Road closures and diversions due to come into effect next week on one of Dublin’s busiest commuter routes will cause “unprecedented traffic chaos” for 18 months, it has been claimed.
The “temporary” measures, effective from Monday, August 8 and lasting until early 2024, are required to facilitate significant works at Annesley Bridge and North Strand Road as part of the latest phase of the Clontarf to City Centre (C2CC) project.
The €62m scheme, when completed, will provide segregated cycling facilities and bus priority infrastructure along a 2.7km stretch, from Clontarf to the junction of Amiens Street and Talbot Street.
Traffic arrangements during the works will see city-bound private vehicles diverted at Fairview Strand, down Ballybough Road and along Portland Road, before re-joining North Strand Road at Five Lamps.
Under the plan, Annesley Bridge Road and North Strand Road will be open to inbound buses, bicycles and taxis as normal. Both roads will continue to facilitate all outbound traffic throughout the works programme.
In addition, between August and the end of this year, Clontarf Road railway bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction, with both inbound and outbound traffic funnelled through one of the two arches.
Dublin City Council has asked the public to plan their journeys and use alternative modes of transport where possible.
Andy Walsh, director of the council’s active travel programme, said: “This next phase is a major step up in works on the C2CC project. While there will be some disruption to regular traffic flows, we are working to ensure everyone is as informed about the changes as soon as possible before they take place.”
The local authority has distributed leaflets to 60,000 homes and businesses in the area and launched a dedicated project website as part of an information campaign.
Mark Crowther, chairperson of Marino Residents’ Association, said they had two representatives on the C2CC steering committee and were happy with the level of consultation carried out by Dublin City Council to date.
He added they were concerned about the impact of the new traffic measures on the local 123 bus service.
“It’s the only bus route operating through Ballybough and there is no bus lane,” he said.
However, Independent councillor Damian O’Farrell described some elements of the traffic plan as “unnecessary” and warned of “unprecedented commuter chaos for the next 18 months”.
“The reality of what is being proposed will really only hit home after the changes come into effect next week,” he said.
“Dublin City Council is showing little regard for motorists, particularly those who may be unable to cycle, use public transport or walk.