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News that the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork is to be privatised by the National Roads Authority is absolutely crazy.
The tunnel and the adjoining roads are the busiest in the County already.
Transport minister Paschal Donohoe has said it won’t be tolled in the lifetime of the present Government but what of the future? Let us forget for a moment that the tunnel should have been built with at least three lanes both ways, but now it is possible that every vehicle going through would have to stop for up to 30 seconds to pay a toll, halting traffic flow every time.
Even if we ignore such extortion of cash from overtaxed motorists, the idea that traffic could stop would make the tunnel untenable.
One could imagine the eastbound ring road becoming a car park all the way back to Bishopstown during peak times.
The queue on the Dublin Road into the city might run back as far as Watergrasshill and traffic from the city centre would stretch back to Patrick Street itself. Drivers from East Cork may as well not travel at all.
I am shocked that Cork City Council would even consider privatisation. The lack of joined-up thinking at official level is scary. Is it the intention of the City Fathers to bring the whole place to a halt? Do any of them understand the basics of traffic flow? I suggest this appalling contract is looked at again before any of them sign on our behalf.
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