Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council intend to go ahead and construct the controversial Monkstown Ring Road after receiving the go ahead in the summer by An Bord Pleanala against the recommendations of the Senior Inspector, Philip Jones. This road will involve punching a highway through a number of residential streets and necessitates the demolition of Yankee Terrace, a late 19th Century row of cottages. In the course of the Oral Hearing the Council's engineers disowned their own traffic figures and abandoned their own objective of improving congestion due to objectors exposing them as flawed and without foundation in reality. Mr. Jones, in his report, described the scheme as follows:
"The proposed Monkstown Ring Road originated in the 1970â€™s... It is considered that the proposed road development would represent an inappropriate form of development which would encourage increased car usage and would conflict with national, regional and local policies for the sustainable development of transport"
"The proposed road development would not confer significant benefits to the community"
"The proposed road development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area"
Thankfully the Members of the Council are to debate a motion at the October meeting to have this ridiculous scheme removed from the Development Plan. However the County Manager, one Owen Keegan, has stated in his report to the Councillors that he believes the scheme should go ahead and rubbished the advice of the experienced and qualified Inspector, who throughout his thorough report utterly damned every element of this scheme. Some Councillors may vote according to the managers advice, as would be common practice, and we would be left with vast swathes of suburbia in ruins. Maybe the manager should read his own statements from his ample back catalogue of soundbites, some of which are laid out below: (sourced from ireland.com archive)
"Commuting by car, in Mr. Keegan's words, is a sunset industry."
"The new DÃºn Laoghaire-Rathdown county manager Owen Keegan said it would be one of his aims to achieve a better balance between conservation and development."
"Commuting motorists impose significant costs on everyone else"
"We have given up trying to cater for the private car and if people haven't worked that out yet then there is a serious problem with IQ"
"The argument that private car capacity should be increased was lost a long time ago"
The point of this post is to ask those who care about the proper planning and sustainable development of Dublin, and in particular areas such as Blackrock, Stillorgan, Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire that will be severely adversely affected by this truly horrific scheme, to get in touch with the County councillors and demand that they vote in favour of the Green Party motion to have this removed from the Development Plan.
We've come a long way, generally, from the transport planning philosophies of the 1970's which advocated ripping the heart out of towns to cater for motorists. However, out in Dun Laoghaire, between the mountains and the sea, these philosophies still remain.
Thanks for reading