Dick Roche: 'illogical'

A FURIOUS row has broken out between a government minister and the National Roads Authority (NRA) over the €2m replacement of a roundabout.

European affairs minister Dick Roche has said the NRA proposal is illogical and will only worsen traffic in Bray and Greystones, Co Wicklow. Roche also said Bray town council recently completed a landscaping project at the roundabout, which would now be torn up.

The roundabout at the Killarney Road and Southern Cross junction will be ripped out and replaced with traffic lights.

"Constituents who have been in contact with me suggest that the traffic problems at this important entry and exit point will only be compounded with a signalised junction," Roche said. "They question whether the impact of these proposals has been fully assessed."

Roche made a submission to the National Road Authority and said he believes the €2m project will do nothing to relieve congestion. He also asked the NRA to consider adding extra lanes and improving the roundabout rather than going backwards and installing traffic lights.

The minister said the roundabout was one of two expensive projects proposed by the NRA which did not appear to offer any value for money. Another €5m was being spent on a limited bus lane along the main street of Bray, which was also of questionable use, he said.

"Neither proposal encourages confidence in either the local councils or the statutory agencies with which they are dealing," said Roche.

The Fianna Fáil TD is not alone in his opposition: the proposal was rejected by all members of Bray town council.

The NRA confirmed it had a meeting with local representatives but there were still differences of opinion.

"We have met with the interested parties and we were seeking consensus on this matter but unfortunately it has not been reached," a spokesman said.