Council bid to calm Hearse Road widening will take place at night diversion concerns
RATHBEALE RD UPGRADE PLANS AMENDED TO DEAL WITH LOCAL CONCERNS
CHANGES to how traffic might be managed during construction of a major new upgrade of the Rathbeale Road have gone some way to satisfying concerns expressed by local councillors about the project.
While the diversions chosen for the project will be subject to a separate process once a contractor is appointed for the project, the council has moved to reassure locals and their political representatives on the council who are concerned about the impact on the surrounding area of a possible diversion through Glen Ellan during the extensive works.
Senior Engineer for the council, Tom O’connor said there had been a ‘comprehensive review’ of the plans after councillors expressed their concerns and more than 100 submissions were received on the subject from worried locals.
The council has determined that a full or partial closure of the Rathbeale Road will be necessary during the works for safety reasons but said this option would also be the most efficient and would mean the works could be finished quicker.
The council said that up to 30% in construction time on the project could be saved this way.
The council said it also still favoured the Glen Ellan diversion as the best diversion route but this would be a matter for the contractor in a traffic management plan that must accompany its work plan for the project.
However, the council said that if that route was chosen it had looked at a number of mitigation measures to reduce the impact on locals.
The council has committed to providing a number of new pedestrian crossings in the area to ensure the safety of school children in particular, who may also see extra school wardens operating in the area during the works.
The local authority will also bid to discourage traffic coming from further afield to take this route to Swords, targeting traffic from Ashbourne in particular with early warning signs about the works on the Rathbeale Road.
Cllr Duncan Smith who was particularly vocal in expressing his concerns about the possible diversions for the project said the council had addressed a lot of those concerns with these new measures. He said the project would mean a ‘difficult time’ for the area ‘traffic-wise’ but he accepted the road had to be upgraded and that the building of a much needed local school depended on the project. THE bulk of the work to widen the Hearse Road in Donabate between the hilltop and the railway bridge is likely to take place at night to minimise disruption to traffic on the peninsula.
With only one road in and one road out of the area currently, the road widening project is to be undertaken at off-peak hours at is likely to result in temporary road closures.
Fingal County Council are progressing the negotiations regarding the building licence agreement to enter onto private lands to carry out the work Once this has been finalised, a contractor will be appointed to carry out the works.
The appointed contractor to submit for approval to the Council a comprehensive traffic management strategy detailing how they intent to carry out the works.
Cllr Paul Mulville (NP) who raised the issue at a meeting of the Swords/balbriggan Area Committee said the people of Donabate would be ‘greatly relieved’ to hear that the substantial part of the road works would be carried out at night but he said it was ‘shocking’ that negotiations with a private landowner in the area was holding up the work. A peninsula councillor has repeated his call for the council to improve the ‘public realm’ in the area around Donabate beach.
Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) has been campaigning on the issue for some time and wants to see improvements to the amenities around the beach area which he said is ‘one of the most popular beaches in the country’.
Despite the council saying there was no funding currently available for a civic amenity scheme in the area, it agreed to discuss the issue in greater detail at next month’s meeting of the Swords/balbriggan Area Committee where the issue will return to the agenda.
Cllr Duncan Smith.
Councillors concerned about the diversion through Glen Ellan.