In summary, An Bord Pleanala's technical assessment of the scheme found it to be deeply flawed and contrary to proper and sustainable transport planning, but their members still approved it as it complied with the Statutory Development Plan. As a result opponents, and the Green Party's Nessa Childers, have asked for it to be removed from this plan owing to the independent assessment carried out.
It would seem that apart from the 4 Green Councillors, FG's John Bailey and Maria Bailey and FF's Barry Conway, many Councillors remain unconvinced that this road will destroy vast swathes of suburban Dublin without conferring any benefits.
However they are beginning to turn. They are meeting with locals again, having had presentations from manager Owen "The argument that private car capacity should be increased was lost a long time ago" Keegan last week. For Niamh Breathnach, who lobbied to remove this scheme in 1993, to now approve it would be a joke considering the greatly increased environmental disbenefits that would now accrue from the scheme. For FG, whose John Bailey has been vehement in his disdain for this road, to open up a new public schism between Dail hopefuls Bailey and Regan would also do them damage in a very sensitive constituency they once dominated.
Monday Night will be interesting. We will find out for sure if all the bluster from the major parties about environmental concerns and the promotion of sustainable transport is just that.
Do they (Breathnach, McCarthy, Smyth, Baker, O'Leary, Regan, Butler, Devlin, Mitchell O'Connor et al) have the stomach necessary to stand up and make the proper decision based on the facts? Do they have the necessary insight to leave 1970's transport planning philosophy behind? Have they the necessary imagination to come up with sustainable solutions to urban transport problems? Are they willing to allow professional, considered, detailed advice to be brushed aside by haphazard mismanagement of the County?
it's now time for the elected members to exercise their mandate and run the damn county the way it should be...
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