Garden county bypassed as Kingdom gets royal treatment
IN THE WAKE of another serious road accident along the N11 at Scratnagh Cross the Government has been slated for its decision to keep vital upgrade works on hold.
Another year looks likely to slip by and still no sign of the Arklow/Rathnew N11 upgrade as the Department of Transport only intend to carry out one solitary new road project in all of Ireland during 2009.
The proposed bypass of Castleisland, County Kerry is to become the only new road scheme to go to construction this year due to a reduced €1.44 billion budget for the National Roads Authority.
Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, said on Wednesday that the upgrade of the N11 was one of a number of schemes which the NRA had initially hoped to progress this year, but had to postpone instead. No firm date has been set for when the postponed work might take place.
Fine Gael TD, Billy Timmins, has accused the Government of willingly ignoring the N11 upgrade, despite the number of accidents which have taken place on that unfinished sec- tion of the road, some of which have been fatal.
‘Wicklow seems to have slipped off the Fianna Fáil, Green Party Government radar, particularly in the matter of road improvement,’ says Deputy Timmins.
‘Just four months ago the government cried crocodile tears as they shelved six road improvement schemes nationwide. Now we find that one of the six, the Castleisland bypass in Co Kerry, had been given the green light to go ahead.
‘But the major road improvement plans for the N11 between Rathnew and Arklow remain on ice, apart from funds to carry out some relatively minor remedial works.
‘The major upgrade of the N11 is vital for a number of reasons that include safety and the economic/industrial development of the South Wicklow area. The upgrade of the N11 needs immediate attention and can’t constantly be ignored.’
Under the National Roads Allocation for 2009 Wicklow County Council will receive a total of €13,815,722, €12,769,000 of which is for road improvements and the remaining €1,046,722 for maintenance works.