Kildare County Council officials are to meet consultants over planned changes to the M4 motorway between Leixlip and Kilcock this week, a council meeting has been told.
The meeting was also told that tailbacks on the M4 motorway at Maynooth are being attributed to a decision to put traffic lights at the town Meadowbrook link road.
Speaking at Kildare County Council’s monthly meeting (October 21) Cllr Tim Durkan argued that a roundabout should have been placed there instead.
Cllr Durkan had asked for an update on plans for the M4 motorway between Leixlip and Kilcock, including noise reduction and junction capacity and interchange upgrades at those towns as well as Maynooth and Celbridge.
Cllr Durkan said that they were experiencing one kilometre tailbacks on the motorway due to the facts that there were traffic lights instead of a roundabout at the Meadowbrook junction.
He said they had wanted a roundabout at Meadowbrook junction.
He said the Maynooth Interchange was at 130% capacity and small changes would do a world of good.
Cllr Durkan said they had been told that the National Transport Authority, which was funding the Meadowbrook junction work, insisted on traffic lights.
He also said the on/off ramps at the interchange were too short.
Director of Services, Roads, Transportation and Public Safety, Niall Morrissey said the M4 Maynooth to Leixlip is prioritised for delivery under the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
There were seven phases and they were on the second one “concept and feasibility.”
Mr Morrissey said it will “take a number of years to pass through the various steps.”
Mr Morrissey said some statutory processes won’t be ready until 2023.
But, he said, work had started.
The council were meeting consultants in the next week or so and phase two, where options are selected, could be done in 12 months.
For those experiencing traffic frustration, the timeline may seem long.
But Cllr Durkan said that on the positive side he believed the design phase would happen quite quickly. “We would then know where we stood,” he said.
He said there is a strong argument for a new interchange between Maynooth and Kilcock, at the Jackson bridge junction, which is just over two and a half kilometres from Maynooth.
It would enable traffic to get to the university without going through Maynooth town and also serve the growing Kilcock area.
Cllr Padraig McEvoy said they had to take an honest look at people’s dependence on cars.
Cllr Peter Hamilton said the widening the motorway may not be the best option.
Cllr Angela Feeney said they have been talking about a second interchange for a long time and they needed it.
Cllr Joe Neville said the a LIHAF housing project mean there will be new road joining the Leixlip junction but Kildare County Council as a local authority had very little input into it.