions here.“

“In order to make the N11 a more efficient road, I believe we also need to develop Park ’n Rides at junctions on the N11. I have spoken with Wicklow County Council about this approach and they are very supportive of it and have raised it with the National Transport Authority. This would mean that someone in Arklow or Wicklow could hop in their cars in the morning, drive to their nearest Park ’n Ride and quickly access an express bus into Dublin. Alternatively, they could meet up with colleagues and share a ride into town. “

Whitmore continued “If we utilised these three innovative solutions to our transport problems, any future third lane on the N11 would be used to maximum efficiency, and in the most sustainable way.  However, I believe that if we just use the third lane as a normal lane, we will see it quickly fill-up and we will be back in traffic chaos again in a number of years. It’s important to get this right and to think long-term about our commuting and environmental needs.“