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1,000 cars to be taken off streets as giant park and ride facility gets go-ahead

A giant privately operated park-and-ride facility on the outskirts of the capital has been given the go-ahead.

More than 1,000 cars are expected to be taken off the city streets when the N7 park, near Clondalkin, opens early next year.

The main target is commuters coming into Dublin along the Naas Road, but it will also run special services for big match days at Croke Park or concerts in The O2.

After a series of delays, South Dublin County Council has approved the ambitious plan, which will include 1,165 car park spaces, a terminal building, access roads and covered footpaths.

The plan, which will see motorists then bussed to the city centre, is being advanced by National Vehicle Distribution -- a company mainly involved in the storage and distribution of cars.

The company first applied for permission to build on the 12 acre site at Brownsbarn, Clondalkin, last March, but the process was delayed by repeated requests for further information.

A company spokesperson told the Herald that they now hope to start construction work on the facility in early October.

The only third party submission made during the ordinary planning process came from the nearby Citywest, which raised "some concerns in relation to the traffic impact of the proposed development".

Busiest

The council took this into consideration during the planning process and in granting permission has made specific remarks about traffic management on what is one of the country's busiest roads.

The authority notes that "performance monitoring of the park-and-ride facility and its impact on the local road network shall be undertaken regarding car park occupancy rates, the volume of traffic generated and arrival/departure patterns". This information is to be provided to SDCC on a quarterly basis for the first three years of operation and on an annual basis after that.

The council also wants a bat expert to carry out a study in the area before work begins. However, provided this all goes to plan it should be ready to open by early next year.

"We had been hoping to get going earlier but because of planning and needing more information it was delayed by a couple of months," explained a spokesperson for NVD.

Asked about the proposed cost structure for customers, the spokesperson noted that they are still working on a marketing strategy. There won't be figures available for the number of employees until closer to the opening date.

"NVD is into storage and distribution of cars. We've been looking for new strains of revenue, given what happened with cars since the recession," said the company.

hnews@herald.ie