Shelving of N2 Slane Bypass Welcomed by Campaigners
- SAVE NEWGRANGE – PRESS RELEASE – Monday, 29 November 2010
‘Shelving of N2 Slane Bypass Welcomed by Campaigners’
Save Newgrange welcomes the shelving of the N2 Slane bypass, and is calling for the An Bord Pleanala planning process to be cancelled. The N2 Slane bypass was not included in the Four Year Budget Plan, released on Wednesday, 24 November. However, An Bord Pleanala has since indicated that it is proceeding with an oral hearing, as part of the planning process. An Bord Pleanala has stated that the proposed oral hearing will take place some time early in the New Year; probably “next February”. However, if planning permission is granted, after the hearing, it will be over four years before construction can begin. This will mean that planning permission will be out of date.
The upgrading of the N2 Ashbournce to Ardee section of the N2 has already been shelved, so it doesn’t make any sense to continue with this section in the middle as a stand-alone 3.5km dual carriageway. Over 100 objections have been filed against the bypass, including evidence from leading archaeologist, Professor George Eogan, that the proposed route will result in the loss of World Heritage statue for Newgrange (Bru na Boinne). Evidence that ESRI economist Dr Edgar Morgenroth has deemed the bypass an “idiotic” waste of taxpayers money has also been submitted to the board.
Vincent Salafia of Save Newgrange said:
“There is no point in proceeding with a lengthy and expensive planning hearing if there is no money to build the road. It is outrageous that we will be forced to spend time and money attending a lengthy oral hearing, with expert witnesses, if all of the data being used will be out of date in four years. We are calling on the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, and the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, to immediately reign in the NRA and Meath County Council, and end this farce.
Irish Independent – Four year budget plan special feature
29 November 2010 – By Paul Melia
MOTORISTS can expect to drive on poorer roads because of massive spending cuts.
And no new projects will go ahead during the lifetime of the four-year recovery plan, unless new sources of funding are identified. New tolls, hikes in motor tax and private investment will be needed to improve thousands of kilometres of dangerous roads, which will not be upgraded in the coming years.
And in another blow to road safety, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has been ordered to make cuts of 5 million in its budget – or introduce higher driving test fees and other charges. The move comes because of the Department of Transport has had more than 500m taken from its budget up to 2014.
Just four projects will go ahead in 2011 – the Belturbet, N5 Longford and Tralee bypasses, and the Cork Southern Ring Road. Two public private partnership projects are expected to go ahead – the N11 Arklow Rathew/Newlands Cross upgrade, and the M17/18 Gort-Tuam Road.
But there will be no major schemes starting in 2012 or 2013. This means the N5 Ballaghadreen bypass, N4 Downes upgrade, N2 Slane bypass, N22 Macroom to Ballycourney, N8/N25 Dunkettle roundabout, and Enniscorthy/New Ross bypasses are shelved. Road Maintenance budgets will fall by 9 million next year – with deeper cuts expected up to 2014.
Some 360 million is needed to repay the costs of building our motorway network.
But the cancelled motorway service areas could yet go ahead: money has been set aside to buy land beside busy motorways, and the private sector will be asked to build the facilities.
Already in place on the M1 and M4, more than a dozen were planned across the State but cancelled because of cutbacks.
In a separate move, commuters could face higher bus and rail fares unless public transport companies cut their costs. Subsidies to Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus will be cut by 10 million next year. Subsidies to the regional airports are also being phased out. Some 5.5 million will be cut next year, in a hugely significant move for smaller airports.
The EU says airports within a three-and-a-half hour journey by road and rail from the capital cannot qualify for subsidies. The State currently spends 15 million subsidising the cost of flights and helping to meet day-to-day running costs.