Anger at €155k cost to fix road

by Gazette Reporter
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A HIGHLY controversial and experimental roundabout incorporating a cycle lane at Killiney Towers will have cost the taxpayer €472,000 by the time it is completed next year.
The roundabout was first designed in 2011, and constructed in 2012 at a cost of €317,000 but, due to numerous complaints from motorists and cyclists using the roundabout, it is in the process of being altered this year, at a cost of €155,000.
The cycle lane is positioned on the outside of the roundabout, with the car lane on the inside.  According to local politicians, problems arise when a motorist wishes to exit the roundabout, as he has to cut across the cyclist on the outside lane, beside him.
Cllr Jane Dillon Byrne (Lab) said: “There’s no clear indication who has the right of way. It’s a problem.”
According to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC): “Following the introduction of the revised roundabout arrangement at Killiney Towers Roundabout in February 2012, a large number of calls was received seeking a full and comprehensive operation and safety review of the new layout, with a focus on concerns for the exiting vehicle and circulating cyclist conflict.”
A series of meetings then took place comprising local councillors, DLRCC’s transportation department, and the National Transport Authority (NTA) in November, 2012, a council spokesperson said.
“Following on from these meetings, a new roundabout layout was prepared to address the issues. A contractor has been appointed to carry out the works, and work commenced on site on Tuesday, March 12. The cost of the works is approximately €155,000.”
It is the average taxpayer and not the council who will bear the cost of the latest works on the roundabout, according to Cllr Cormac Devlin (FF).
He said: “There is major concern about the original design, the lack of public consultation with local residents and road users – students from schools within the area, cyclists, etc – and, obviously, the cost – in particular since they had to go back and correct the originally flawed design.
“I have had countless local residents contact me to express their deep anger about the rationale of the council to spend these vast amounts of money on redesigning what was considered locally to be a relatively safe roundabout.
“It has been confirmed that the council itself will not have to fund the modifications; this will come from central Government, which means that the new redesign – due to difficulties with the previous one – will still have to come out of public monies, which will not sit well with members of the public who question the validity of the scheme in the first place,” said Cllr Devlin.
Responding to the money spent on the roundabout so far, Cllr Denis O’Callaghan (Lab) said: “The Killiney Towers roundabout debacle is a lesson hard-learned, and it highlights the difference between the executive powers of the county manager, and the reserved powers of elected members of the council.
“I remain convinced that the original proposals put forward by the council and the NTA would not have been approved by the elected members had they the reserved power to decide on the matter, and the subsequent additional costs incurred to rectify the mess would not have occurred.
“This issue highlights the need to reform local government, and restore a real balance between executive and reserved powers,” said Cllr O’Callaghan.

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