TheLiberty is a local paper for Dublin's south inner city

February 2001

Residents demand speed cameras

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Cork Street: Pollution, speed and noise problems may escalate

By Dermot Keyes

AS CONSTRUCTION of the Coombe/ Cork Street relief road continues, the street's Residents Association has appealed for speed cameras to be installed on the improved route in an effort to ensure safety for pedestrians.

The association's chairman, Mr Charlie Hammond, told theLiberty that he and his fellow residents had made the appeal for the installation of cameras to Dublin Corporation from the beginning. "I made the request at IAP level and I was told that it would be considered," he said.

Mr Hammond explained the installation of the cameras was a major issue for the street's occupants. "It's fair to say that all the buses, cars and taxis that are going through the area are breaking the 30 miles an hour speed limit, and it's only getting worse. There is a diversion on the Naas Road at the moment, which is redirecting all heavy traffic down by the canal and down Cork Street.

"It's getting very noisy on the street as early as five o'clock in the morning. You have anything from three ton to 10 ton vehicles on the move around here and there's been a lot of complaints about the noise levels. That will get worse in the future unless there's some bar put against the size of the lorries passing through here," he added.

When the bypass is completed, Mr Hammond fears that the speed, noise pollution and problems will escalate. "When this is changed into a long road, a half-mile length of dead straight road, the cars are going to get even faster. At the moment there are three pedestrian crossings on the street; we've been told that number will increase when the road is finished. You're taking your life in your hands trying to cross the road and I don't see how we can change that in the future."

Echoing the concerns of Mr Hammond, Cllr Michael Conaghan urged Dublin Corporation to address the three ton limit on roads in the south inner city, describing the Gardai's enforcing of the rule as an "absolute failure." Alderman Conaghan added that Dublin City Council should invite Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne to City Hall, "to explain Garda tolerance of the wholesale breaches of this bye-law".

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment has approved a £6million grant for the Cork Street/Coombe relief road, which has been welcomed by Fianna Fail TD Mr Sean Ardagh.

"I am pleased that nearly £6 million has been given to the scheme," he said. "The area has been a traffic disaster for years, so I look forward to completion of this work. The £6 million grant which the Minister has now approved, will greatly increase the rate of progress of the Cork Street/Coombe relief road. The scheme itself provides for a wider footpath, a cycle lane and a bus lane as well as a traffic lane." Deputy Ardagh hopes that residents will be satisfied with the outcome. "They have been waiting long enough," he said.