In a briefing released under FOI legislation Transport Infrastructure Ireland has finally admitted that the M1 motorway was never intended to solve the traffic problems in Julianstown.
The briefing, prepared for Deputy Imelda Munster, analysed the effect of removing the Donore Road sliproad tolls. These tolls are a bone of contention for the retail parks located at the motorway exits in Drogheda since they impose a toll on traffic using the M1 to travel from one side of Drogheda to the other. The conclusion of the briefing was that removing these tolls would increase traffic by 4,500 per day in Julianstown.
This is the crucial quote from the briefing:
It has always been recognised by the Authority, and borne out in traffic studies undertaken, that the old N1 (existing R132) route would continue to attract significant traffic volumes due to the commercial/residential traffic movements in and around Drogheda town, the movements to/from Drogheda, and the movements to/from Drogheda Port.
TII goes on the lay the blame on the local authorities for granting planning permission to the retail parks in the full knowledge that the slip road tolls were in place.
It is quite troubling that this information has now emerged. As far back as the 1980s, locals predicted this would happen but were constantly reassured by the authorities that the new motorway would solve all of Julianstown’s problems (see articles below).
This is the report by TII, download here (scroll down for some historical articles).20161019 eCorr 13268 IMunster tolls sliproads incl briefing
Article from 1987 quoting Meath County Council’s assurances that M1 would take most of the traffic out of Julianstown .bypass_11_4_1987
Article from 1992 where locals warn that bypass as planned will not solve Julianstown’s traffic problems.DI_April_10_1992_traffic_stats