Thirty years after it was first proposed the government approves the planning and design of the Eastern Bypass motorway for Dublin.

In a major U-turn the government has given the National Roads Authority (NRA) the green light to start planning a £750 million Eastern Bypass motorway for Dublin. Minister for the Environment Noel Dempsey made the decision, which seems to mark a major departure from previous government policy on the issue. 

In 1992 Minister for the Environment Michael Smith scrapped plans for the road. At the time the proposed overground road was deeply unpopular with environmentalists and the residents of Booterstown and south Dublin.

The latest proposal is for a tunnel under Dublin Bay from Sandymount to Boooterstown which will link to the M50 C ring at Sandyford through Foster's Avenue and Goatstown. There will also be a link with the proposed Dublin Port Tunnel.

Chief Executive of the National Roads Authority, Michael Tobin welcomes the decision for the bypass which would carry an estimated 50,000 vehicles per day and significantly reduces the number of cars travelling through the city centre. However he does not think the Eastern Bypass will be completed until 2008 or 2009.

Hopefully we'll have it before the end of this decade.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 July 2000. The reporter is Anne-Marie Smyth.