M50 Demand Management Report

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Image of M50 at nightThe M50 motorway was upgraded in stages between 2008 and 2010 between the M1 and Sandyford. It is now the most heavily trafficked road in the country with in excess of 130,000 vehicles per day using several sections. Congestion is already occurring over certain sections particularly at peak hours and the number of incidents is increasing.

The M50 Upgrade Project received planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in 2005. This project comprised the addition of a third lane in both directions on the M50 from the M1 to Sandyford, with a fourth auxiliary lane between the M1 and N81. It included major improvements to M1, M2, M3, N4, M7 junctions with the M50.    In addition, the project included the removal of the West Link Toll Plaza and barrier and the installation of E-flow open road tolling.

The traffic analysis undertaken for the M50 Upgrade Project suggested that traffic growth would result in traffic flows that would exceed the capacity of the upgraded M50 significantly within its design life of 2023. As such it was recognised that future traffic demand would need to be managed if the benefits of the upgrade were to be fully protected and realised. In acknowledgement of this, one of the conditions associated with the planning permission was to include the development of a scheme of demand management measures; with Condition 7 stating the following:

  • Condition 7: A scheme of specific demand management measures for the M50 motorway corridor shall be published by the relevant road authorities not later than three years after the M50 Motorway Upgrade Scheme has been completed.
  • Reason: To protect the traffic capacity provided by the M50 Upgrade Scheme over its design life.

In 2012 the National Roads Authority convened a Steering Group (comprising the NRA, Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin County Councils) with a view to undertaking a study to identify a scheme of indicative Demand Management Measures for the M50. This report provides a summary of the work undertaken and describes an indicative package of demand management measures.

The publication of this Report does not imply that any decision has been made to implement these measures; The Government has reserved unto itself any decision to implement new tolls. Therefore the implementation of any scheme at a future date will be dependent on Government policy and decision, as well as being subject to the relevant statutory processes.