Gar­den county by­passed as King­dom gets royal treat­ment

Bray People - - News Focus - Myles BUCHANAN

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.

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