No plans to reinstate two entry lanes on roundabout

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE ONGOING saga of the Orlagh roundabout in Knocklyon continued at Tuesday’s meeting of the Rathfarnham/Templeogue-Terenure Area Committee, with a councillor stating that “despite all the evidence to the contrary, [the National Transport Authority] are firm in their beliefs.”

The NTA stated at the meeting that they would fund an independent road safety audit into the impact of the works at the Orlagh roundabout.

Orlagh Roundabout09

The controversial Orlagh roundabout.

As previously reported in The Echo, construction work began on the installation of a shared cycle and pedestrian way leading to the roundabout last July, where traffic was then reduced to a single lane on approach to the roundabout, which it is believed is now leading to traffic tailbacks.

Fianna Fáil councillor for Rathfarnham, Deirdre O’Donovan, set up a petition in December that at the time of print had amassed over 5,000 signatures, calling on South Dublin County Council to reinstate the previous layout of the roundabout.

Over 250 protestors then converged on the Orlagh roundabout in January, to voice their frustrations about the traffic tailbacks that have plagued the area since the works began, and last month it was revealed that the outrun costs for the works will be approximately €1.2m.

The topic came up at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the area committee, where representatives from the National Transport Authority (NTA) were in attendance, as Cllr O’Donovan tabled a motion about the roundabout.

Cllr O’Donovan stated in her motion that “the undemocratic decision was taken to reduce the roundabout from two lanes to one”, and she attached footage of traffic at the roundabout and requested an outline of when the two lanes will be reinstated.

In response, the local authority stated that “drone footage taken in advance of the works indicated that despite two lanes being available for use at Scholarstown Road East, the outer lane was rarely used and when it was, it caused confusion and erratic behaviour.

“The surveys and drone footage taken after the works were completed and after the SDCC Traffic section made some amendments to the pedestrian signals, indicate that the roundabout with the enhanced cyclist and pedestrian measures is operating well and that the adjustments have been beneficial to road users, while maintaining the benefits for pedestrians and cyclists.

“There are no plans to reinstate the two entry lanes at Orlagh Roundabout, which were removed due to the findings of an independent road safety audit, which determined that there was a risk of side swiping accidents on the Scholarstown Rd Eastern Arm heading west.”

Cllr O’Donovan told The Echo: “Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the NTA are firm in their beliefs [that the new layout is working].

“They’re giving one version, but the reality on the ground for everyone living in the area is completely different.

“Local cyclists have said that they don’t use the new cycle lane as it’s too dangerous.”

Cllr O’Donovan added that one of the reasons that the works were carried out was to encourage local schoolchildren to walk and cycle to school, however Cllr O’Donovan said that she has routinely counted the bikes parked at St Colmcille’s while dropping her child off, and that the average number of bikes parked there is 28.

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